Ashleigh Remmers '11
Major: Business, Pre-Allied Health Professions Program
Internship: A.O. Fox Hospital
Credit/Time: 3 credits, J-Term
How did you find out about your internship?
My advisor had connections at A.O. Fox Hospital and Bassett Healthcare and I chose Fox. I did a high school internship in physical therapy, but I had never done a business internship. It was all completely new to me.
How would you describe a typical day at your internship?
I would wake up at 5 a.m. and work a twelve-hour day. I finished the internship in two weeks. I worked under the supervision of Keith Valk, the human resources manager at Fox. I told him I was very interested in seeing as much as I could. Most of the time, I would meet with him and his assistant in the morning before I was shuttled to a different department. I would go to at least one meeting a day.
I saw 75% of hospital in two weeks. I worked with a respiratory therapist and learned how to take out a ventilator. I learned how to fix equipment in radiology. I saw inpatient, outpatient, payroll, accounting, and more. I visited a different department—sometimes two different departments—every day. They put me in more business work at the beginning of the internship and the clinical side at the end. Near the end of the internship, I realized how all of the departments were interconnected.
What surprised you the most?
My supervisor took me to all of his meetings. Some of them were with the top people in the company. They’d always ask for my input every single time. I wouldn’t have expected that.
Did you work on any special projects during your internship?
One day I worked at the foundation office. I helped organize a fundraiser to purchase new IV pumps. I wrote letters to different foundations. On the fundraising side, I used what I learned in my marketing class constantly. I learned that putting an emphasis on certain words made people respond differently.
One of the things I wanted to do was journal about my experiences for the academic portion of my internship. I usually wrote two pages per day. I would take notes at lunch if I had time. I told my advisor I wanted to write down everything I did. I put in every piece of paper they gave me and I took photos.
Were there any special challenges?
Some situations were difficult. I spent one day with the nursing department. I saw two cardiac arrests that day and both patients died. I decided I never want to be a nurse. Even as challenging as the clinical side was, I still helped a patient come out of a ventilator during my internship and that was a positive experience.
What did you find most satisfying?
I finally know what I want to do. I found something that included both of my majors. I want to work in healthcare administration because you’re maintaining order in the entire hospital. I also liked physical therapy—it was never the same day twice.
How has this internship affected your future career decisions?
I’m hoping to apply to medical schools. I’m not interested in just the human resources department. I started out knowing I really wanted to work in a hospital. I narrowed that down even further to the administrative or physical therapy side.
Do you have any advice for other students interested in internships?
Be patient and be prepared to pick up stuff quickly. They show you once and expect you to know how to do it. You don’t sit at a desk all day. You run around the entire hospital all day. It’s never dull.
After it was finished, I wished that I had done the internship in the spring for more credit. I built such good relationships in each department. I see some of the people I worked with in town and they say hello to me even though I only worked in their department for one day. I can’t say enough good things about my internship. At Fox, every department was like a family.