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How do I get an internship in psychology?

Internships offer the opportunity to gain a deeper insight into a sector or a company, to make contacts, to learn about other aspects of one’s own field of study, or to put learned theory into practice.

In order to choose the right internship position, clear ideas should first be developed about which position will help you advance professionally. Interested students need to know which practical experience is desired in a particular sector.

  • If there is a clear desire for a specific job, first experiences in this area can already be gained with a concrete internship. This is an advantage for later applications. Example: Practicing the handling of interviews and questionnaires during an internship at the career guidance office.
  • If your job wish is still unclear, you can use an internship to get a taste of areas that are of interest to you. For example: During a research internship you can try out whether you enjoy your scientific work.
When should I do an internship? 

It is never too early to gain professional experience. It is ideal if you have already completed an internship or several internships during your bachelor’s degree. At this stage, you probably have not really made up your mind and can get a taste of different areas. This makes it easier to find your professional focus later on. In the Master’s program, you should be able to decide on a specific field. 

It is still possible to change even then, but the more intensively you concentrate on one area, the quicker you can get used to it. For example, companies appreciate it very much if you know your way around a field well and have some experience.

Possible practice areas: 
  • Psychiatric and psychosomatic clinics (e.g. UPD, UPK, PUKZ, etc.)
  • Child and youth psychiatric services
  • Universities (research internship, assistant)
  • Research institutions
  • Organizational area (personnel selection and development)
  • Educational guidance centers
  • Career and occupational guidance
  • School Psychology Service
  • Psychotherapeutic Practices
  • Outpatient psychological and psychiatric services
  • Addiction clinics
  • Rehabilitation Clinic
  • (…)
How or where can I find an internship? 

The search for an internship is of course very different for everyone due to individual interests, which is why the search and the approach is always different. Therefore, I will try to mention some points that might help in general.

Network: By network, we mean a pool of friends, relatives, colleagues, seminar instructors, or even lecturers. Through these networks it is possible to collect information from various internship offers from different institutions. Depending on this, you can even learn from the network that an internship will soon be announced and that you can send an unsolicited application before. The bigger the network is, the more information one has available for the potential search for an internship. Exciting information can be obtained from every contact. If one person is not able to help you with your intern search, you can ask the person for another person who can help you. In this way, you might be able to find a person who has a vacant internship place through a recommendation. By the way, this principle also applies to all jobs in general.

Find open internship positions: This link list is a little help. It contains the most important links from my point of view and should give you some ideas on how and where you can search for internships in psychology. It is worth clicking through the pages to find out more.

  • psyPra: There you will find internships in various fields (organizations, clinics, institutions, universities, etc.)
  • Aerzte-Jobs: It helps to find a job for clinical psychologists. From time to time you can find internships in various clinics.
  • Research internships at the UZH: There is a wide range of internships available at the University of Zurich. Of course, all other university institutions also offer research internships. You only have to consult their sites regularly and look out for vacancies in the corridors from time to time.
  • SKJP: Internships in the field of child and youth psychology (school psychology).

I hope I was able to help you with this link list and this article. Of course, there are many more search options on the internet, but I would like to draw your attention to the fact that you can exchange information with others so that you know much more and expand your network. As I said before, the bigger your network is, the bigger your success for a cool internship.

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Author: Alexander Ariu