If you are currently studying to be a veterinarian, you're likely wondering whether or not taking an internship will be a good idea for you or not since internships are generally not required to obtain your veterinary license. After spending time and money going to school, you may feel as if you just want to get your career started and find a job so you can start earning a living.
However, the experience you gain during an internship can be invaluable to your professional resume because you'll have supervised hands-on experiences in a clinical setting. Here are a few tips on how to find a veterinary internship opportunity to meet your goals and not struggle financially while doing so.
Does the Internship Meet the Guidelines?
Obviously, you'll want to make sure the veterinary internship opportunity you take aligns with the guidelines from the American Veterinary Medical Association. You'll want to make sure all of the specifics of the internship are included and defined in the contract before you sign it. Speak with your student advisor if you have any questions about the contract before you sign it.
What Type of Housing Is Available?
A larger clinic or group of clinics will give you more hands-on experiences than a smaller clinic could. Don't let this hinder you from taking an internship a long distance away from your home and/or school. The veterinary clinics that offer internships usually have a list of the different places nearby where you can find housing, such as extended stay hotels or short-term apartments.
What Types of Cases Does the Clinic Have?
To have a well-rounded experience during your internship, you'll want to select a program that offers many different opportunities from wellness exams to spaying and neutering to performing surgeries. This is particularly important if you are still considering whether or not to take on a specialty and pursue a residency. The hands-on experiences and responsibilities you'll have during the internship will increase as your skills expand, which will help you become more marketable in the future after you've completed the internship.
Will They Provide a Letter of Recommendation?
You'll also want to find out whether or not they will provide you with a letter of recommendation when you complete the internship. A letter of recommendation should highlight the various techniques and skills you acquire during the internship. Ask for a sample letter of recommendation before signing the contract.