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VA New England Healthcare System


New England VERC Student Trainee (Co-op) Positions

New England VERC student trainee positions provide current undergraduate- and master's-level students with unique healthcare improvement experience. The typical position mirrors a traditional co-operative experience and lasts between four and six months. Vacancy announcements for the positions are usually posted in March and October each year.


New England VERC student trainee positions are focused on three types of students: business, pharmacy, and engineering. A brief description of the types of work each type of student completes is shown below.


Engineering Student Trainees


Engineering student trainees will have the opportunity to apply their engineering skill set to real world problems. Our students participate in three to five projects during their tenure and lead at least one project before they are finished. Examples of engineering student trainee-led projects include: creation of an Access database integrated with real-time data sources to provide accurate data to quickly for an Emergency Department; determining how to use the call center to schedule patients to remove waste in the scheduling process; and assisting with the coaching of a Community Based Outpatient Clinic team.


Business Student Trainees


Business student trainees will have the opportunity to use the skills built in the business classes as well as add improvement methodologies to their skill set. Business student trainees will participate in two to four projects and will assist with a variety of tasks related to the operations of New England VERC.  Past business student responsibilities have included: managing the creation of the newsletter and seminar series; assisting with the development of a mechanism to capture Logistics fiscal transactions; and development of Lean training materials.


Pharmacy Student Trainees


Pharmacy student trainees will have the opportunity to utilize clinical skills learned in the classroom or at other rotations in addition to learning current quality improvement methods. While the engineering and business student trainees may be involved in both the administrative and clinical pieces of healthcare, pharmacy student trainees will be mostly focused on clinical improvements. Pharmacy student trainees will participate in and lead projects as needed. Past examples of pharmacy student projects include: evaluation of job functions to determine if a pharmacy technician is being adequately utilized; chart reviews to determine algorithm adherence; and determining if patients are over-treated and the costs of that over-treatment.

Student Trainee Alumni

Student trainees have moved on to co-ops/internships at highly-competitive companies after completing training at New England VERC, to include Southwest Airlines and Disney World. Under the Pathways program, past student trainees may earn a higher level of preference in consideration for full-time employment.


Students currently pursuing a bachelor's or master's degree in the engineering, pharmaceutical, or business fields are eligible to apply. Pharmaceutical and business students apply under the Student Trainee (Admin) positions and engineering students apply under the Student Trainee (Engineering) positions. Read more about the Student Pathways program.


The program starts in both January and July each year with some flexibility on start date and time considerations for desirable candidates. Applications must be completed on USAJobs and a link will be provided on this website when it is available. For applicants looking for a different start time, please email a resume and cover letter to