Summer Enrichment Program for Interns
"The only source of knowledge is experience." - Albert Einstein
Welcome to the Summer Enrichment Program.
Below, you will find all of the information you will need to know about the Institute for Diversity's Summer Enrichment Program (SEP).
If you have a question that isn't answered here, please skip to the bottom of the page for contact information for our Education Specialist.
To be eligible for the Summer Enrichment Program, you must:
- Be a U.S. Citizen (Work-Study Visas or Permanent Residents are not eligible for this program.)
- Be currently enrolled or recently graduated U.S. graduate student in a MHA/ MPH/ MBA or a comparable degree. (We currently cannot place undergraduates.)
- Maintain a 3.0 GPA
- Be able to move to a different US city from Jan - Aug of 2017.
Applying for the program.
Application is a simple process. It can be broken down into these seven (7) steps:
1.) Visit our Online Database by clicking here. (Bookmark this page for later reference.)
2.) In the field, "Enter your Organization:" enter IFDSEP.
3.) Enter your contact information into the blank applicant profile. (Note: Do not fill out the grey "Host Site Section". Skip down and complete the blue "Student Section".) Do not skip any fields. You must complete the profile to register. (The registry will not save your progress. If you close the window or leave before it is complete, your work will be lost.)
4.) Once you complete the profile, you will receive a confirmation email with your Profile Id. Save that information. You will need it to login and update your profile or upload documents. (Note: If you do not receive a confirmation email, then your profile was not completed. You will need to create a new profile.)
5.) Assemble your Application Packet Materials and upload them to your "App Packet" page. Questions about the Application packet materials are answered at the bottom of this page. They include:
- Your Letter of Introduction (1 - 2 pages, telling us more about yourself.)
- A Current Academic Resume
- Current College Transcripts (You may upload an unofficial copy from your college website. Your name, college, and major must be listed.)
- Proof of US citizenship (i.e.. Birth Certificate, US passport or US Passport Card only. Driver's license, social security card or green card will not suffice. Must be clear and easy to read.)
- Two (2) Letters of Recommendation (preferably from a current dean, professor or recent employer)
- One current, professional digital photograph of yourself uploaded to your profile page.
- Completed, uploaded copy of the SEP Intern Commitment Form. (All boxes checked and appropriate text filled.)
Note: Please spell-check all of your documentation before upload. Applicants with materials containing syntax or spelling errors will not be accepted into the program.
6.) Login to your profile in the SEP Registry and upload these documents to your "App Packet" page. Note: Students who do not complete the profile and upload all documents will not be eligible for matching.
7.) Download and read the SEP Intern Manual. The manual is full of helpful information. It will give you a thorough understanding of the SEP process and what you can expect throughout the entire program. Note: Do not ignore this step. The manual is a critical part of your preparation for the program.
Once you've uploaded all documents, you are registered for the SEP program.
Frequently Asked Questions
This section is intended to answer some of the questions that former Summer Enrichment Program (SEP) interns have had about the program. Please take a moment to read this, before registering for the program. If you don't find the answer to your question, you can skip to the bottom and find contact information for our Education Specialist.
You may use these links to skip ahead to one of our FAQs.
The SEP Internship
The Institute's Education Team will vet your profile to make sure:
a.) you are a US citizen.
b.) Your cumulative GPA is 3.0 or higher and that your transcripts are accurate
c.) Your profile is complete and that all of your documents are error-free and ready for consideration.
At the start of the matching process, you will be given a list of the available host sites and asked to rank them in the following categories:
- Primary Locations - 3 of your preferred locations.
- All Possible Locations - Any other host sites that you would be interested in, if your primary host sites are not available.
- Impossible Locations - Places where you absolutely can not go for the summer.
Note: If you have housing near any location, please indicate that. Access to housing is a relevant consideration in the matching process.
