Get Experience

Be Confident in Your Career Choice

Until you have real experiences in the fields that you are exploring, you will have a difficult time knowing if that career is for you. Your advisor or career consultant can help you identify resources that will help you find meaningful experiences on campus and in the community. Consider participating in one or more of the opportunities below to gain experience. 

Attend events that let you connect with professionals to talk about your options. Shadow people in careers of interest, and confirm your career plans by gaining experience. Job shadowing, part-time work, and internships allow you to research possible careers, grow skills and experience, build networking connections, and even earn a paycheck. Outside a typical work setting, career exposure can come in many forms. You may gain experience through community service, a volunteer position, or leadership with a student group.

Even as you enter your degree-granting school, continue to pursue relevant work and internship opportunities to solidify your career plans and to gain marketable skills for future employment!

Two students reviewing a patient's chart.

Do a Job Shadow

Job shadows are short events, often only a few hours at a time, that allow students to see a career as it is happening. In a typical job shadow, students are allowed to follow professionals for a time as they go about everyday work. While unable to contribute to projects or conversations, the student is able to learn firsthand about the values, interests, personalities, and skills that are important to that career. Some health and life science majors require job shadowing before applying.

A student helping a woman in a wheelchair do excersizes.


Many students engage in volunteer opportunities through schools, churches, athletic teams, and community organizations. These experiences can teach students a lot about their own values, interests, personalities, and skills. Volunteer experiences can also help students identify causes they are passionate about and can expose them to a variety of careers they may have never considered. Volunteer opportunities are also great to put on a resume!

A photo of a student signing up for classes with an advisor.

Get a Job

Jobs are a great way to learn about yourself. Look for work that emphasizes skills you already have and want to highlight or skills you would like to develop. Interested in patient care? Look for a job that emphasizes communication skills or patience. For on-campus or near-campus opportunities, search JagJobs. The Office of Student Employment has many resources to help you navigate your part-time job search and develop professional skills.

Two students talking to a company representative at the HLS Expo


Attend career events to meet people from different professions. These connections can lead to other experience opportunities. The Health and Life Sciences Advising Center has a list of career events, including Major-Career Information Day and Fall Career Week, which is loaded with opportunities to explore careers. Conducting an informational interview with someone working in the field you are exploring can also be a good way to get informed.

A student signing up for information about the Life and Health Sciences Internship Program.

Land an Internship

Internships are an important way to gain experience in your field, improve your skills, network with professionals, and figure out exactly which career path is right for you. Most students complete internships during their sophomore or junior years (or both), but it is never too early or too late! Meet with our career consultant to explore ideas for how to secure a meaningful internship.

Two physical therapy students helping a wheelchair bound guy walk.

Get Involved

Many students overlook student organizations when seeking experience. Student organizations are a great way to network, gain leadership experience, and explore a field that interests you. Schools, graduate programs, and employers seek applicants who have a variety of experiences. Read a list of more ways to gain experiences, add to your resume, and make memories while attending IUPUI.