Pinnacle Career Institute

Tips for Setting Up Your Externship

Tips for Setting Up Your Externship

You’re in the middle of your program studying for your dream.  You’ve always wanted this and you’re about half way through.  Now you have to find an externship site.  You get to find a place that will host you for a specified number of hours for anywhere from 2-8 weeks and you’re so excited you can hardly contain the excitement but you don’t know where to start. 

Finding an externship site can be a little confusing when you are not sure where to start:

  1. Determine the cities/town in your area that have facilities that will work for your program.  If you are studying to become a Medical Assistant, you will want to search ALL doctors’ offices, specialty clinics, etc. in those cities and towns. Make a list of all these sites and include the address and phone number.
  2. Now that you have your initial list.  Pull out the sites that are most interested in into a separate list.  For example, if you really want to complete hours at a Pediatricians office, make a list of all the Pediatricians in the area. 
  3. Research your specialized list.  Determine if their office hours work with your schedule.  Are they open during those times?  Do they have weekend hours?
  4. Start to contact those sites on your list.  Make sure you keep a log of your contacts.  When did you call? What other contact information did they give you?  Who did you speak to?  What specifically did they say?  Make sure you follow up with those you leave messages with. 
  5. If you have exhausted the first list of sites you made, go back to your main list. 

If you are not sure how to approach the externship site, contact Career Services and ask them for a mock interview over the phone.  They will be able to assist you with how to handle the questions you could get on the phone.  They will also be able to assist you with your resume.  Some externship sites request that you submit your resume and some have an application process.  You may even be asked to come in for a resume. 

Below are some important tips to remember when searching for an externship site:

  • Some externship sites require their own Affiliation Agreement.  This process can take time which is why it is important for you to start looking for a site early.  If a site states that they need an agreement with the school, make sure you get the contact name and phone number of the person we need to contact.  Once you have this information, contact your Externship Coordinator or Lead Faculty with the information. 
  • Some sites may require that you have certain immunizations completed.  This is not always a requirement but don’t be surprised when they ask.  Some sites also require drug screens and background checks.  Make sure your Externship Coordinator or Lead Faculty is aware if the site asks.
  • If a site requests any information from the school.  Please let your Externship Coordinator or Lead Faculty know ASAP.  If the school needs anything from you, they will contact you ASAP as well.
  • You can have more than one site.  If you are interested in a site but you will not be able to get all of your hours at that site, you can secure an additional site to make sure you complete all required hours. 
  • If you are unsure whether a site will work or not, contact your Lead Faculty.  They will be able to approve sites and let you know if the site will not work.  A list of generally accept externship sites should be available through the school.
  • Once your site is secured, the Affiliation Agreement and Provider Form will need to be completed by the site and sent to the school.  Your Externship Coordinator or Lead Faculty should be able to assist you with any question you or the site may have. 

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