Drum roll please . . . I have an internship! You might be thinking, college students get internships all the time, during the semester, in the summer . . .your internship isn’t big news.
The music therapy internship is a required step to receiving my degree. I will complete courses and requirements at UE in May, BUT I will not have a degree until I complete a six-month internship after graduation. All internships are approved through the American Music Therapy Association, and certain guidelines are in place for applying and completing the internship. For example, a student may only have four active internship applications at one time and may not apply more than a year in advance of the start date. The internships are unpaid but sites may offer benefits like stipends and free housing.
The internship process begins before a student’s senior year. I began thinking my junior year about with what population I would like to work. I decided I would love to complete my internship in a hospital setting and began looking at those internship sites. There are so many aspects to selecting for which to apply: location, benefits offered, start dates available, the setting and internship itself. Then you must apply (which can consist of sending a resume, letters of recommendation, essay questions, a DVD showing your musical skills, etc.) and wait to hear back from the site whether or not you receive an interview.
I applied in October, 2013, for the October 2014 start date at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland. After completing a phone interview, I heard the verdict only a few weeks later: I was offered the internship! I was honored to accept such a valuable opportunity. This internship will allow me to learn in a first-rate hospital system with wonderful music therapists. I’m so excited to start this new chapter in my life!
Although I had already prepared two other applications, I’m totally ok with not having to send them. I’m relieved that I know where I’ll be in the fall, and I am now able to answer the question, "What are your plans after graduation?" That alone is quite exciting.