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How an Externship Helps Your Education

26 July 2017 By Vanessa

You’ve probably heard of an internship, but do you know how an externship helps your education, career and future? Whether you are well into your post-secondary education or you’re just getting started, you’ve undoubtedly put a lot of thought into the path you’re pursuing. After all, your education is a big investment of resources; you are committing both time and money in hopes of future employment with a return on investing that time and money. But there’s more you can do to prepare for a full-time career during your time at Pioneer Pacific College to make yourself a strong job candidate.

You’re likely familiar with how internships can help give you applicable experience beyond your classroom education, and an externship is similar. It can be an excellent tool to not only get your feet wet on the job, an externship also gives you valuable experience to help land a permanent role later on.

What is an Externship?

Similar to how an internship gives you experience that employers value, an externship allows one to shadow someone who holds the type of role they are studying for. These are typically shorter than an internship might be, and are unpaid, whereas some internships are paid. An externship is comparatively lower in commitment than an internship but can give you a peek into the job you plan to pursue in a way that the classroom cannot. While externships are not counted for credit, some institutions and programs require one. At Pioneer Pacific, an externship often consists of 180-hours of job shadow.

Who Needs an Externship?

Whether one is required for your degree program or not, it’s wise to consider the valuable experience of an externship. Anyone who is studying to step into a role they are unfamiliar with can benefit from an externship. Aside from getting insight into your future career, it can also boost your standing in the eyes of a potential employer. They’ll recognize that you have seen the work environment and duties first-hand, having a better understanding of the job requirements and how to put your education into practice.

Externships at Pioneer Pacific College

At PPC, both our diploma and associate programs that focus on preparing students as Medical Assistants require participation in an externship at the end of the program. We believe in giving our students the best possible education in their field. We also know that area employers often take their time with the student during an externship as an extended interview. So the process can help students make connections with prospective employers!

How to Approach an Externship

Because this experience gives you an “in” with a potential employer and is in a professional setting, it’s important to take it seriously. Approach an externship with the same attitude as you would a job interview and be respectful of the time of those involved. Also, use it as an opportunity to learn with intention as much as you can about the job.

To learn more about externships, watch our short video here. If you’re interested in our Medical Assisting programs, or any of our other healthcare programs, contact us today!

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