Making the most of your undergraduate education typically implies that you are proactive in searching for outside research and internship opportunities. You will want to put yourself in the best position to move from the classroom to a place of permanent employment soon after your graduation. Internships provide an avenue for you to meet people in your designated field, hone your interests and learn from those who are currently engaged in the work you are interested in.
Throughout the country, there are several research and internship opportunities available to future counselors if you are willing to put in the time and travel to invest in your future. Of course, if you are the type who wishes to pursue your own path, there are hundreds of counselors in your area you could approach for opportunities. If you wish to forge your own internship experience, make sure you partner with a member of your university's faculty and go over a list of approved counselors in your area. After receiving permission to partner with them, approach the individual counselor and seek a summer internship. The summer will be spent with that counselor in association with your faculty contact.
American Psychological Association Research and Internship Opportunities
The American Psychological Association has a comprehensive list of potential areas in which to enter into an internship. Depending upon your geographical location and your willingness to travel, you can take advantage of the dozens of organizations and institutions that readily offer internships to undergraduate students. Research institutes are a great way for students to continue their academic pursuits through the summer and give themselves further training by accomplished teachers and researchers.
Engage in researching internship opportunities based on your interests early in your educational career so that you may find the perfect fit for your strengths and aspirations. Obviously, if you are interested in counseling at-risk or abused children, you do not want to approach an internship that caters to the elderly. Specialize your training and do your homework about the organization or institution that you are planning on applying to. Do not get overwhelmed at the vast array of opportunities that are available to you. It is vital that you engage in something that caters toward your personal and professional interests.
Whether you are pursuing an individual counselor on your own with the help of your faculty advisor or through a formal research/internship organization, these experiences will undoubtedly push you forward in your endeavors and provide clearer vision to your future as a counselor.