Denison Internship Program: Featured Summer Intern

Sarah Wilson

Year:  Class of 2020
Majors:  English (Creative Writing) & Theatre
Internship Provider:  Columbus Museum of Art
Title:  Learning Department Intern Coordinator
Location:  Columbus, OH


What are you doing for your internship? What are some of your responsibilities?

As an intern coordinator with the learning department at CMA, I [am] providing teaching and administrative support for a variety of educational programs. Currently, my main responsibility is assistant teaching Summer Art Workshops, which are week-long camps for preschool-high school students focused on making art based around big ideas, rather than specific art “skills.” I am based in the same classroom for the entirety of camp, where I handle check-in and check-out, snacks, supporting and leading educational activities, leading tours around the museum, and integrating a rotating group of part-time interns into the classroom. As most of the teachers are hired for just a single camp, I am the main point-person in the workshop for the learning department staff and especially for other interns, whose day-to-day duties are generally organized by me. Outside of the summer art workshops, I support learning department initiatives by assisting with open studio time, leading materials explorations for visiting students, and embarking on “museum on the moves,” which are ideas-based art programs at Columbus area libraries that aim to provide kids with a basis for creative storytelling and recycled materials to create art based on their stories. My favorite part of the internship is leading gallery activities with campers or visiting students, called artful adventures tours. Fine art is culturally considered highbrow and inaccessible, especially for our campers who are mainly intercity low-income students, so it is incredibly rewarding to lead programs that introduce them to art in engaging, accessible ways.

What do you like most about your internship so far? What has been your favorite part of the experience?

The most enjoyable part about my internship is learning different ways to think about and engage with art. I have always been taught there is a right way to experience fine art: looking quietly, trying to find the “meaning,” feeling vaguely inferior. But experiencing art with kids is completely different, especially with CMA’s emphasis on big ideas and creative thinking. They feel art with all of their senses and have strong ideas for how to interpret it: this painting is of a robot, or that statue is a mermaid. The blue of that sculpture is the smell of cotton candy. Being able to facilitate the experiences of students, preschool through high school aged, has taught me how to experience art without boundaries or feelings of inferiority, which has opened my mind as an artist myself. Additionally, the more I get to see the museum through my student’s eyes, the better I am able to create activities, tours, and projects that will support their creativity and instill ownership over art.

Which skills have you learned or strengthened during your internship that you think will help when applying for jobs/graduate schools?

Workplace multitasking is a skill I have learned that I feel will help me when applying for jobs in the future. On a typical day in my internship, I juggle administrative duties such as communicating with parents and keeping track of workshop schedules, preparing and leading hands-on classroom activities, and managing the part-time intern core. I end my day in rehearsal at a professional theatre company after a full work day at the museum. These experiences have taught me how to be flexible, organized across a variety of tasks from preparing snacks to filing emergency forms, and how to collaborate in a team in which I am both supervised by a teacher and supervising other interns. In the future, I feel that these skills will be applicable to any team-based job that covers multiple duties. I also feel more prepared for a job with the potential to grow into a higher position, as now I have experience both working under a manager and managing other people.

How has your time and experience at Denison prepared you for this internship? How have you used your liberal arts education during your internship?

Denison’s liberal arts education has helped me in a variety of ways in my internship. I have applied the critical thinking and close reading skills from my English major to creating gallery tours and classroom activities centered around engaging deeply with pieces of art. I have utilized the collaboration skills from my Theatre major to work effectively in a teaching team that consists of a new teaching artist every week, interns that come and go in shifts, and the multitude of permanent museum staff that I interact with in different capacities every day. I have used the basic art history and history of education knowledge from my general education classes in order to provide a background to the curriculum I am supporting. Outside of these specific, skills-based experiences, I have also found my liberal arts education useful because it taught me how to deal with a breadth of different information; I feel comfortable toggling between administrative, creative, and management tasks on the flip of a dime and keeping multiple balls in the air every day, which I credit to a Denison experience that is full of a multitude of different classes, student jobs, and activities every day.

Denison Internship Program: Featured Summer Intern

Rowan Sharkey

Year:  Class of 2021
Majors:  Environmental Studies & Data Analytics
Internship Provider:  DAAD Rise German Exchange
Title:  Research Assistant
Location:  Berlin, Germany


What are you doing for your internship? What are some of your responsibilities?

I am conducting research on urban air quality in the city of Berlin. I am looking specifically at how airports impact the air quality of neighborhoods that lie downwind from them. Every day I bike around the city collecting data, then go back to the lab and analyze the results. Through this research, I will be able to identify the areas in which people are more at risk for health issues due to poor air quality.

What do you like most about your internship so far? What has been your favorite part of the experience?

I have loved learning more about how to conduct research and use different coding languages, but most of all I have loved having the opportunity to live in Berlin and experience the culture. By being stationed here, I have been able to travel to different countries every week. Getting the opportunity to travel while still doing work that I love has been an incredible experience!

Which skills have you learned or strengthened during your internship that you think will help when applying for jobs/graduate schools?

I have loved learning more about how to conduct research and use different coding languages, but most of all I have loved having the opportunity to live in Berlin and experience the culture. By being stationed here, I have been able to travel to different countries every week. Getting the opportunity to travel while still doing work that I love has been an incredible experience!

How has your time and experience at Denison prepared you for this internship? How have you used your liberal arts education during your internship?

As a data analyst [major], I had previous experience working with languages such as R, python, and SQL, but this internship has allowed me to take those skills and implement them in a work place environment. Being able to work in a team filled with PhD students has been humbling and has also shown me a glimpse of what it is like to be a part of a real team. Therefore, this internship has strengthened my team building skills and has given me insight into how projects operate outside of a school setting.

