If you’re considering earning a doctorate in kinesiology, you may be wondering if you need to secure an internship during your program. Securing a kinesiology internship can provide invaluable hands-on experience, networking opportunities, and a practical understanding of your field that complements your academic achievements. Internships are essential for doctoral students to bridge the gap between theory and practice, making them a crucial step in your professional development.

Whether earning your degree online or in person, an internship can be hugely beneficial before graduation. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll share how to find and apply to kinesiology internships tailored for doctoral students.

Why Internships Matter for Doctoral Students

Doctoral students may question whether they need to complete an internship before graduating. Here are some reasons why students should consider kinesiology internships.

1. Practical Application of Knowledge

Kinesiology internships allow you to apply the extensive theoretical knowledge you’ve acquired during your doctoral studies in real-world settings. This practical experience can deepen your understanding of the field and help you see the tangible impact of your research.

2. Networking Opportunities

Building a professional network is crucial at every stage of your career. Internships offer a unique opportunity to connect with industry professionals, potential mentors, and peers who can support your career development and provide valuable insights and opportunities.

3. Enhancing Your Resume

Even at the doctoral level, relevant work experience in kinesiology can make your resume stand out. Employers and academic institutions value candidates who have demonstrated their ability to thrive in practical settings.

4. Skill Development

Kinesiology internships provide a platform to develop and refine a variety of skills, including communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and leadership. These skills are essential for both academic and non-academic career paths.

5. Career Exploration

Internships can help you explore different career paths within kinesiology, from clinical practice to research and academia. This exploration can inform your career decisions and help you identify your passion and strengths. Your internship in kinesiology may focus on athletic training, physical therapy, or personal training.

How to Find Kinesiology Internships

1. University Resources

Start by exploring resources available through your university. Many institutions have career centers, internship coordinators, and faculty members who can provide information on available internships and offer guidance on the application process.

  • Career Services: Your university’s career services department can be a valuable resource for finding internship opportunities, preparing your application materials, and connecting you with potential employers.
  • Faculty Advisors: Professors and advisors in your department may have connections with industry professionals and can recommend internships that align with your research interests and career goals.
  • Department Bulletin Boards: Check your department’s bulletin boards, websites, and newsletters for internship postings and announcements.

2. Professional Organizations

Join professional organizations related to kinesiology and exercise science, such as the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) or the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). These organizations often have job boards, career resources, and networking events that can help you find internship opportunities.

  • Membership Benefits: Many professional organizations offer student memberships at a discounted rate, providing access to exclusive job boards, webinars, and conferences.
  • Networking Events: Attend conferences, workshops, and webinars to network with industry professionals and learn about internship opportunities.

3. Online Job Boards and Internship Platforms

Leverage online job boards and internship sites to find opportunities in kinesiology. Websites like Indeed, LinkedIn, and Glassdoor frequently list internships across various fields, including kinesiology and exercise science.

  • LinkedIn: Create a strong LinkedIn profile highlighting your academic achievements, research experience, and career goals. Follow companies and organizations in the kinesiology field and join relevant groups to stay updated on internship postings.
  • Indeed and Glassdoor: Set up job alerts for internships in kinesiology to receive notifications about new opportunities.

4. Networking

Networking is a powerful tool for finding internships and connecting with an internship coordinator. Connect with professionals in your field, attend industry events, and join online forums and groups related to kinesiology.

  • Alumni Networks: Reach out to alumni from your program who are working in the field. These qualified professionals can offer advice, share job leads, and potentially connect you with student intern opportunities.
  • Informational Interviews: Conduct informational interviews with professionals in your area of interest to learn about their career paths and inquire about internship opportunities for kinesiology students.

5. Cold Outreach

Don’t hesitate to reach out directly to organizations that interest you, even if they haven’t advertised internship openings. Express your interest in their work, highlight your relevant skills and experience, and inquire about potential internship opportunities.

  • Email Outreach: Craft a professional and concise email introducing yourself, explaining your interest in the organization, and attaching your resume and cover letter for the kinesiology internship coordinator.
  • Follow-Up: If you don’t receive a response within a week or two, follow up with a polite reminder to see if the organization is accepting interns.

How to Apply for Kinesiology Internships

1. Prepare Your Internship Application Materials

Ensure that your application materials are polished and tailored to each internship opportunity.

  • Resume: Highlight your academic achievements, research experience, relevant coursework, and any previous internships or work experience. Tailor your resume to emphasize the skills and experiences most relevant to the internship.
  • Cover Letter: Write a compelling cover letter that explains why you are interested in the internship, how your background makes you a strong candidate, and what you hope to gain from the experience.
  • References: Provide references from professors in the kinesiology department, academic advisors, or previous employers who can speak to your qualifications and character.

2. Follow Application Instructions

Carefully read and follow the application instructions provided by each organization. Submit all required documents and complete any additional steps, such as online assessments or interviews.

3. Prepare for Interviews

If selected for an interview, take the time to prepare thoroughly.

  • Research the Organization: Learn about the organization’s mission, values, and current projects. Be prepared to discuss how your skills and experience align with their goals.
  • Practice Common Interview Questions: Prepare answers to common interview questions and practice with a friend or mentor. Be ready to discuss your academic background, research experience, and career aspirations. Consider meeting with an academic advisor to help prepare for the interview.
  • Prepare Questions: Prepare thoughtful questions to ask the interviewer about the internship experience, the organization, and potential career paths.

4. Follow Up

After submitting your application and completing interviews, graduate students should follow up with a thank-you email to express appreciation for the opportunity and reiterate interest in the internship.

With Strategic Planning You Can Find Kinesiology Internships

Finding and securing a kinesiology internship as a doctoral student requires proactive effort and strategic planning. By leveraging university resources, professional organizations, online platforms, and networking opportunities, you can discover valuable internship opportunities that align with your academic and career goals.

Preparing polished application materials and practicing for interviews will enhance your chances of success. Internships provide a crucial bridge between academic theory and practical application, offering experiences that can shape your future career in kinesiology.

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Our PhD and EdD programs offer easily transferable credits from past educational institutions, 100% online learning, no GRE/GMAT or comprehensive exam required, and open up the door to many career opportunities. Contact us for more information about our online programs or apply now!

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