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Internships for Alternative Careers in Science

This week at Just Another Electron Pusher, Christine Herman discusses "the value of internships for non-traditional science careers." By speaking with writers and producers who all have an educational background in science, Herman found that for breaking into a new career in science, an internship is generally a must. Emilie Lorditch, who directs the American Institute of Physics' Discoveries and Breakthroughs Inside Science program, tells Herman that internships provide participants with "more professional experience, more contacts, the chance to see how another organization works, and ... more possibilities in the field." Robert Irion, who directs the science communication program at the University of California, Santa Cruz, adds that in order to obtain "national-level internships, one great meeting venue is ... the American Association for the Advancement of Science." There, he tells Herman, students can meet with a variety of recruiters seeking interns. Irion adds that another tried-and-true approach to landing an internship is meeting with experts and mentors in the field locally. "Connect with them, either at meetings or by asking them to join you for lunch or coffee," he says, adding "we’ve all been mentored in this way, and we'll gladly offer thoughts on how to get started."