Name: Claire Hanlon
Class Year: 2021
Internship (position & employer): Sargent Rehabilitation Center
1. Tell us about where you interned over the summer and the kind of work you are doing.
This summer I interned at Sargent Rehabilitation Center’s Day School in Warwick, RI. As a whole, Sargent Rehabilitation Center serves adults and children with a focus on neuro-rehabilitation and striving to restore the ability to be independent. I spent my time in the day school with students with conditions such as autism, Asperger Syndrome, brain injuries, genetic disorders and other developmental disorders. I was placed with high school aged students and spent my days helping them with the curriculum and assisting in the daily operations of the classroom.
2. Give us an example of how you have applied your academic learnings to your internship?
One way that I saw a direct relation between my academic learnings and my internship was through my cognitive neuroscience class that I took my sophomore year. This class focused a large portion of the semester on autism and the differences in the way that students learn along with their strengths and weaknesses in the classroom. My time at Sargent Center allowed me to see these findings first hand and gave me the opportunity to find ways to help these students learn in their own ways.
3. What has surprised you about being an intern?
One aspect of my internship that surprised me was how involved I was able to be in the student’s life. Going into the internship I wasn’t sure how helpful I would be or how much responsibility I would be given with respect to helping the students. I was lucky enough to work with a great group of staff at Sargent Center who allowed me to have a great experience and fully involve myself helping students every day. I was able to leave my internship feeling like I truly helped the students and was able to make a difference in my short time at Sargent Center.
4. How did this experience influence or connect to your future career plans / goals?
I have always been interested in physical therapy and had pictured myself entering the sports field of therapy. However, after spending this summer at Sargent Center where the students day consists not only of math, spelling, and reading, but also occupational therapy, speech therapy and physical therapy, I have now opened up my eyes to a whole new aspect of physical therapy that I could picture myself working in. I have seen the important ways that physical therapy was used to improve the daily life of the students I worked with and how therapy was made enjoyable for the students. Without this opportunity to intern at Sargent Center I don’t think I would have been able to see this often overlooked aspect of physical therapy and how important it is.
5. Any internship advice to pass on to other Holy Cross students?
The advice I would give to future Holy Cross interns would be to always go into your internship with an open mind. For me, every day at my internship was different and came with new experiences and opportunities to learn.