One of the most important steps in your career development is gaining experience, such as internships. These opportunities help you connect your academic preparation to the world of work as you explore career fit and strengthen your resume to become competitive for either occupations or graduate school. Some occupations may also have common paths to gain experience and enter the field. For instance, certain industries and organizations may provide more opportunities to gain experience through volunteering rather than starting with a formal internship. It’s important to explore those paths and qualifications of the field to help inform your own goals in gaining experience.
Not sure where to start? Consider these steps:
- Clarify your interests, assess yourself, and explore how your interests related to careers and industry areas
- Research occupations, qualifications and potential paths towards that career field to best align your experience now with your preparation for a future job
- Assess your current level of experience and where you should start—For instance, many competitive internships look for previous part-time work or leadership experience which may necessitate pursuing part-time jobs and volunteer experience to begin your path
- Explore opportunities and resources below and prepare for the application and interview process
Strategies to Gain Experience Related to Health Professions
- Health-oriented internships and volunteering opportunities are a critical part of the undergraduate experience as they allow students to develop skills and test drive careers while gaining valuable experience that is necessary for admission into health professional programs.
- While these resources and tips are not exhaustive, it is a good starting place for students to begin their search for health-oriented opportunities. Consider gaining experience by pursuing health professions job shadowing, clinical opportunities, community service, and related on-campus leadership opportunities. Review the Getting Experience: Health Professions handout for more specific information
- Be open minded as you review openings on GauchoLink, other job boards, and while networking to consider positions that provide experience in the different branches of health professions and offer a variety of opportunities to work with people, opportunities related to health and wellness, and consider developing related research skills.
Sites with Listings and On-Campus Recruitment Events
Sites with Listings
- Health Jobs Start Here - Check out pre-health internship and volunteer listings in California.
- Premier Health and Fitness Resources -Explore Premier Health & Fitness Resources' listing of internships across the country.
- Internships.com - Internship postings from companies located across all 50 states. Register for a free account using your UCSB Umail account information
- United Way of Santa Barbara County - Volunteer activities locally
- AAMC Finding Volunteer Opportunities -
- AAMC Get Lab Experience
- Volunteer Match
- Volunteer Abroad
- Intern Match
- GauchoLink Job Board - UCSB's official site for jobs, internships, work-study positions, and on-campus interviews.
- GoinGlobal - Country Career Guides and expert tools for finding employment abroad and in other U.S. states.
- Career & Internship Fairs
- On-Campus Interview (OCI)
- Employer Information Sessions, Workshops, & Industry Panels
- AS/UCSB Community Affairs Board (CAB) - Provides information and access to community service work
On-Campus & Local Internships & Opportunities
- ADP Recovery Peer Internship -The Recovery Peer Internship will provide an opportunity for a UCSB student in recovery from substance use to provide mentoring to other students in recovery, and to work with Alcohol & Drug Program (ADP) Staff to continue the development of a the Gauchos for Recovery program for recovering students.
- Alec Torchon Memorial Internship - Life of the Party, Recreational Sports, and the Torchon Family established an intern position in memorial of Alec Jacob ("AJ") Torchon. This LOTP intern seeks to promote healthy choices concerning the use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs, including prescription drugs. This intern collaborates with ADP on prevention education and outreach activities and with our Recreation department's educational and alternative programming. The Alec Torchon Memorial internship requires at least one full school year commitment September-June and optional summer opportunities.
- Breast Cancer Awareness Club
- Envision: Pre-Optometry Club
- Global Medical Brigades - Global Brigades offers skill-based 1-3 week brigades to Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, and Ghana. Each of these programs meet an aspect of our holistic model to strengthen the health and economic development of communities. Volunteers can join a brigade through a Global Brigades chapter on their university campus, start their own Global Brigades chapter, or participate as a small group.
- UCSB Health and Wellness -UCSB Health & Wellness Interns promotes the mental, physical and social health of all students by enhancing individual skills and positive relationships with families, peers and the UCSB/Isla Vista community. Get involved by participating in one of the Health & Wellness internships.
- UCSB Health Professions Association -The UCSB Health Professions Association is a pre-health organization seeking to unite and provide the necessary resources to all UCSB students who desire to become healthcare professionals. We have weekly meetings throughout the quarter, which feature a wide range of guest speakers including, but not limited to, healthcare professionals, medical school admissions officers, biomedical researchers, university professors, and non-profit volunteer organizations. We also host social events, community service opportunities, pre-health enrichment activities, and our annual HPA conference.
