Building a portfolio of clinical, internship, volunteer, research and other experience is an important aspect of the LIM Program. Students should accumulate a minimum of 500 hours of experience from the start of the first year at Union through December of the senior year, which is when they submit their hours for review to the LIM Policy and Promotions Committee. “Experience” includes clinical, academic research, tutoring, volunteering and other meaningful experiences that prepare one for medical school. Most students accumulate far more experience than the minimum required. Hours accumulated in high school aren’t considered.
Students find experience a number of ways:
The Becker Career Center at Union College: Becker has an abundance of resources to help students connect with an internship or to clinical experiences. They can also help with questions such as:
- How do I get started without any connections?
- What do I write in my introductory email to a physician I’ve never met?
- How do I build a network to gain valuable clinical experience?
Knowing how to open the door to opportunities is half the battle to gaining internship and clinical experience. LIM students are encouraged to connect with Keri Willis, Associate Director, Employer Relations at the Becker Career Center. firstname.lastname@example.org
Union’s Kenney Community Center offers community programs on-site and maintains relationships with local community agencies for student placement at those agencies. Students should visit the Center at 257 Park Place or call (518) 388-6609 for more information.
Clarkson University’s Capital Region Campus Career Office: As a joint program student, LIM students have access to a rich suite of services though Clarkson University’s Career Office. LIM students are encouraged to meet with Clarkson’s Capital Region Campus Career Office staff for possible connections to health related opportunities
Local Community Opportunities: Local organizations offer a variety of opportunities for students to become involved in the community as well as gain health-related experience:
- Alliance for Positive Health
- American Heart Association
- Capital District Hospice
- Clover Patch PreSchool Program
- Day Haven Adult Day Services
- Ellis Medicine
- Rotterdam Volunteer EMS
- Schenectady County Action Program – Early Childhood Education Programs
- Schenectady Community Home: Joan Nicole Prince Home
- Schenectady Inner City Ministry
- Sunnyview Hospital
Professors and advisors from Union, Clarkson and Albany Medical College: Students often learn about research and internship opportunities through professors. LIM students have access to a network of faculty and administrators from three different institutions. Don’t be afraid to reach out and connect!
Specialized certification: Past LIM students have engaged in paid clinical work that required specialized certification such as EMT, Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and Phlebotomy certification. While specialized certifications may be time consuming to achieve, they open up outstanding clinical opportunities for students.
Upper-class LIM Students: Its not unusual for internships and clinical positions to be “passed down” from upper-class LIM students to younger students. Be sure to connect with fellow LIM students regarding possible opportunities.
Business cards: Business cards are an important networking tool. Contact the LIM Adviser to get a set of business cards with Union’s logo and the title “Leadership in Medicine Student”.