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Internships at Children’s Medical Center launch local students into career success

August 14, 2014

By Patrick McGee

Highland Park resident Amy Weissler said her summer internship at Children’s Medical Center was the real deal – real responsibilities, clear expectations from her boss and great opportunities to learn.

“It wasn’t just an internship where I was going to be making copies; I was going to be able to accomplish things and actually do stuff that mattered,” said Ms. Weissler who graduated from Highland Park High School in 2011.

The 21-year-old psychology major entering her senior year at Texas A&M University spent six weeks of her summer working in the Learning Institute, part of the Human Resources Department at Children’s Medical Center.

The internship program, called Jump Start, had 32 participants this year, the most ever. Children's is one of the first hospitals in Dallas to launch the innovative recruitment program, which is specially designed for students interested in pursuing a career in health care. The internships provide practical experience and exposure to a variety of health care areas while assisting students in defining their career goals.

Ms. Weissler organized leadership retreats, troubleshot technical issues with onboarding new employees and helped study how individual departments make their new employees part of the team.

“Your work at Children’s is valued, and they’re going to trust you to do tasks like a real employee,” she said.

Other interns in the program also said they were pleasantly surprised with the amount of responsibility and learning opportunities the internship provided them.

Madeleine Howells, a 2013 Hockaday School graduate, who worked in the pediatric intensive care unit, said hospital staff went out of their way to make sure she was present for medical procedures that would be good learning opportunities for her.

“I got to see so much here,” said Ms. Howells, a sophomore studying cell and molecular biology at Tulane University in New Orleans.

Ms. Howells said she formed a strong bond with Children’s when she was treated for diabetes as a girl. As a high school student she was a volunteer in the hospital, playing with kids in the playroom. People who ran the volunteer program were so impressed with her commitment to Children’s that they told her about the Jump Start internship program.

Ryan Kwong and Michael Schluterman, both from Dallas, worked in surgery and said they were present for many surgical procedures that gave them useful points of reference and encouragement for their plans to go to medical school.

Mr. Kwong graduated from Trinity Christian Academy in Addison in 2011 and is a senior studying chemistry at Boston College. Mr. Schluterman graduated from Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas in 2012 and is a junior studying psychology at the University of Oklahoma.

“We were a lot busier than I thought we would be,” Mr. Schluterman said. “We got to see and do a lot more than I would have guessed.”

The pair said they were part of many dental, orthopedic and urologic surgeries. Hospital staff had the two interns clean operating rooms after each surgery, and they were present for nearly all procedures to learn as much as they could. They said the more they worked, the more the medical staff included them.

“People trusted us quite a bit to do our jobs,” Mr. Kwong said. “The more you’re willing to help, the more you end up helping.”

For more information about Jump Start visit www.childrens.com/careers/students/jumpstart.aspx.

Story originally published by The Park City News

 
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