This summer, I feel fortunate to work as a research intern in a child psychiatry lab at the Yale School of Medicine Child Study Center. I am currently researching Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in school children. I am researching how ADHD impacts a child’s behavior in a school setting. With the assistance of Yale Medical Residents, we are also studying possible therapies for school refusal and tracking mindfulness. Along with my mentor Dr. Michael Bloch, Assistant Professor in the Child Study Center, I also meet with children and their families to explore and possibly diagnose Tourette syndrome, Trichotillomania, OCD, ADHD, and other anxiety disorders. I then document these clinic visits summarizing the patient’s history as well as any diagnoses for submission to my mentor and his medical team for review.
I look most forward to case study days when I am able to meet with the patients and their families. During my first case interactions, I merely observed and took copious notes to help with the post interview documentation. However, I now have been asked to fully participate: I have the ability to ask questions of the patient and their family in order to help discover behaviors that might help diagnose a patient’s disorder. Through my participation, I feel that I am helping the patient by making it easier for them to understand their sometimes confusing behavior and the anxiety that it may cause, which will hopefully put them and their loved ones at ease.
I am fortunate enough to be working for a doctor who trusts his lab with responsibility. When I initially started, I did not think that I would be offered so many opportunities for face-to-face patient exposure and the responsibility to complete research on the most intriguing behavioral topics. Dr. Bloch continuously challenges us. He believes that we are capable of tasks that I hadn’t even imagined when I began my internship! I am humbled to be working not only for him, but with him.
Massachusetts Immigrant & Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA) is a political organization that focuses on helping immigrants obtain legal status in the United States. We host citizenship clinics to help people fill out the naturalization application, host rallies and events to advocate for positive immigration policies, and lobby with local government officials to “pressure” policymakers. I am one of two communications interns this summer. The communications department is composed of the two interns and our director, so as such a small group we take on a lot more work than the other interns here from other departments.
On a day-to-day basis, I assist the Director with organizing and updating our member/volunteer database, researching CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software, entering data for donations/registrations/etc, among other things. Before event days, I make E-poster announcements using an online platform and create draft emails to be sent out. Additionally, I make phone calls to our members, volunteers and news stations to invite them to the event. On event days, I am the designated photographer and social media publisher. I snap photos and update our Twitter account on a real-time basis. The days following an event, I call attendees to thank them for their effort and support and I update our social media accounts with photos.
What surprises me the most at MIRA is how hectic things are! I had always seen on TV that a political/governmental office is crazy with people running amuck with a mountainous stack of documents in one hand and a coffee mug in the other, but who knew that it’s really like this in real life! This hustling and bustling atmosphere really motivates me to adapt quickly and be part of the team. This is why I love my job with MIRA and appreciate the exposure I receive. I aspire to work for the United Nations one day to aid and promote minority issues so the experience at MIRA is giving me the opportunity to jumpstart my career. I am able to meet many important politicians while on the job so I am hopeful that I will be able to create an extensive network this way. MIRA is allowing me to become a young professional for a great cause and I can’t imagine a better internship!
by Pam Ahearn, Senior Associate Director, Center for Career Development
Welcome to the halfway point of your internship. You’ve settled into the office, figured out where the bathrooms are, how to access your email, and what some of the office acronyms mean. You’ve also stopped getting lost on your way to fill up your water bottle. Now is a great time to check-in on the progress of your summer so far and assess if you are meeting your goals for the internship.
Take some time to reflect on what you’ve accomplished thus far:
Is there still unfinished business to attend to or skills that you want to hone?
Are there additional people you want to network with at the organization?
Have you identified additional goals for yourself? If so, write them down and try to strategize how you will achieve them.
Don’t forget to complete you Midpoint Evaluation in Crusader Connections!
Hopefully you are enjoying the experience and have just the right amount of work every day. I often hear from intern supervisors that the work they assign to their Holy Cross intern is done so efficiently that they need to find more work for the intern to do. (Well done, HC!)
If you find yourself in this situation and you need more work, think about the following:
Have you noticed a particular gap in a process at the organization?
Can you think of a project that would ease someone’s work load significantly?
Is there a need for organizing files (hard copy or electronic)?
