While the Department offers a list of approved sites, students are responsible for seeking and selecting their own internship position. Students may formally apply to one site at a time; therefore, students are encouraged to meet with multiple sites to determine which site is the best fit. Students are encouraged to begin the exploration of internship several months prior to the scheduled internship. Things to consider when selecting a site may include, but are not limited to, the following:
There are many organizations in Florida and around the nation that may provide you with a meaningful learning experience during your internship. However, the location of the site must be chosen carefully. Many students remain here in Gainesville out of convenience as it usually saves money in living expenses. To ensure limited outside distractions the department recommends students to complete their internship in a location where family and/or financial support are readily accessible. Internships outside Gainesville may gain Department approval, however, sufficient evidence to support the decision to intern away from your “home base” must be evident. Students should be prepared to show how living expenses and personal support such as family ties will be provided. The student’s academic performance, while a major in the department is heavily considered when evaluating the appropriateness of an internship outside Gainesville.
- Duties/Responsibilities of the internship
The organization that you choose should be one that offers a practical, professional experience in healthcare, fitness/wellness, or research. The site/organization should to allow you to take an active role in duties/responsibilities. It is also important to understand what a ‘typical day’ will be at the internship.
- Population of patients, clients, and/or subjects
Students may wish to consider the population of the clients/patients the organization services: active, in-active, high-level athlete, pediatric, geriatric or a combination of these to name a few.
Students should confirm that the prospective internship site offers internship opportunities during the semester the student plans to intern.
- Number of interns accepted per semester; how/when are decisions made?
It is important to determine the number of interns typically accepted as well as the process and timeline involved in the site’s decision making process. It is not uncommon for sites to require a separate application with their own internal deadlines, which vary from APK. Please note completing of supplemental application/documents should occur after APK site approval. Please inquire about decision timelines as delays/missed APK deadlines as a result of denied internship applications could result in the postponement of the internship experience and subsequently graduation.
- Supervision (no family or friends)
There should be at least one person available to you during the internship for guidance in the performance of your duties. This person should work closely enough with you so that they will be in a position to give a detailed evaluation of your performance as an intern. It is preferred that your supervisor have employee or internship supervisory experience, a background in APK or a closely related field and be experienced and familiar enough with the organization’s activities to provide you with appropriate mentorship.
- Opportunities for projects/activities
It is recommended that the organization have a wide variety of activities in which the intern can become involved. These projects may include but are not limited to activities such as: public speaking engagements, developing/implementing/evaluating programs, opportunities to attend workshops or conferences, business/professional writing (meeting/committee minutes, newsletter articles), designing brochures/pamphlets, marketing activities, and exposure to the organization’s operating structure.
- Work schedule
The organization must be able to provide 35-40 hours/week of work time for the 15 weeks of the internship (or 40 hours/week of work time for 13 weeks in the summer). There are no particular requirements for the organization’s hours of operation or shifts in which the intern works as long the shifts can provide a sufficient number of working hours. Please verify schedule, do not assume the hours will be 8am-5pm M-F; weekends, holidays, etc. may be required by the site. Communicate conflicts with the schedule well in advance to avoid problems.
- Potential employment opportunities
Depending on your plans after graduation, it may be important for you to seek out an organization that may offer future employment opportunities or referrals for employment. Networking is a valued by product of the internship.
- Site requirements (uniform, parking, travel, background check, etc.)
Some organizations may require interns to invest financially prior to or during the internship. It is important to investigate these potential requirements as part of the site selection process above the University/Department fees for the internship course.
Organizations not currently listed on the APK Approved Site list must complete the Site Approval Form by the established Departmental deadlines.