What does the C-Change Summer Internship Program entail?
The C-Change Summer Internship Program is intended to supplement new and existing internship programs in host organizations. The internship program begins with a 2-day Orientation and Leadership Session for interns held in early June. C-Change organizes monthly conference calls for interns to share their work experiences with each other, discuss emerging topics in cancer, and to provide a structured networking opportunity. Through membership meetings and other special sessions, C-Change will provide forums for the interns to create a community among their peers and meet other leaders in the field of cancer.
What does C-Change provide?
In addition to hosting the Orientation & Leadership Session, monthly conference calls, and Annual Membership meeting events, C-Change will fund the travel and lodging for the interns* to participate in the C-Change meetings. In addition, C-Change will fund the travel and lodging for the intern’s mentor* to participate in the October meeting.
* Except were prohibited by policy such as those affecting federal government employees
How are interns paid or funded?
Since the C-Change Summer Internship Program is intended to provide a supplemental experience to an intern working in a host organization, the host organization is responsible for hiring, compensating and supervising summer interns. C-Change will provide 3-5 grant-awards per year to fund interns in host organizations that are assigned to pursue projects that are closely aligned with C-Change’s strategic initiatives. Often, grant-funded interns are working directly on a C-Change team project.
How are interns selected?
C-Change members nominate individuals from their incoming pool of summer interns who would be interested in participating in this supplemental program. The nomination process requires the host organization and intern to submit:
- A brief application form,
- A paragraph description of the internship responsibilities, and
- The intern’s resume or CV.
Nominations are typically due by April 13th with application forms typically available on the C-Change web site by February 1st.
Applicants must demonstrate and/or comply with the following requirements:
- Interest in a career in cancer care
- Completion of sophomore year baccalaureate program requirements at a minimum, masters and doctoral students encouraged
- Availability to participate in the Orientation and Leadership Training Session
- Availability to participate in monthly conference calls with the intern group
- Availability to participate in Annual C-Change meetings.
The class of Summer Interns is selected based upon their individual merits and aspirations as well as the objective to create a diverse group representing different professional disciplines, various levels of educational achievement, and sector diversity with organizations from the private, public, and non-profit sector.
What are interns expected to contribute to C-Change?
In addition to mandatory participation in the events listed above (#5), interns are expected to:
- Write a summary of their intern experience and accomplishments for use by C-Change in recording their work and promoting intern experiences
- Develop and deliver a presentation to their peer group and mentors at the conclusion of the intern program regarding their role and accomplishments
- Provide feedback on the program experience for the purpose of developing and refining future program resources and relevance
- Interns are also invited to participate in ongoing alumni networking activities with their class and previous classes of interns. Periodically, alumni will be invited to engage with the current class of interns to provide additional peer mentoring.
What roles can interns play in a host organization?
C-Change interns have worked on various initiatives that serve to further both C-Change goals and host organization goals. This has included developing informational websites, conducting scientific research, conducting member and patient surveys, and creating publications. Interns have also represented member organizations at national and international conferences, streamlined internal processes, and aided organizations in assessing compliance with and implementing new performance standards.
What are the benefits of hosting an intern?
By hosting an intern an organization has the opportunity to advance it’s own goals, while at the same time furthering the goals of C-Change. To address the challenges of 21st century cancer care, the cancer community must cultivate a new cadre of future cancer care professionals. For the cancer community to continue to work towards helping those with cancer a new group of individuals to work in the various cancer related private, public, and non-profit organizations, is necessary. By hosting an intern, an organization is able to expose students to the vast opportunities available in the cancer field.
Host organizations also benefit from hosting an intern by working with someone new to the organization that can provide fresh ideas and new insights. Lastly, interns increase capacity by working on specific initiatives and projects that the organization may not currently have the ability to complete. Internships also serve as a reliable mechanism to evaluate individuals for permanent employment.
What factors lead to a successful internship experience?
Based upon feedback from previous interns, the following provisions have helped to ensure productive and meaningful experience:
- Clearly defined job expectations
- Specific project assignment(s)
- A designated mentor
- Weekly opportunities to meet with a mentor to discuss performance and general career development
- Exposure to a variety of organizational issues and personnel
- Access to other educational opportunities
What is the role of the mentor?
Mentors are a very important piece of the C-Change Summer Internship program. The mentor may be a C-Change member or may be another individual with-in the host organization whose role is to work with the intern. Mentors also act as an organization resource for the intern and should be available to answer questions about the organization and cancer field in general. Mentors attend the Annual C-Change meeting with the intern and provide guidance for the intern to assure successful completion of the internship requirements. Lastly, mentors should feel free to contact C-Change with any questions and participate in various activities through out the summer such as the monthly conference calls.