How to strike internship gold

Written by Endeavour College of Natural Health | 30 January, 2017

Naturopath and founder of thriving multi-modality clinic Brisbane Natural Health Katherine Maslen shares everything worth knowing about making the ultimate impression as an intern. 

Naturopath and founder of thriving multi-modality clinic Brisbane Natural HealthKatherine Maslen knows more than most about what it takes to stand out as an intern in the health and wellness industry.

Since developing her unique internship program Katherine has taken dozens of aspiring natural health students under her wing, and has even plucked several up and comers to join her team permanently. When she created her internship program several years ago she was determined to give natural health students the ultimate insight into how a multimodality health practice runs, describing the opportunity as a ‘triple win situation’.

“Not only do students get to experience working in a real health clinic specialising in collaborative care, it also gives us valued help with admin and in our dispensary, and patients win as the whole experience is smoother as a result,” said Katherine.

The twelve week Brisbane Natural Health internship program is designed for third and fourth year naturopathy students in addition to their practicum subjects in Endeavour’s teaching clinic at each campus, Wellnation Clinics. The internship consists of one six hour observational shift giving interns the chance to sit in on a client session, and another second six hour shift spent in the dispensary, per week.

As part of participating in the program, each intern gets one-on-one time with Katherine and the other naturopaths on her team, together with the chance to sit in on team meetings where client cases are workshopped.

Katherine also made the decision to offer the program exclusively to Endeavour students.

“It was an easy choice as our Endeavour interns have been committed and dedicated – it’s like a breath of fresh air to have them around,” said Katherine.

Naturopathy student Iwa Brown was one of the determined students who caught Katherine’s eye while interning, and she was quickly snapped up for a part-time reception role.

“As an intern I had the opportunity to observe at least 50 naturopathy consultations with clients which covered a huge range of clientele and cases, and also got the chance to pick the brains of the practising naturopaths to learn as much as I could following each consult. To get that kind of one-on-one time in a real world scenario is invaluable,” said Iwa.

“When Katherine offered me my current position I took it straight away. The whole experience has proven to me that I’m in the right place and this is absolutely what I want to do.”

When asked what students could do to secure an internship at their dream clinic, Katherine had some insightful advice.

“I would put together a meaningful and tailored proposal outlining your background and areas of interest and offering to help out with dispensary and admin tasks. Why not put up your hand to look after their stocktake in return for sitting in with their team for a day?” Katherine said.

“We receive student requests all the time, and it is the thoughtful ones that make it through. Put yourself in the business owner’s shoes and it’s hard to go wrong.”  

1. Have an inquisitive mind. We always look for interns who immerse themselves in the experience and are curious to learn the nitty gritty of clinical practice. The team members who ask lots of questions and take an active interest in our patients and work because they are hungry for knowledge are the ones we remember.

2. Contribute your own knowledge. It’s always fantastic to see interns come in eager to apply their own insights and expertise to our work. It can be as simple as putting your hand up with an idea to give our promotional posters a boost, but it is that enthusiasm and team mentality people appreciate.

3. Look for jobs to do before you’re asked. In a busy practice we always appreciate it when interns see the gaps and put their hand up for tasks before they’re asked. It can be as simple as taking the bins out but we will notice it every time. 

Endeavour College of Natural Health

Endeavour College of Natural Health is Australia's largest Higher Education provider of natural medicine courses.

The College is known as the centre of excellence for natural medicine and is respected for its internationally recognised academic teams and high calibre graduates. Endeavour offers Bachelor of Health Science degrees in Naturopathy, Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine, Acupuncture Therapies and Chinese Medicine, Undergraduate Certificates, a Diploma of Health Science and massage courses.

Read more by Endeavour College of Natural Health

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