Explore Substance Abuse Internships Opportunities
Substance Abuse Internships are great opportunities for anyone who is still in school to gain some work experience in their chosen field and get some exposure to the work force. College grades are very important in securing employment after graduation but increasingly employers are looking to see what “extra” things in their chosen field a student has chosen to pursue while still in school. Sometimes this may be an industry-related club or volunteer work. Other times, however, an internship in substance abuse can be the difference between one candidate and another being offered a job.
Substance Abuse Internship Basics
An internship may be paid or unpaid but, either way, there are some basics that you need to know about an internship and how it differs from being “in school”.
- It’s a job. You really do need to consider this to be “a job”, even if it is just a summer internship. What you are doing are tasks that are important and thing that affect other people. Whereas your failure to turn in a school assignment on time may have only damaged yourself, this is not the case.
- It counts. This really does go on your permanent record and that’s a good thing. It’s why you’re doing this and you want to do your best to impress these people. In fact, this “internship” could materialize into a job offer at graduation (mine did) or these people could write glowing letters of recommendation for you to pass on to potential employers.
- New skills. Don’t expect that everything that you learned in school will apply here. In fact, some of it may be out of date or not apply at all. That’s fine. Also consider that, while a professor may want for you to elaborate and pontificate, a boss may be more appreciative when you are brief and to the point. Finally, it’s not so much the “effort” that counts here, but the results.
- Feedback is good. Many students who go into an internship have never worked in an office or professional environment before. It’s best to learn how to do this now and take your lumps for being “too casual” or for placing value on the wrong things than it would be to have to do it when you get your first real job out of school.
- Networking opportunities. This can’t be stressed enough. If you are going into your internship job and hiding in a corner cubicle each day to get your work done and then slinking out, you are doing yourself a disservice. Get to know the people in the organization and build some relationships. Let them know what you are doing in school and what your goals are. These people can potentially give you a lot of advice on breaking into the industry and even provide other contacts for you when it comes time for your job search.
Internships can be very valuable in any industry, but particularly so in the substance abuse industry because there are a lot of experience hours requirements for many credentials and these hours can count towards that fulfillment. There are many substance abuse internships available and quite a few with government entities, such as SAMSHA. Do a search in your area and on your campus and you are likely to find several opportunities, but be sure to apply early.