Once your profile has been vetted, a representative from the Institute will contact you to set up the first telephone interview. That interview will better allow us to recommend you to the hospital that is the best fit for your personality and goals. This interview will last approximately 30 minutes.
When the matching process begins, the Education Specialist will promote you to the best possible host site for your skillset and location. Not all interns will be matched initially.
The host site representative (or preceptor) will login to the SEP database and examine your completed profile. If the preceptor wants to consider you for placement, they will contact you for a second phone interview. If that interview goes well, then the hospital may offer you a summer internship.
You may take 24 hours to discuss the internship with your family, before you decide to accept or reject the internship. (If you already know your answer, you can accept or decline the internship, immediately.)
Whether you accept or not, it is very important that you contact Membership & Education Specialist, Jasmin Clark, firstname.lastname@example.org, to update her on your progress. If you accept the internship, you will then need to begin planning your travel and housing.
Travel and Housing?
In most cases, acceptance of an SEP internship means moving to another town or city for the summer. It is very rare that you will be placed for an internship close to your current school or residence.
You will know, in advance, where the internship is located, before you interview for it with the host site. That will give you time to poll your resources and see if a move for the summer is workable for you.
Note: If you are absolutely unable to move for the summer, you will significantly decrease your chances for placement. Please keep that in mind, before you apply for the SEP.
In most cases, the SEP does not reimburse for travel or for housing. You will be expected to cover those costs for yourself.
You will also be expected to locate your own housing near the host site. Your preceptor and the Education Specialist will not do that for you. Please keep housing in mind, when you are considering accepting a summer internship.
Past students have successfully located housing by using some of these strategies:
Host Site: Occasionally, the host sites, themselves will have housing available, in either a dormitory or guest housing. When you interview with your host site, be sure to ask if any housing is available. If not, they might still be able to suggest other options for you, near the host site.
Friends & Family: Staying in the home of guest room of a local friend or family member. (Often, this is the most cost effective option.) You might ask for local contacts through your church or social groups, as well.
Hostel: Often found in larger cities, hostels are affordable, communal living arrangements for visitors and temporary lodgers. You can find out more information about hostels and look for one near your host site, by visiting this site.
Local College Dorms: During the summer months, colleges often rent out dorm rooms to students who are in town for summer internships. Do a Google search for colleges near your host site and contact their Housing Office to explore your possibilities. This is often a more cost-effective alternative to sub-letting an apt for the summer.
The Local Newspaper: Find out what the local newspaper is for the host site town and search the "For Rent" section in the back of the paper. You can do this same search online from your home.
Craigslist: Visit www.craigslist.com and locate the city closest to your host site, go to the "Sublets/ Temporary Housing" page of your town and see if there are any sublets available. Most apartments have pictures and can also be viewed externally from Google Street View.
Corporate Housing: If you can afford it, corporate housing may be a viable option for you. Most corporate suites are fully furnished.
Other SEP interns: If your host site has multiple SEP interns, you may consider joining them for cohabitation in a subletted apartment. This can lower the bills and increase connection between SEP participants.
The Education Specialist can only advise you about housing. He cannot actually research or locate housing for you. Please be pro-active and use your available resources to secure your summer housing. Do not delay the housing search. No one can do this for you.
The Letter of Introduction is an important tool that will assist the Institute in identifying the best experience for you. It will also help potential employers understand more about your skills and qualifications. This is your opportunity to sell yourself and explain why you’re a good match for the SEP program and our host sites.
The Letter of Introduction should be no longer than one page (single spaced) and it should focus on your interest and passion for becoming a leader in healthcare, your professional skills and qualifications, as well as short term and long-term career goals. Be thoughtful about what you want the reader to learn about you. You do not have to focus on information that is already included on your resume. Keep in mind that many of the reviewers reading your Letter of Introduction are CEO, COO and members of the senior management team who may have limited time to review your application.
Note: Be sure to use a professional letter layout complete with your contact information and a letter header. You may address it to "To Whom It May Concern". Be sure to spell-check the letter before you upload it.
