Students share CentreTerm 2020 internship experiences during showcase

A total of 55 Centre College students interned across the United States and abroad during CentreTerm 2020, a three-week term in January that gives students the opportunity to explore unique topics and faraway places through immersive courses, here, abroad, or an internship or research project.

This year, students interned internationally across five countries, including China, Colombia, Ethiopia, Honduras and Mexico.

Recently, these students shared their experiences at the internship showcase held at the Norton Center for the Arts, including those who interned in the fall in Washington, D.C. and Shanghai.

While the number of students participating in internships during this term remained consistent, Mindy Wilson, associate director of the Center for Career & Professional Development, said it was a strong CentreTerm for internships.

“We actually had more students who participated in internships near Centre than we normally do,” she added. “I think this is a testament to the strength of our local internships.”

Wilson said several of the students had previously participated in internships, and it was great to see them expand their horizons even more with that experience under their belts.

CentreTerm allows students to delve into an internship in a way different than they would during the long term.

“Because the internship is the only class they take, they are able to see the daily operations for three weeks straight in a full-time setting,” she explained. “Not only do they work on special projects but they are able to be more deeply involved in the day-to-day running of the organization.”

Behavioral neuroscience major Kylie Cochran ’21 (Buckner, Kentucky) participated in the Centre Uniting with Ephraim Health (CUE) internship program, a collaborative partnership with the local hospital that highlights the healthcare system and provides an opportunity for students entering the medical field to see various departments and talk with professionals. During the internship, she observed areas, including surgery, primary care, urology, cardiology, diagnostics, materials management, medical records and several others.

“As an individual who plans to pursue a career in medicine, I wanted to better understand healthcare from multiple viewpoints,” Cochran said. “It is valuable to receive shadowing experience in all sides of healthcare to see the dependent nature of the system. This internship provided experience in both clinical and non-clinical settings. My interest was also in that I could connect with professionals of all areas within the healthcare system.”

The biggest takeaway for Cochran was becoming aware of how achieving quality care requires providers to interact with patients differently depending on an individual’s needs and circumstances. She now has a better understanding of how the role of health education—health literacy and health insurance—significantly influence the approach to patient care.

“This internship has significantly impacted my career plans, in that it solidified my passion in a healthcare career,” Cochran said. “After extensive conversations and ample advice with the medical professionals, I can now approach the next step toward my career goal of becoming a provider.

“As a behavioral neuroscience major, I learn about many foundational components of behavior from a biological standpoint,” she continued. “That said, this internship provided me ample opportunity to gain insight into how the brain and body work together, even within different specialties. This internship also made the critical thinking I’ve done in the classroom directly connect to real life applications.”

Biology major and Spanish minor Andrew Arnold ’21 (Louisville, Kentucky) interned at La Clinica de Merida in Mexico.

“I spent a week in each of the following departments: the emergency room, operating room and pediatrics,” Arnold said. “It was tough to overcome the language barrier the first few days at work, but I soon improved my communication and comprehension skills. The most rewarding aspect of my internship was getting to see people receive the care that they needed. There were multiple examples of people who either could not afford a procedure and had to save money before getting it, or those who originally went to the public hospitals for treatment but had to move to the private hospital because their condition had worsened.”

Arnold said he would like to enter into the medical field, and while working at the hospital, some of the information he learned in previous Centre classes was applicable when looking at what was wrong with a patient and how to best treat them.

“My Spanish minor was also really important, particularly my advanced conversation class, which made me more comfortable speaking in Spanish, especially for presentations,” he added. “Toward the end of the trip, I began to do a little bit of translating for some students who had no Spanish experience from another university.”

Wilson said she believes Centre’s commitment to supporting students in internships and research is a hallmark of the education they receive at the College.

“Not only do students receive a stellar education in the classroom but they are also able to apply that knowledge in a real-life setting,” she concluded. “This only sets them up for success when they return to the classroom and after graduation.”

by Kerry Steinhofer
February 19, 2020

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