Is there any research you could do that would move a project along?
If you can answer yes to any of these questions, then take the initiative and go about solving these problems. Everyone loves a go-getter! Be sure to ask your boss first before tackling a new project or asking other colleagues if they need help. Once you get the go-ahead, run with it!
Finally, have you discovered through this internship that this just isn’t the right industry or career path for you? Consider yourself lucky to have figured this out during a 10 week commitment versus a month or two into a full time job! Still, continue to do your best work and remain positive. A good attitude goes a long way and you’ll rely on your supervisor to give you a good reference in the future.
If you have some down time, think about how you might apply your talents and skills to a different career. We have a whole host of resources on our website that can assist you. You can also schedule a call with a Career Counselor to help you get started. We’re happy to chat over your lunch break!
Let us know if you are hitting other road blocks this summer. We are here to help you make the most of your summer!!!! We look forward to reading all of those Midpoint Evaluations!
This summer I am interning with Environment North Carolina. I work at their office in Raleigh, a city I was previously unfamiliar with, despite being a North Carolina resident. I work with four other interns, all of whom attend various East Coast colleges and universities. My daily routine is nonexistent; every day holds something different. While my overall week generally looks the same – Mondays spent in the office, Tuesdays spent phonebanking until 7PM, Wednesdays spent petitioning at the farmers’ market, Thursdays spent at the field office, and Fridays spent wrapping up the week’s work and planning for the next week – each day has a different schedule, which could change with a minute’s notice.
I have a wide range of duties, but my favorites are the ones that involve the most responsibility. Our first real project was to assist a partner organization, Toxic Free NC, with their Save the Bees Rally and Press Conference. The project involved 500 petition signatures, hours of phonebanking, and a day of poster-making. It wasn’t anything difficult, but the experience prepared us for the rest of the summer. Currently, the other interns and I are planning four campaign events, at least two of which will involve a press conference. Having no previous event planning experience, this has proved challenging but fun. Basically, planning an event for Environment North Carolina involves contacting local governments, farmers, coalition partners, media, and businesses and lots of phonebanking, emails, and confirmation calls.
The other interns and I mostly work in groups while meeting individual goals, but I have been given two personal initiatives so far. The first is to assist with the release of our state report on pollution caused by Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, specifically Smithfield Foods’ hog operations in North Carolina. I am working with our state director and a Sierra Club employee to release this report and hold a Telepresser media brief. My second initiative is to train canvassers on how to write letter-to-the-editors and edit their letters each week.
I write a lot of letter-to-the-editors, usually at least one per week per active campaign. As an intern group, we have published at least one letter a week. My first letter was published in the Charlotte Observer, where they ran the letter alongside my most professional selfie. In hindsight, I should have attended the Career Fair when they were taking pictures for LinkedIn profiles.
The most exciting part of this internship so far has been when we go to the NC General Assembly. The first time, we delivered seismic blasting fact-sheets to legislators and asked them to sign on to a letter drafted by Representative Harrison addressed to Secretary Jewel, urging the Department of the Interior to deny all applications for seismic blasting permits on the Atlantic coast. I was able to speak to a number of legislators, including my own representative, Larry Pittman.
The second time I went to the General Assembly was when we tried to watch a vote on a particularly troubling bill that was disguised as environmentally friendly but would actually delay the cleanup of Duke Energy’s coal ash sites. The bill had already passed the Senate but still had the potential to be stopped by the House. I say we tried to watch the vote because we were not successful – the vote was pushed so far back in the day that we could not stay. Unfortunately, the bill ended up passing 82-32, much to the dismay of the Southern Environmental Law Center, Appalachian Voices, and Environment North Carolina.
Currently, I am looking forward to the Beach Days of Action that two other interns and I are planning. These Days of Action will take place on three different North Carolina beaches and will attempt to educate the public on the dangers of seismic blasting as well as create a platform for local advocates and citizens to voice their concerns about seismic blasting through signing petitions and tweeting photo petitions to President Obama. We will be hosting press conferences at two of the beaches, featuring remarks from coalition partners and – fingers-crossed – a Duke University researcher and the mayor of Kure Beach.