What is something that helped you the most throughout the externship process?
- Making connections prior to the externship process by reaching out to audiologists in areas outside of St. Louis.
- Getting advice from former students about how to prepare for interviews, and what to include in personal statements.
- One thing that helped me the most throughout the externship process was starting early and keeping a binder full of places I had applied to and a checklist of items sent and not sent. This kept me organized and always aware of what needed to be done or what already had been done.
- Advice from older students/alumni, especially their advice about my resume/ cover letters, as well as what factors to consider when determining where to apply.
- Taking the externship class in the spring so that my resume and cover letters were pretty much written. Things I did that helped me: Reaching out to offices to see if they offered externships, applying early so that I started the process before fall classes started.
- Make a plan! Explore all of your options and make critical decisions about where you realistically see yourself during your externship year. Once you have a plan in place, follow through and stay on schedule. Also it’s okay to ask for help, opinions, and/or advice from older students, preceptors, and/or supervisors…they’ve been through it too and they’ll be honest with you.
What is something that you did not find helpful during the externship process?
- Being open minded to any area in the country, and not limited to a stipend.
- The vastly different timeline of each location – It was stressful knowing that you may get an offer from one location before the application due date at another site.
- I did not find it helpful to try and navigate getting in all my letters of recommendation at the same time. This was the most stressful part– not trying to be pushy about getting them in on time.
- Comparing yourself to others and their experiences. Stay focused on yourself and your future and be supportive to the people around you.
If you could go back and give yourself advice during the externship process, what would you like to say?
- Try to keep calm and enjoy the process.
- Rejections happen to everyone and you need to be able to accept them.
- I would say that it is okay to apply to places outside of your comfort zone and to expect the unexpected in terms of where you may end up.
- I would advise myself to apply to sites ASAP- don’t put it off! Also, don’t be afraid to apply to places out of your comfort zone.
- In the end, everything works out how it’s supposed to. Work hard, stay focused, and know things will work out.
- Always feel confident to reach out to places to enquire about externships! The worst they can say is no.
What do you love about the externship process?
- I loved the opportunity to meet audiologists from around the country and learn about their clinics.
- I loved the opportunity to apply to a variety of different sites providing care to all different types of populations.
- I love seeing all of the different sites and possibilities. There are so many cool opportunities out there!
- I love that we, as students, are very in charge of the externship process. We can reach out to places and also apply for postings online. Sometimes this can seem scary, but I feel like its good practice for when we apply for jobs.
- The excitement about where you’re going to be in your externship year and thinking about all of the opportunities and learning experiences that are ahead of you.
What do you wish was different about the externship process?
- I wish that all sites were required to hold similar timelines for when applications were due, when interviews would be held, and when offers would be made.
- I wish that it was a more uniform timeline and that we didn’t feel pressured to take the first offer we got.
- I wish that every externship would have the same deadlines! (For applying, interviews, acceptance, etc.)
- I wish that there was a national deadline for externship applications and offers. After talking to some alums, I feel like the externship process begins earlier and earlier every year and there is always a fear of losing out on an externship offer even though the externship you really want has not gotten back to you yet. I don’t know exactly how to fix the problem, but I am worried that students could be missing out on better opportunities because they want to make sure they have an externship in general.
- I wish the externship process was moresynched among locations, especially when it comes to deadlines, interviews, and informing of acceptances/declines. It would be a smoother process, in my opinion, if there was a general timeline that everywhere follows so it puts less stress on students who have very difficult decisions to make.
Haley Nichols is a third-year doctoral student at Missouri State University. She is the SAA Ambassador for the state of Missouri and past president of the Missouri State University chapter of SAA. Her interests include pediatrics, auditory evoked potentials, and ANL.
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