Katelyn K.: How I got my Internship at Okanogan County Public Health

How I got my Internship at Okanogan County Public Health

By Katelyn K.

Searching for an internship and successfully being selected as an intern was a challenging process. Applying for internships for the summer of 2018 taught me that jobs do not come easy and sometimes you end up doing something completely different than what you originally expected. When applying for internships, I had no idea I would end up at the Okanogan County Health Department. I am grateful because this has been an amazing experience and I have learned more than I imagined. Time tends to move fast and it is important to apply for internships early in the year. Over the year, I found many internships that sounded interesting to me but their deadlines had already passed. This has taught me to do a better job of staying on top of looking for different jobs/internships before it is too late.

Katie holding a purple air monitor that she set up outside of the health department.

I started out clueless about the internship process, which is why taking the ENV H 480 class in the fall was beneficial to me. I learned the steps in making myself marketable depending on the internship and adjusting my resume and cover letter depending on key words in the job description. The environmental health portal was extremely helpful for me because I could see different internship opportunities along with a link to the description and the deadline to apply. In addition to the help from the department, I used other online websites such as Glassdoor to find different internships.

Some of the questions I was asked during my interviews came as a surprise to me. One company that I interviewed with used a behavioral interview style, which I had never heard of before ENV H 480. The length of time it took to complete one of my phone interviews came as a shock because I did not expect it to take an entire hour to answer five behavioral interview questions. Lastly, I did not expect how long it took some of the companies to respond back to me. This can make it difficult while deciding to accept an internship offer because there may be another one that you would prefer but you haven’t heard back from that one yet.

My advice to future students is to be open-minded when searching for internships. Getting into an internship program takes time and waiting for the perfect one may not be the best approach. Apply to every internship that sounds interesting because this will give you more options when it’s time to decide which internship is right for you. Having the opportunity to interview at several places is good practice because you cannot expect to be perfect the first time. In the long run, this interview practice may help you secure a job at a company you really want to work for.

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