Cornell University

Summer Jobs and Internships

You can use jobs, summer jobs, internships, externships and other experiential programs, as well as volunteering, research, and teaching assistantships while a student and/or during a gap year to explore and nurture your interest in the health professions.

First, determine what you may want to do, but leave yourself open to many possibilities. Explore broad categories, such as working with PEOPLE, ANIMALS, THINGS, or IDEAS. Then branch off from there to expand your opportunities.

For example: The PEOPLE you might work with could be children, adolescents, adults, or the elderly. Their health-related issues might be alcoholism, physical, emotional or psychiatric illness, drug abuse, bereavement, obesity, disabilities, birth control, or nutrition.

The organizations serving these people might be schools, camps, sheltered workshops, halfway houses, hostels, social welfare agencies, nursing and convalescent homes, psychiatric facilities, counseling services, clinics, hospitals, emergency medical centers, day care and recreation centers, clubs, and doctor's offices. These organizations might be private, county, municipal, state, regional, national, or international.

In working with ANIMALS you might be a caregiver, trainer, researcher, medical assistant, or a sitter. Opportunities might be located in laboratories, zoos, pet shops, veterinary schools, race tracks, biological research stations, environmental education centers, nature and equestrian camps, veterinary offices, and farms.

Or you might work with THINGS and IDEAS. You could do research, testing, or preparation in a laboratory of a food company, hospital, pharmaceutical firm, biological supply house, dental lab, or university.

You might work in publishing or technical writing. Professional and trade associations, universities and medical centers, industry, government, and private publishing firms produce journals, newsletters, web pages, abstracts, books, magazines, audiovisuals, and illustrations, as well as public relations programs and advertising.

Libraries in universities, medical centers, bioethics centers, pharmaceutical, policy/advocacy organizations, health care related firms, and government are other sources of employment. Also, pharmaceutical firms, health insurance companies, government health planning agencies, and hospitals need assistance with statistical research and administration.

Once you have an idea of what you want to do, the following resources can help you locate specific jobs, internships, summer jobs, or experiential opportunities. Listings will specify the term of employment: full year, summer, fall, winter or spring.

  • Access Job and Internship listings on the Cornell Handshake system. For opportunities at Cornell and in the Ithaca area, check Student Employment's Student Jobs and Internships listings. Begin checking for summer opportunities in the fall and keep checking weekly as many deadlines occur as early as November (especially for the more competitive health-related programs). New listings continue to be posted daily throughout the year, even into the early summer.
  • Do a search on the web. If you find a website to be particularly helpful in your search, please notify us so we might add it to our resource list to assist future students. The following links will help you get started and are located in our Resources tab in the Link Library:
    • Cornell Career Services Internship Resources - Includes summer, develop your own (DYO), international, nonprofit, and others.
    • Health + Medical + Jobs - Searchable job bank for wide range of positions.
    • Idealist
    • National Institute of Health
    • Cornell Research
    • Summer Enrichment Programs (AAMC) - Located at medical schools throughout the U.S.
    • Summer Medical and Dental Education Program (SMDEP) - Academic enrichment programs for freshmen and sophomores.
    • Summer Undergraduate Research (AAMC) - Sites include universities, and medical schools.
    • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - Research and public health internships in HHS, NIH and other federal agencies.
    • Volunteer Match
  • Pick up the Cornell Career Services' "Workshops and Events Calendar," available each semester, or access it through the Events tab to learn dates and times of workshops to attend on the core skills you need to be successful in your job search. These include:
    • how to conduct an effective job search
    • how to write cover letters and resumes
    • how to interview
    • workshops on internships/summer jobs
  • Attend briefing: "Summer Opportunities for Health Careers Students" held each fall.
  • Use resources in the Career Library—103 Barnes Hall such as:
    • "Summer Opportunities for Health Careers Students" audio
    • Directories of internships in the "Internships" section—thousands are listed
    • Pre-health Summer Experience Surveys Notebook in the Health Careers section
    • Internship Information Files
    • Search Career Library holdings by key words, e.g. "health internships," "senior fellowships," "gap year"
  • Many career advisors have specialties. Cornell Career Services offices can direct you to one of these. Some specialties are advocacy organizations, engineering, government, teaching, and nonprofit.
  • The Alumni Connections Program (ACP) allows you a glimpse into an academic or career area which you may be considering, and provides an opportunity to connect with Cornellians for advice on making the most of your Cornell education.  It also gives you an insider's view of a career by enabling you to interview/visit/observe (job-shadow) an alumnus/a currently working in a career field of interest to you. Open year-round to Cornell undergraduate and graduate students.