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Many of my listeners are veterinary professionals working in hospital clinics, but this episode is especially for those in the part of their journey where they are looking for an internship program as they find their specialty and make career decisions. Dr. Christina Kaye is currently studying to be a veterinary ophthalmologist. She shares her experience, perspective, and advice as it pertains to matching with the right intern program and advocating for yourself, fellow interns, and the industry as a whole along the way. 

Dr. Kaye used an online matching program that utilizes a unique algorithm to find the right fit for her as an intern. The matching program starts out like any basic education application: personal information, transcripts, schooling, etc. Then comes the interview. As you prepare for the interview, consider the questions you are going to ask the program because just as they are interviewing you, you are interviewing them. Dr. Kaye gives the fantastic advice of asking for the contact information of a current intern and asking them a series of questions as well.

Questions for an Intern Currently in Your Desired Program:

  • What is the salary and living situation?
  • What does daily life, time off, and schedule flexibility look like?
  • What opportunities are there for fun outside of work?
  • How is mental health support? Do they prioritize the health of staff?
  • Do you feel support within the organization from leadership but also other interns?

Once you’re in an internship, mentorship is extremely important. Dr. Kaye lists qualities of a good mentor as a good teacher, personable, and someone you feel comfortable asking questions to. Additionally, as an intern, you need to learn to advocate. Not only for yourself but alongside your internship class. Dr. Kaye urges new interns to stand together, speak up, and collectively decide the standard for appropriate expectations. 

Dr. Kaye shares her perspective on the challenges and difficulties ahead for future interns, and how she has balanced her health, wellness, social, and family life alongside it. It’s going to be hard. That is the truth of it. BUT you can be the architect of your life. Be aware of your needs and advocate for yourself, and remember you’re not alone. You’re incredibly resilient and can withstand so many challenges if you have the skills and support to do so. You can reach out to Dr. Christina Kaye via email or LinkedIn for support, mentorship, and any questions you may have about interning.

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What’s Inside

  • How to match with the right internship program for you?
  • Questions to ask interns already involved in the intern program of your choice.
  • How to advocate as an intern.
  • What to look for in mentorship.
  • What are the challenges involved in an intern program?
  • How to balance health, wellness, social life, and family during your internship.

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About Crystal Stokes
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