- Hospice of Santa Barbara - To become a Hospice of Santa Barbara Volunteer, complete the Volunteer Application or the Mentor Application. Volunteer positions include administrative, patient care, event, spiritual companion, etc.
- Jodi House Brain Injury Support Center - Come fill out an application to become a Volunteer at Jodi House Brain Injury Support Center and help make a difference!
- Los Curanderos -
- Medical Scribes System - Are you studying medicine and eager to work alongside experienced physicians? ScribeAmerica's highly rewarding scribe program puts smart, tech-savvy candidates in fast-paced clinical settings.
- Medlife UCSB -
- Mu Delta -
- Planned Parenthood (state, national) - Get involved with Planned Parenthood of Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo Counties, Inc. Volunteering is a great way to connect with other advocates for reproductive health and rights! If interested, email a resume with cover letter to: Human Resources Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- UCSB Pre-Dental Association -
- UCSB Rec Sports Athletic Training Internship -
- Rho Psi Eta - Rho Psi Eta is a pre-health, academic sorority founded at UC Santa Barbara for women who are interested in health professions. There is one annual rush period during the start of Fall Quarter, and seek members who have the altruism and motivation needed to serve in the health field, as well as the interest in being an active, contributing sister of Rho Psi Eta.
- Street Health Outreach -
- UCSB Student Health Center -
- On-Campus Jobs handout
- Education Abroad Program - Integrate study abroad into your college academic plan and explore the many internship and volunteer opportunities available to EAP students abroad.
- Greek Life—Office of Student Life (OSL)
- Leadership Development—Office of Student Life (OSL)
- Leadership Certificate Program -
- The Leadership Challenge -
- Student Organizations—Office of Student Life (OSL) - Explore organizations related to professional interests as well as the extracurricular activities you enjoy doing in your spare time.
- UCDC & UCCS - The University of California Washington Program and the Center in Sacramento provide UCSB students with a unique opportunity to live, work as interns, and study in our nation’s political and cultural epicenter, Washington, D.C, and observe the public policy process in our state's capital, Sacramento.
- Undergraduate Research - Look into research programs on campus and also speak with faculty who specialize in areas you are interested in to inquire about possible opportunities.
- Faculty Research Assistance Program (FRAP) Directory - The FRAP Directory allows students to identify UCSB faculty who are looking for undergraduate students to participate in their research projects or creative activities.
- The Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (URCA) - URCA encourages undergraduates conducting independent research project or creative activities to apply for funding to support these efforts.
- Adventures in Caring
- Alzheimer’s Association Central Coast Chapter
- Association of American Medical Colleges
- Braille Institute
- Breast Cancer Resource Center of Santa Barbara
- Cancer Center of Santa Barbara
- Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital
- Direct Relief
- Doctors Without Walls- Santa Barbara Street Medicine
- Eastside Family Dental Clinic
- Santa Barbara County EMT Training
- Sansum Diabetes Research Institute
- Santa Barbara Cottage Health System
- Santa Barbara Dental Care
- Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics
- Santa Barbara-Ventura Counties Dental Care Foundation
- St. Johns Regional Medical Center
- Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation
- Visiting Nurse and Hospice Care of Santa Barbara
State, National, International- Internship Programs & Related Opoportunities
- American Lung Association (state, national)
- American Public Health Association (state, national)
- Arthritis Foundation (state, national)
- Child Family Health International (international)
- Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (state)
- Gap Medics (international)
- Global Health Volunteer Program (international)
- Health Career Connections (state, national)
- Healthcorps (national)
- John Hopkins Pre-Health Opportunities(state, national)
- Mayo Clinic (national)
- National Institute of Health Internship (national)
- National Women’s Health Network (state, national)
- Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research (national, international)
- The Painted Turtle
- Premed Life (state, national)
- Puente a la Salud Comunitaria (international)
- R.I.T. Pre-med and Biomedical Research Internships (state, national)
- Summer Medical and Dental Education Program (national)
- Summer Research Program in Biomedical Research (national)
- UC Davis Children’s Hospital (state)
- UCLA Care Extenders (state)
- UCSD Medical Center (State)
- UCSF Medical Research (state)
- World Health Organization (international)
Find & Develop Your Own Internship
If you wish to propose an internship to a company that does not have an advertised position or a formal program, consider using Career's Internship Toolkit to help plan your proposal and agreement. The Toolkit offers tips and guidelines to help plan internship experiences, set expectations with supervisors, and reflect on the experience. The Internship Toolkit is available to download in the Document Library which can be accessed from your Resources tab when logged into GauchoLink