Do you want my current transcripts or will undergraduate transcripts suffice?
We would prefer a copy of your most recent transcripts for graduate school. We want to see what you're currently pursuing educationally and how well that is going. We will accept a scanned copy of your Unofficial Transcripts from your college website.
In a pinch, if your graduate transcripts are not available, you may submit your recent undergraduate transcripts. Just be sure to mention that in your Letter of Introduction as a note.
In most cases, you can notify your Office of Admissions and have them email a copy of the transcripts to you, which can then be uploaded to your profile.
How do I get my Letter of Recommendation from my college professor?
In some cases, your professor may be willing to give you a copy of the Letter of Recommendation, directly. This is the preferred method. You can scan a copy of them (retain a copy for your own records) and upload it to your profile.
In some cases, a professor would prefer not to give a copy of the Letter of Recommendation to you. In that case, they may send them to the Institute's Membership and Education Specialist via the following methods:
Via postal mail to:
Membership & Education Specialist
The Institute for Diversity in Health Management
155 N. Wacker Ave. Ste. 400
Chicago, IL 60606
Jasmin will scan a copy of your Letters of Recommendation and email a copy to you, to upload to your profile. Your professors should know that at that point, the Letters of Recommendation will be visible to you too.
Can I scan a copy of my Drivers License as my proof of US Citizenship?
No. The only forms of identification that we accept are scanned copies of your US passport, passport card or birth certificate.
Here is an article about obtaining a copy of your birth certificate.
The SEP internship
How long does the internship last?
Approximately 10 weeks. Sometimes more, sometimes less. That's dependent entirely upon when you are matched up with your hospital and when you have to return to school. Traditionally, internships begin in June and conclude in August.
The on-site training/internship is an integral part of the SEP experience. All participants and host sites are required to commit to a minimum of 10 weeks to ensure that interns have a sufficient time to complete a significant project and that mentors have the opportunity to develop a formal relationship with each student. Start and end dates are negotiated between the student and the host site or mentor. (The host site may opt to abbreviate your internship, at their discretion.)
We will release the full list of host sites to you before the matching process begins. Typically, that's in the last week of January. We can not release it sooner, because often we are still coordinating with the host sites through January.
We prefer that you allow the host sites to make contact with you instead. By superseding that process, you could potentially be submitting yourself for internships that you are not qualified for, thereby alienating the host site preceptor.
Please wait for the host sites to contact you. If you have questions about the process or worries that you are not being considered, please contact Jasmin Clark at IFD-SEP@aha.org to ask for feedback.
Every SEP intern is expected to complete a Special Project at their host site, before the internship is complete. In most cases, the host site will have a project in mind for you, when you get there. You may also suggest alternative or additional projects, if you have a skill set suited for an additional or alternative project.
The Special Project is intended to have a lasting effect on the host site, after you leave. This is also a good opportunity for you to demonstrate to your host site that you are professional and have a good work ethic. In short, that you would make an excellent full-time employee.
For examples of other recent Special Projects, see your Student Manual.
The selection process begins in February and will last until all available positions are filled. The Education Specialist will send you periodic updates, letting you know how many positions are still available and offering helpful suggestions for getting placed. When the last position is filled, he will notify all remaining candidates and close the placement process of the SEP.
If you are not immediately placed or placed for an internship within the first 3 - 4 weeks, do not be discouraged. Placement for SEP students will go as late as June or July. Sometimes placement is a lengthy process. Please be patient.
strong>Is this a paid internship?
Yes. This is a paid internship. Each individual host site will make arrangements for their individual pay schedule. Traditionally, the internships are $500 a week, or $12.50 an hour. Payroll taxes will be deducted from the weekly stipend.
Yes. That is possible.
In some cases, host sites were so impressed with their SEP intern, that permanent, full-time employment was offered before the internship was complete. In some cases, the host sites offered a position, dependent upon the student completing their graduate work and returning to the host site. Approximately, one quarter of SEP students are hired for full-time employment, each summer.
