Students learn a lot in their programs at Globe University, but taking that knowledge into externships their last quarter in school provides them the ability to use their skills in the real-world. Past medical assistant alumni and current medical assistant students currently out on their externship visited campus this quarter to share insight into the externship experience. Below are a few of their top tips for success.
1. Your externship is a 6-8 week interview. Remember to stay professional at all times. Don’t get caught up in gossip or drama. You are there to learn and impress. “Put your professional mask on,” said alum Julianne Lueck. “Showing that you are put together shows that you are organized.”
2. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Again, you are there to learn. The staff you are working with understand that you are new to the field and will have questions to ask. Carry around a notebook and when you have to ask a question make sure you take notes on the answer so you don’t find yourself asking the same questions.
3. Go above and beyond. “You should never be sitting around. You’re there to learn, not to sit.” If you are in between patients and unsure what to do next—ask. The more responsibilities you take on, the more you will have to share in your next interview.
4. Always keep a positive attitude. We all have bad days, but as current extern, Courtney Ladd, says, “Leave your problems at the door. No one wants to hear you complain.”
5. Be confident. When you are new to the field, it’s understandable to doubt yourself or your abilities.“Sometimes you need to fake it till you make it,” said Medical Assistant Program Chair Dawn Storlie. Obviously, if you are uncertain about something, you should ask. But if it’s just a lack of confidence, try to put your patient at ease by acting confident even though your nerves are trying to get the best of you.
6. Utilize Career Services. As a Globe University student, you have career services support for life. Your career services team can help you polish your resume, cover letter and references to assist you in applying for positions while you are on your externship. You do not need to complete your externship before you start applying for jobs. They can also conduct mock interviews with you to help you prepare or give you helpful tips on where to add your externship or certifications on your resume.
The medical assistant students who attended the externship panel discussion asked a lot of great questions and were able to learn about some of the difficulties and biggest challenges the panelists faced when they were in school as well as once they graduated.