Cover Story

Doctoral students who are getting ready to navigate the internship process will find comprehensive guidance from presenters at a pre-convention workshop at APA's 2004 Annual Convention. The session will cover everything from filling out the applications to getting matched with a site through the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC).

The annual American Psychological Association of Graduate Students (APAGS) Pre-convention Internship Workshop will be held 5:00-9:00 p.m. on July 27 at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort and Spa. Presenters will offer tips on filling out the AAPIC Application for Psychology Internships (AAPI) form, writing AAPI essays, having a successful internship interview and navigating the Match.

Some key tips presenters will suggest:

  • Record your practicum hours from your very first client and be sure to note in your records the treatment setting, type of service provided and demographic information, such as the client's age, gender, ethnicity, disability and diversity status. Having the information already compiled when you apply for internship will save time, says presenter Carol Williams-Nickelson, PsyD, APAGS associate executive director.

  • Seek quality practicum hours-not as many hours as possible. While it's important to log the required minimum of practicum hours, students should focus on obtaining good supervision because that will be more attractive to training directors than a large amount of mediocre hours, Williams-Nickelson says.

  • Don't limit your options by applying only to highly competitive internship sites-which may receive hundreds of applications. Applying to a variety of sites that fit your needs will help improve your chances of getting matched.
  • Download a current copy of the AAPI-the form may change slightly from year to year-and search for internship sites at the APPIC Web site. APA-accredited internships are listed at the Accreditation Web site.
  • Don't pad your AAPI application. Williams-Nickelson says sites don't expect students to have experience in everything, but they look for interns they feel they can teach and who are adequately prepared to go to the next level in their training.

Also at the workshop, presenter Mitchell J. Prinstein, PhD-a training director and associate professor of psychology at Yale University-will discuss characteristics students need to master the internship interview, such as professionalism and enthusiasm. He'll also address the importance of finding a training site that fits a student's training goals and how to show sites that your background and academic training is a good match.

Other presenters include training directors Shane Lopez, PhD, of the University of Kansas, and Greg Keilin, PhD, vice chair of the APPIC Board of Directors and director of the APPIC Match.

To register for the workshop, contact APAGS at (202) 336-6014. On-site registration for the workshop will begin at 4 p.m. on July 27.

After June 15, the registration fee for the workshop is $30 for APAGS members and $35 for nonmembers. Attendees receive a copy of "Internships in Psychology: The APAGS Workbook for Writing Successful Applications and Finding the Right Match" (APA, 2004).