Finding an APE as a HPM Student

By: Marilyn Garcia – Health Policy & Management

It might be daunting to think of your Applied Practicum Experience (APE) and find an internship before your second year (or before the summer term for accelerated students). Not only do you have to think about time constraints, deliverables, travel (if any), but also how the APE will fit into the HPM curriculum and ultimately provide you with the necessary experience to take into your employment after graduation. Personally, an APE should give you a glimpse of your future employment so you can test the waters, so to speak, and see if that is what you want to do. It’s a great opportunity to identify your interests and connect with others. This post aims to provide general recommendations and tips on how to find an APE tailored to the HPM curriculum, as well as resources. 

General Recommendations: 

  • Update your Resume and Cover Letter to suit each position you apply to. While you should have a template, you shouldn’t submit one general resume to each position, you should tailor it to the job description and what the company is looking for. 
  • Stay organized! Keep a record of where you apply to and what the outcome was. 
  • Network with your peers and faculty. They will be able to provide you with any available opportunities.
  • Practice your interview skills using Interview Stream or the Career Services Department. 

Where to find an APE: 

  • HandShake: Internships are frequently posted on this portal. It is a great resource to get you started on finding an APE. You can filter by industry and even your concentration. 
  • Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) Position: If you have acquired a GRA position, you may use this for as an APE. Make sure to clear it with your supervisor(s) and APE supervisor. This applies to students who have REAL and those who do not. 
  • If you are unsure where to start, you can check out the APE Table provided by Rollins, which lists past internships done by alumni, along with a description of what they did: https://www.sph.emory.edu/rollins-life/community-engaged-learning/ape/index.html.  You will be able to filter by concentration and semester. 
  •  HPM Class Cohort Page on Facebook/GroupMe: A few peers will post available positions on these platforms, so if you are interested connect with them directly. 
  • Clubs/Organizations/Professors: Stay connected with your classmates through clubs or orgs, even professors, as they will also post or talk about available positions. 
  • Indeed or Glassdoor: You will also be able to find health policy or health management internships through a general search on both of these websites. 

If you are interested in specific industries (Health IT, Government, Health Systems, Non-profits, etc.), here are a couple of resources you can look into: 

Health Systems: If you desire to work in a health system in an administrative type of role, there are several health systems (hospitals) that host interns during the summer, where you will be able to work in a specific department/unit in the hospital (operations, nursing leadership, informatics, quality improvement, etc.) along with senior leadership (C-Suite). These types of internships, commonly called Graduate Administrative Internships, are notoriously competitive. While it is not impossible to get one of these internships, please note that you are competing with students not only from MPH programs, but MBA or MHA programs across the nation. Some health systems receive thousands of applications and can only accommodate 10 students or less. Here are some health systems that annual host interns during the summer: 

Note: Some of these internships do not pay for relocation, transportation, or housing, which means that you will have to pay for these expenses out of pocket. However, some internships do provide a stipend or wage; depending on the location, it is usually around $11/$12 per hour. Also, some health systems have certain criteria in order to be eligible for the position, such as GPA higher than a 3.0, transcripts, letters of recommendations, etc. 

TIP: Start your search early and apply early! Usually postings become available December/January so if you are interested in applying, make sure your resume and cover letter are updated and proofread prior to submitting. Utilize Rollins Career Services to ensure you materials are ready for submission. 

Also, the list above is by no means comprehensive. There are many more health systems that host interns; thus, you can check the ACHE website for a list of fellowships. Fellowships are performed upon graduation for a longer period of time; however, this would be a great step to see if a health system you are interested in also hosts summer interns. 

Government (Federal, State or Local): If you aspire to work in a federal agency such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or locally at the Georgia Department of Public Health, there are many opportunities for you to apply. 

Consultant: If you wish to go into a consultant role, there are many firms across the nation that will give you experience in this field. Some of the most common companies are Deloitte, GE Healthcare Partners, Booz Allen Hamilton, or McKinsey & Company. These types of internships will also have certain eligibility criteria. 

Non-Profits: There are many great non-profits in Atlanta and ways for you to get involved. Some of the non-profits in the area are: 

Health Information Technology (IT): This field is up and coming and growing rapidly. If you wish to work with Electronic Medical Records/Electronic Health Records (EMR/EHR’s) EMR/EHR’s, mobile health, telehealth, or interoperability, check out the following opportunities: 

Health Policy: If you are interested in writing policy briefs, conducting analysis, attending briefings or seminars within government or private sectors, then the following opportunities may be of interest: 

Again, this list is not comprehensive. There are many more internships out there that are available. I encourage you to do your own research and reach out if you have any questions. Good luck!