Imagine yourself at your dream graduate school.

All it takes is discipline and dedication to achieve that ultimate goal. Each day during the past summer, I woke up at 6 a.m. to commute to the upper side of Manhattan to attend my dream medical school and take part in clinical research. In this experience, I realized that having an internship is a phenomenal way of honing your skills and gaining exposure to opportunities related to your major.

I started looking for internship opportunities during my freshman year of college. Luckily, I was accepted to a three-year summer consecutive pre-medicine program at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons. Who would have ever known that I would be considered a part-time student at an Ivy League medical school?

I have been involved in clinical research these past two summers in the nuclear cardiology division at Columbia University and have contributed to the research. The abstract of the research is currently in progress as to whether our research will be published in the Journal of Nuclear Cardiology.

Internships allow you to get a hands-on sense of the specific career you plan to pursue. In addition, you make great connections with experts in your field, not to mention internships are a great addition to your resume.

This internship has opened up multiple doors for me. I have been offered a research assistant job at my internship site during the gap year after I graduate from ENC and before I enter medical school. I have networked with many people who have inspired me to stay motivated and persistent in reaching my goals.

This internship has allowed me to look at the medical field in a clear perspective, and reaffirms what I want to do within the medical field. I thank God every day for this amazing opportunity. My fellow workers and supervisors still send me care packages, letters, books, and reminders letting me know of their ongoing support of my education.

I encourage every ENC student to participate in an internship either during the school year or during the summer. You can potentially gain endless levels of exposure than you cannot experience through your classes.

Internships are a key to exposure to the real world professions you are studying. Take the initiative and put yourselves out there. Do not wait for others to look for you or for professors and advisors to give you the cue to start looking for these amazing opportunities.

It is your life, your college education, and your future that is at stake, so do not let these chances to learn and grow pass you by.