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Externship Program - Student Perspectives

Read what former externs have to say about their experience:

Sophomore, Letters & Science
"My Cal externship at HIMSS was my first opportunity to explore the healthcare industry. Through the program, I met many professionals from different backgrounds and learned about the complexity of our nation's healthcare system. This externship has peaked my interest and I am now enrolled in a sophomore seminar called "Current Issues in Healthcare" led a distinguished professor from Berkeley's Optometry School."

Cognitive Science Alum
"The externship provided me with the opportunity to understand various facets of healthcare that go beyond the scope of its clinical dynamics. I've been using my externship experience as a lens to analyze the policies behind healthcare operations so that as a future healthcare provider, I can improve the quality of care of my patients and promote equitable and accessible healthcare for the community."

Sophomore, Film Studies and Mass Communications
"The highlights of my externship were being able to walk around on the Paramount Studio lot, have lunch with a screenwriter and discuss the Writer's Strike with him firsthand, talk about tons of upcoming film projects that I'd only read or heard rumors about online, and most of all, having my host tell me at the end of the day that if I wanted an internship over summer in LA that he would help me get one."

Freshman, Molecular Cell Biology
"This was a successful adventure. I got the chance to see some interesting surgeries such as a thyroidectomy, a hernia operation, an amputation, and more!"

Sophomore, Mass Communications
"Going into the 49ers players' locker room and interviewing them was an experience that I will never forget."

Sophomore, Political Science
"I had an amazing time. I feel that this externship was extremely worthwhile and I would participate in it again in a heartbeat. As soon as I got there on the first day, I got to sit in on a murder trial…I truly had a wonderful time."

Freshman, EECS
"I learned so much from the externship. I was able to get an idea of what work different scientists, engineers, and business people do on a typical day."

Mechanical Engineering Major
"I got everything I wanted out of the externship. I've learned more there about the real world in two weeks than I have learned in the three years that I've been at Berkeley. The externship has completely changed my attitude about school, and now I can see how the things I've learned in school are applied to real world scenarios. I want to get another externship next winter. This is truly a great program."

Sophomore, Mass Communications
"My externship with Schaaf Consulting was an inspiration.  I especially enjoyed my interaction with my sponsor.  Speaking one-on-one with him, a CEO and entrepreneur, helped me realize that for Berkeley grads, the possibilities are endless.  He explained the company and his own career path and answered all my questions.  My externship really encouraged me that I can have a successful life after graduating from Berkeley."

Junior, Political Science
"One of the reasons why I came to Berkeley was its ability to prepare me for life after college.  The Externship Program is one of the most valuable things UC Berkeley has to offer its students. Realizing the difficulty of breaking into the media field, I knew how important it was to get my “foot in the door” and my externships helped me do just that. I got to sit with pros, doing jobs I wanted to do in five or ten years. I got to ask every question I had. The sponsors went out of their way to set up meaningful activities, answer questions, and introduce me to other Cal alums. Everyone was incredibly nice and encouraged me to keep in touch."

History Major
"I learned a great deal about the work environment of a law firm in general, as well as the work a plaintiffs' firm does along with the mechanics of class-action suits. My sponsor was careful to show me quite a variety of types of work he would perform in a typical day and made the experience comfortable and informative. I hope he continues to act as a sponsor as I imagine others would also benefit quite a bit from spending a day with him as I did."

Linguistics/Chinese Major
"I got to see firsthand all the different ESL groups that a teacher got to deal with, and got to see what a day was like for a ESL teacher. I really enjoyed my talk with my sponsor as we talked about graduate school and what kind of training was good. It really helped me decide what I wanted to do after college."

Integrative Biology Major
"I learned so much in four days! I think I learned more and saw more about the oncology medical field in four days than I could ever learn by sitting in a classroom for one whole semester. Of course, I still had questions by the end of the program, but it helped me start the semester with a desire to learn more about cancer."

Interdisciplinary Studies Field major with a concentration in Social Development of Children
"My sponsor was so passionate about his work that he went above and beyond to show me all areas of child protection and county work. I know it was an area of interest for me, but he really helped me to narrow my window of interest and provided me with a number of contacts."

Mass Communications Major
"My sponsor was extremely approachable, honest, open, and helpful the entire day and made the experience a valuable one to help me determine what I don't or do like about the occupation and industry."

Chemical Engineering Major
"My sponsor was such a down-to-earth person. He was willing to go beyond his duties to give us the greatest experience. He has a great way of explaining to us what he does. He explained to us the way the analytical instruments worked. He gave us excellent advice and he offered to have us back once a week during the semester. We never ran out of things to talk about."

Environmental Science Major
"I learned a great deal not only about the field of environmental consulting, but also about the career options available in planning, transportation, water quality, etc. My sponsor was attentive - making sure I met people in different departments within the firm (especially other Cal alumni). During my stay, I attended a meeting about a new CalTrans project and had a chance to assess an Environmental Impact Statement. After my externship experience, I am genuinely considering consulting as a career field I want to enter."

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