What kinds of internships help with admittance to good epi programs?

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May 18, 2015
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I am currently pursuing a summer internship, and I have just been offered a decent occupational health and safety internship. Is something like that good for an epi program? I don't want to become involved in something that is only useful for occupational health, which I am unlikely to want to make a career out of, but I don't want to pass up an opportunity to gain experience if it will help me get into a good epi program.

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I did internships at my local metro government and my state's democratic party. Any type of research experience would probably work
They usually don't care if the experience matches up with your intended concentration. I did global health volunteer work and am an epi concentrator. Keep in mind that a lot of people get into programs straight out of undergrad with zero public health work experience (many do volunteer though). Many also get in without research experience (I did). It all depends on where you want to apply.
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-Working as a research assistant and/or study coordinator
-Having done an independent data analysis
-Health promotion work

Pretty much anything with a health focus. It's more important to be able to talk about (in your personal statement) what you learned from these experiences and how they influenced your decision to study epidemiology/have a career related to epidemiology.
I've been hearing about the SAS. Are there internships that help train people on how to use it or any other data analysis skills? I'm interested in epi as well and I'm not sure where to gain skills in statistics software programs.
I just realized that SAS isn't open source, so you wouldn't be able to teach yourself without either buying the software or getting an internship :oops:. You could try teaching yourself R, they have some tutorials online, and there is even a linkedin group for people to ask questions about R programming. I unfortunately can't tell you about internships, as the one I had was kind of handed to me (my Mom works for Kaiser and she put in a good word). Maybe it's a who you know kind of thing. Don't be in too much of a hurry to learn SAS, as many programs teach it to you and you have free access to it through the university. But R could definitely be an asset.
SAS is definitely an industry staple. Most typical/standard jobs require SAS ability.

R is definitely used for more of the cutting edge, new, and different programs, though. Big data is moving more and more to R-based environments due to its flexibility and openness.
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If you're still in college, see if you can sign up for a SAS class. If your university offers a public health major or has a School of Public Health, they are very likely to offer one. Two of my coworkers were public health majors and got their SAS experience from college. Check the syllabi of the public health courses offered as the names can often be disguised (the SAS class at my school is titled Use of Statistical Packages for Data Management & Data Analysis). If your university doesn't offer anything like that, see if a nearby university does, or take a class during the summer while you're at home. You may be able to count it toward your degree, as a lot of MPH programs will take credits from another university (one of said coworkers came in with 9 credits).