What types of additional experiences are recommended for applicants?
We recommend that applicants gain exposure to the field of genetic counseling by completing internships and/or shadowing experiences. A good way to find these opportunities is to use the “Find a Counselor” feature on the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) website to identify genetic counselors in your area. Contact these genetic counselors to see if they offer opportunities for shadowing or internship experiences.
We also recommend that applicants gain experience in crisis counseling and advocacy. These experiences help you to determine if a profession like genetic counseling is a good fit for you.
Both types of experiences should be clear noted on the resume that you submit with your application. Include information about the frequency and duration of each type of experience, as well as any roles you observed or performed.
There are limited opportunities for shadowing or internship experiences in my area. What should I do?
We understand that it is sometimes challenging to arrange for internship and/or shadowing experiences. There are a few things you can do if you are in this situation to gain some exposure to the field of genetic counseling:
- Interview practicing genetic counselors by phone
- View examples of genetic counseling sessions that can be found in the “Prospective Students” section on the NSGC website
You should document these experiences on the resume that you submit with your application.
How do I find opportunities to obtain crisis counseling experience? What types of experiences are best?
Many applicants gain crisis counseling experience by volunteering at a crisis hotline. The best experiences are those that include training. You can find these opportunities by checking local listings. Any type of experience that involves supportive counseling or crisis intervention (phone or in person) will meet this requirement.
You should clearly outline these experiences on your resume, including the number of hours of training you complete, as well as the length of time you volunteered.
What other types of experiences should I try to obtain?
Many applicants also gain experience in advocacy by volunteering at a social service agency (i.e. homeless shelter, domestic abuse program), Planned Parenthood or similar agency, or support group. These experiences help you gain perspective about people facing challenging situations and experience in providing help and support to these individuals.
Applicants also gain experience working with individuals with disabilities and their families by volunteering in programs that offer services and/or support to these individuals.
You should clearly document these types of experiences on the resume that you submit with your application, including the frequency and duration of the experiences.