Internship experience while you study health sciences - College of Education, Health and Human Development - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

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Charlotte Ward surveys café diners as part of her internship with the Cancer Society.

Internship experience while you study health sciences

Studying towards a Bachelor of Health Sciences at the University of Canterbury opens doors to many exciting career opportunities. This high quality degree offers students the opportunity for practical experiences within the health community alongside their studies. When presented with the opportunity to apply for an internship with the Cancer Society, as part of her degree, University of Canterbury Bachelor of Health Sciences (BHSc) graduate Charlotte Ward leapt at the chance to gain practical experience.

The Cancer Society internship involved project-based strategies addressing and effecting change for serious health issues in New Zealand. For Charlotte, this involved smoke-free initiatives.

Working alongside another UC Bachelor of Health Science student, the pair researched and planned a voluntary smoke-free outdoor dining trial for Christchurch cafes and restaurants.
“We arranged meetings with café/restaurant managers to pitch the smoke-free outdoor dining trial to them and to offer them (and their business) the opportunity to participate in the trial. Throughout this project we collaborated with the CDHB community and public health team.”

Martin Witt, Health Promotions Manager at the Cancer Society (Canterbury), said he greatly valued the students’ input and enthusiasm.

“The level of commitment from the students, their knowledge of health promotion principles and their enthusiasm for applying their knowledge has been great to see. I hope that in offering them an opportunity to see that health promotion and the wider field of public health has practical application, they will want to make their careers in promoting health and wellbeing.”

“My lectures and study in the Bachelor of Health Sciences were pivotal to my internship,” says Charlotte. “It was great to put my advancing knowledge and understanding of health policy and health promotion into practical use. Both of my supervisors said I had completed work that they would expect from their full time staff.”

Charlotte encourages other students to apply for internship opportunities offered at the University of Canterbury, as it is a great way to develop skills and connect with potential employers.

“The lessons you learn by being in a professional setting are invaluable, they help you to understand how the theory fits in the real world. If you are given the opportunity to do an internship then take it, because you gain a wealth of knowledge, experience and new networks. It is definitely not something you will ever regret!”

The University of Canterbury’s Bachelor of Health Sciences (BHSc) is a three-year degree designed to address health workforce needs by producing graduates with multidisciplinary skills and an understanding of important national health issues.