This is a good discussion between you and your preceptor for the last weeks of your internship.
Each host site determines the number of internship positions available at their organization. Most choose between 1-2 positions per host site.
How many students will be applying for positions? How many positions are available?
Each summer, approximately 100 students enroll in the program. Those 100 students are pared down to 60 students, who are eventually placed in 1 of 40 possible internships. (We have to have more students than positions, because of the geographic limitations of students. Not everyone can move to accept an internship.)
The Summer Enrichment Program matching process is competitive. Applicants initially indicate a preference for a position at a particular site or geographic region. Host sites/ preceptors will then review the applications and contact those applicants with whom they would like to interview. Most organizations complete one round of phone interviews and/or on-site interviews before making a final offer.
In accordance with the mission of the Institute, all student programs and services require proof of US citizenship and are intended to benefit the U.S. hospital system. We do not currently offer any programming for non US citizens.
Students do not need to be enrolled in a health care management program but must demonstrate a commitment to becoming a leader in health care (ie. hospital administration, public health administration). Medical students and dual-degree students who have an interest in exploring the field of hospital administration are also welcome. Other comparable programs include: MBA, MPH, MHA, MPA, or MSN.
SEP program elements are not well suited for students whose career goals are focused elsewhere, including, teaching, nursing, pharmacy, or other allied medical fields, etc.
No, you do not have to be a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives to participate in the Summer Enrichment Program. We do recommend that you consider joining the ACHE to participate in their programming and enjoy all of the benefits of membership in their organization. For more info about ACHE, please click here.
Note: ACHE offers their very own Diversity internship, which filters through the SEP (getting the same educational materials and experience). You can learn more about that internship, here.
Yes. Many of the past and current SEP students apply for either one or all of the Institute scholarships. Participating in SEP can only help to further demonstrate your commitment to advancing your skills and establishing yourself as a leader in healthcare.
Yes. Please note in your application packet that you have previously been a member of the SEP program, with details on when and where you participated.
Preceptors are your supervisors. However, one of the goals of the on-site enrichment experience to provide students with the opportunity to develop mentors that are practicing within the health care profession. SEP will provide tools and materials to help interns progress in their relationships with their preceptors so that SEP preceptors become SEP mentors.
Many students also take advantage of the opportunity to develop mentoring relationships with other leaders throughout the organization who may also become long-term mentors.
Some organizations have formal mentorship programs and others do not. Even for those organizations that do assign a formal mentor, interns may find that there are other leaders in the organization that they would like to develop a formal relationship with. Many of these informal leaders/mentors are identified at organizations meetings or through project work. Introduce yourself to your potential mentor. Explain that you are an intern and ask if it is okay to schedule a meeting sometime in the next 1-2 weeks to learn more about their area of the hospital and to meet members of their team. Depending on your comfort level you can also ask to attend one of their team meetings. The key is that once you ask for time you will need to make certain that you follow-up.
The Institute's SEP program is intended for first, second year or recently graduated graduate students. Click here for more information about health care internship opportunities for undergraduates with Health Career Connection (HCC).
Currently, we do not offer Spring, Winter or Fall internships. We focus entirely on Summer internships. We hope to expand the program and offer non-summer internships in the future. But they are currently not available.
The week before your internship ends, you will receive an SEP Evaluation form from the Education Specialist. You will be asked to fill it out, to give feedback about the host site and your experience. Your feedback is helpful for planning the next year's SEP.
You will also likely have an Exit Interview with your preceptor, before you leave your host site.
Once your internship is resolved, you will receive your Certificate of Completion in the mail. This document is intended to show that you did complete the SEP course for your summer and ended it in favorable standing with your host site.
You will also be required to take a short feedback survey to share your experiences with the SEP. We will not mail the Certificate of Completion until we receive your survey results.