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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Helpful Hints

Page address: http://ahn.mnsu.edu/health/alcohol-drug/internshiphandbook/helpfulhints.html

Tips for a Successful Internship Experience

  • Begin your internship site search early (at least one semester in advance).
  • Dress appropriately.
  • Be on time.
  • Act professionally (Remember, you are representing the program, the university, and yourself).
  • Utilize the services provided by the Career Development Center.
  • When in doubt, don't assume. Ask questions of the ADS Coordinator.
  • Type all submitted work and retrain copies for your personal records.

Selecting an Internship Site

Questions to Consider In Selecting an Internship Site

  1. What location does the student intern want to be in?
  2. What concentration area does the student intern want to focus on?
  3. What type of organization does the student intern want to work in?
  4. What type of program exists within the organization?
  5. Who will supervise the student intern?
  6. What type of client will the student intern be working with?
  7. What type of setting will the student intern be involved with?
  8. What are the major skill areas to be worked on?
  9. What types of staff members exist in this organization?
  10. Are there prerequirements for being a student intern within this organization?
  11. When could the student intern begin?
  12. How much time could be spent on site?

Process for Selecting an Internship Site

  1. The ADS Program will work with students to identify sites that meet their needs. The Alcohol and Drug Studies Program has built strong relationships with a number of regular internship sites. The ADS Internship Coordinator can provide the student with resources to research potential internship sites.
  2. The student will consult with the ADS Internship Coordinator about their preffered sites.  If necessary, the student intern, in cooperation with the ADS Internship Coordinator, will contact new sites or those which are not regularly used as internship sites to make sure they meet necessary criteria for the internship process.
  3. Student will contact preffered internship sites to inquire about their application process.  
  4. Student will complete internship site's application process (application forms, interview, etc.).
  5. Once the student is offered an internship, the student and site supervisor must complete a Site Approval form.

Criteria to be an Appropriate Internship Site

  1. Supervision will be provided by experienced and credential professionals in the alcohol and drug field.
  2. The site is willing to accommodate a student intern for 880 clock hours (or as otherwise negotiated).
  3. The site provides experience in the 12 Core Functions.
  4. Direct client contact in the area of alcohol and drug counseling is provided.
  5. The student intern is able to obtain an experience commensurate with established goal statement and objectives.
  6. The site has a "track record" for providing programs which would meet student intern expectations.

Setting Up an Interview at an Internship Site

  1. Contact the desired internship site, and ask to speak with a staff member who coordinates interns at their site.
  2. Indicate you are a student from Minnesota State University, Mankato and that you are searching for an internship site.
  3. State the semester you wish to start the internship and idicate the number of hours you wish to complete at that site.
  4. Inquire if they anticipate any openings for interns within that timeframe.
  5. If they do anticipate openings, inquire about their process for applying for the internship.
  6. If they indicate that you will need to complete an interview, inquire about what materials you will need to bring for the interview process.

Interviewing for an Internship Site

 When planning for an interview at an internship site, it is beneficial to prepare yourself to discuss the following content:

  • Assessment of the Intern: The interviewer will likely inquire about your background, experience, belief about addiction, goal/objectives, and needs.  Consider having a copy or your resume available even if you have already provided them with one.
  • Overview of the Agency: Ask questions about the agency.  This should assist you in making a decision as to whether or not a particular site will fulfill your needs. Consider asking: Where are clients from? What is the agency's mission? What are the agency's goals are for clients? What therapy styles or treament methods are used? 
  • Agency Policies for Student Interns: Ask about the agency's expectations of interns, ways of reporting to the person to whom you are responsible, time (hours and days) you are expected to be at site, etc.
  • Assignment of Site Supervisor: It is essential that there be one member of the staff to whom you are accountable and with whom you can process your work and share problems that arise.  Ask who you site supervisor would.  Consider asking about their supervision style and what you could expect from them as a supervisor.
  • Responsibilities of the Site Supervisor: Provide the site supervisor with an explanation of what will be expected of them (supervision, completion of progress reports and a final evaluation, participation in a site visit, etc.).  Consider printing the Supervisor Responsibilities section from the Internship Hanbook.
  • Academic Policies: The intern is responsible for informing the internship site of Alcohol and Drug Studies Program policies for the internship. Knowing and understanding the policies is the student's responsibility. Although many sites already know what MSU's expectations of its interns are, make no assumptions. It is YOUR responsibility to inform them.