Welcome to “10 Tips & Tricks for Beginning Internship!” After completing my first month of internship, I thought I would share some personal tips and tricks for other students either currently in their internship or planning for a future internship. Bonus: these tips can be useful to anyone! My goal for this post was to share my learning process and exciting journey with others. If you have any questions or comments, let me know! Thank you for reading about my journey here at The Groovy Garfoose! -Emily

  1. Be Present.

Be Present. As you are beginning internship, take the time to be fully present in every opportunity you are given. Be aware of your thoughts to keep them from moving towards the past or future. You are here, in the moment, so enjoy your surroundings. This is a tip to not only enjoy what you are doing to the fullest potential, but also to allow you to gain everything you can from your internship.

  1. Balance Your Life.

Balance Your Life. This tip comes from all of my supervisors in college and in my internship. It is important to find a balance between all aspects of your life, especially work and personal. It is difficult to keep your work and personal lives separate, but it is a huge benefit to do so. This will allow you to give more in both parts because you are not thinking of the other. Keep work at work to allow yourself to go home and spend time with friends, family, pets, and more! It is important to learn this while you are an intern to build this skill before entering the professional world.

  1. Build Your Repertoire.

Build Your Repertoire. Now is the time to learn as many new songs as possible! Allow yourself to dive into the enormous amount of music there is to learn. Find a genre or decade that you are not familiar with and begin learning. You may be facing new populations now or later in your professional life, so expand your knowledge of music.


  1. Stay Healthy.

Stay Healthy. There is a small saying that says, “You cannot pour from an empty cup.” What does this mean? It means that you cannot give to others what you do not have. In internship, you give to your clients by being there to support them however they need supported. However, if you are sick, tired, or just not taking care of yourself, it may become difficult to be there for others. Remember to care for yourself just as much as your care for others.

  1. Ask Questions.

Ask Questions. Everyone says, “There is no such thing as a dumb question.” This is true! As humans, we are always seeking to learn and grow to become more aware of our world. To do this, we must be curious and seek answers through questioning. Beginning your internship is a great time to start asking those questions. What do you want to know? Everyone around you is eager to find out, so start asking.

  1.  Build A Strong Routine.

Build A Strong Routine. Building a routine can help you stay organized, obtain your goals, and live your life with a strong purpose. It can also help you create healthy habits and throw away unhealthy habits. Transitioning into internship can be a big change. You might live in a new city or state, live alone for the first time, or be responsible for new things. This makes internship a great time to build a routine that might start defining your life.

  1. Study.

Study. We all know it is coming, the CBMT Board Certification Exam. As you are beginning your internship, make a plan for how you want to prepare. Are you the type that wants to make flashcards to review every night? Do you learn better by reviewing with friends? Now is the time to figure out what type of learner you are and how you plan to pass the test! You have all of the resources around you with professors, supervisors, materials, other interns, and more. Find out what you need and go get it.

  1. Find Your Support Systems.       

Find Your Support Systems. Don’t just find them, use them! Whether is is family, friends, supervisors, professors, or even pets, someone is in your corner. Beginning your internship is the time to find these people and reach out. Even if you are an independent person, there might be a time where it would be nice to have someone else. My tip is to find other music therapy interns and grab a coffee or lunch. Find those who are going through something similar and become a support system for each other.

  1. Remember Your Love For Music.

Remember Your Love For Music. Everyone decided to go into the field of music therapy for a different reason, and it appears to me that one large reason is a love for music. However, when you are beginning your internship, you may be spending a lot of time learning music for others. Take some time every once and a while to play the music YOU like. It is important to keep your personal love for music strong, so play some songs you love even if you may not use them in internship.

  1. Soak It All In.

Soak It All In. This is it, you are beginning your internship! You are taking the next step to becoming a professional music therapist. While you are at the beginning, take the time to soak it all in. I have been told that internship goes fast, so be sure to take everything you can from it. Learn, grow, and work towards your goals. You are here now, so let the process begin. Become a sponge, and soak it all in.

*Graphics in this blogpost are free stock photos from PEXELS.