Calling All MHA Students: Summer Enrichment Program Registration Open
- Article by: Heather Venkatesh
The American Hospital Association Institute for Diversity's Summer Enrichment Program (SEP) is an enhanced, 10 week, internship program which gives real-world work experience to minority, MHA graduate students with a paid internship in a hospital or healthcare facility. Since 1994, more than 600 students have successfully completed the SEP program.
In addition to gaining broad exposure to the host site’s staff, stakeholders and challenges, SEP interns also complete an independently designed special project, intended to benefit the hospital after the internship concludes. Experienced administrators serve as preceptors and mentors, providing support and career advice as well as those critical early-career connections.
Manav Sutri reflects on his SEP internship experience…
Manav Surti: Reflections on the SEP Internship 2014, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
My last minute decision to apply for the SEP turned out to be the best decision I made as an early careerist. My experience as an SEP intern at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJ) surpassed my expectations of a short-term diversity internship. As the 2014 SEP intern at RWJ, I met inspiring people, gained valuable insights into healthcare by way of project work, and scratched the surface of hospital operations by observing experienced leaders.
Some of the highlights of my internship include meeting senior leaders in small face-to-face settings with candid conversations, the opportunity to observe executive meetings that provided insights into key operations issues, being a part of various committees that address critical hospital challenges, and my temporary appointment as the co-chair of the Asian Business Resource Group. Through these various functions, I gained a well-rounded understanding of the culture within the hospital and its coordinated approach to patient care.
The assignments that I worked on over the course my internship, including my special project, exposed a side of healthcare to me that I was previously unfamiliar with. My projects mainly comprised of research and benchmarking studies related to healthcare equity and cultural competency. The further I progressed with my projects, the more I learned how critical some of these non-operational issues are for hospitals. In retrospect, if I had started a full-time position in an operations department within a hospital (which is my long-term goal) without my SEP internship, I would have never gained the appreciation that I have for this critical element of delivering care.
I also benefited greatly from the leadership development aspect of the internship. I was constantly challenged during the internship to make presentations to senior leaders and the greater hospital staff and participate in meetings with administrators. These experiences enhanced my confidence to address an audience and voice my opinions and concerns in meetings.
If the purpose of any internship is to bridge the gap between academic learning and practical experience, my internship at RWJ fulfilled this objective. I strongly recommend all recent graduates of healthcare administrations' degrees to consider an internship, especially at RWJ through the Summer Enrichment Program.
Interested in applying for an SEP internship?
To be eligible for the SEP, 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 from a U.S. graduate school in a Masters in Health Administration program or a comparable degree. (We currently cannot place undergraduates.)
- Maintain a 3.0 GPA
If you are eligible for the program, there are seven simple steps to apply. Although the selection process begins in February, registration will remain open until all available positions are filled. Placement for SEP students typically goes as late as June or July.
If you’d like to have a rewarding experience like Manav’s, submit your SEP application today.