Denison Internship Program: Featured Summer Intern

Matthew McHugh

Year:  Class of 2020 (Rising Senior)
Majors:  History & Communication
Internship Provider:  PMI Industries
Title:  Export Control Intern
Location:  Cleveland, OH


What are you doing for your internship? What are some of your responsibilities?

So far, my work at PMI has involved foreign trade compliance and business development. On the compliance side, I have been editing/updating PMI’s export compliance policy and additional documents. I have also been creating supplement compliance documents to simplify US export control regulations so that other PMI employees can better understand our responsibilities. I have been spending the majority of my time working collaboratively with the President of PMI on a business development project. 

What do you like most about your internship so far? What has been your favorite part of the experience?

For this project, I am in the process of creating an export strategic plan. The majority of my work has included preliminary market analysis of 194 countries through trade statistics and then more in-depth qualitative research on a select number of countries. I have tackled this project from two different angles, looking at two very different industries that PMI’s products serve. By doing this I have essentially divided this large scope project into two smaller projects that are grounded in two different industries.

Which skills have you learned or strengthened during your internship that you think will help when applying for jobs/graduate schools?

My favorite experiences thus far have included the work I have done in my business development project. The class I took at The Ohio State University, “Establishing Export Firms” at the Fisher College of Business, gave me essential skills, but being able to apply those skills to a real world setting is very rewarding. I have also enjoyed collaborating with employees from different departments within the company, whether that be sales, engineering, or executives.

How has your time and experience at Denison prepared you for this internship? How have you used your liberal arts education during your internship?

I have learned hard skills that have made me proficient in international trade compliance and business development with an international focus. I have also maturated soft skills such as professionalism.

Denison Internship Program: Featured Summer Intern

Cierra King

Year:  Class of 2020 (Rising Senior)
Major:  Communication
Internship Provider:  The Communication Center
Title:  Audio Visual Intern
Location:  Washington, D.C.


What are you doing for your internship? What are some of your responsibilities?

My job consist of a few duties. Most of my time is spent recording training sessions for the certified coaches and trainees. These training’s or sessions can take a few hours, a day or even a week. If I am not working the camera, I am most likely working on my summer project for the office. This project focuses on marketing strategies to promote a free training session to summer interns that are currently working in Washington, D.C. My job is to create flyers and coordinated with the office most effective ways to get a nice turnout. My other duties are centered around preparing for up and coming training’s as well as entering data into TCC database to keep up with surveys given by recent clients or participants.

What do you like most about your internship so far? What has been your favorite part of the experience?

My favorite part is listening to the variety of knowledge that training coaches gives to each of the participants, in order to shape their communication skills. What I like most is working the camera and learning how to wrap cable cords the right way so they last long. However, being behind the camera during media training’s is the best. It’s a chance for me to observe how participants can handle the lights, camera, and action.

Which skills have you learned or strengthened during your internship that you think will help when applying for jobs/graduate schools?

One skill that I know is constantly being strengthened is my ability to effectively communicate in a workplace. Since my internship is a small owned business, it’s very much a different environment than working in a large company. Instead of my internship requiring me to work a quick pace, I am working a less stressful environment. The communication is very much valued and also confidence is imperative to TCC because their is a consistent rush of clients coming in and out of the office each day. If I were to apply for a news station job, I definitely will have the skill to work the cameras on set, wire up clients, and even wrap cable cords. In addition, if given the opportunity, I can take what I have learned during media training’s, and use it in front of the camera as well. The last skill that would serve me well is data entry and marketing design. I am consistently working on designs for the free workplace communication session being offered to summer interns working in Washington, D.C. 

How has your time and experience at Denison prepared you for this internship? How have you used your liberal arts education during your internship?

My time and experiences at Denison has definitely prepared me for my internship. Recognizing the smaller work environment correlates to TCC office environment. Even with the multiple assignments I am given in the office, it is no different than Denison’s rigorous and fast paced required academic assignments from the variety of classes that I take. In addition, my experiences at Denison, working in the classroom, consist of problem solving and creativity have served me well at The Communication Center. Everyday I am challenged to figure out solutions to creating strategies that will make the coaches and clients life easier. This is done, by carefully providing technical assistants with power points as well as uploading footage. The creativity is inspired by my love in the arts, and specifically theatre. This experience plays a huge role in understanding the coaches as they teach about media training and how to master Q&A time. This particular experience at TCC is similar to what I have learned at Denison about Improvisational theory. To summarize it, Improvisational Theory is basically, having an awareness, everything in life is a performance. Most of all, although I have a interest in Communication and a minor in Theater, my hands are in many different things just like at Denison. One day I am working the camera, next hour I am assisting in preparing for the next training. Overall, being detailed oriented, having a concise and clear communication skill, being open to figuring out things on your own, as well as being an effective listener is critical in a workplace environment such like TCC, that values customer satisfaction.

Denison Internship Program: Featured Summer Intern

Casey Pearce

Year:  Class of 2021 (Rising Junior)
Major:  Biology & Environmental Studies
Internship Provider: New Mexico Wildlife Center
Title:  Hospital Intern
Location:  Española, NM


What are you doing for your internship? What are some of your responsibilities?

On a day-to-day basis I take care of injured wildlife and help to prepare them for release into the wild. I deal with wild animals from Golden Eagles, to Elk, to Bull Snakes, to the common House Finch. I have learned the basics of cleaning and flushing wounds, administering medications, mixing medications, preparing diets for all animals, hand feeding baby animals, processing and developing x-rays, and many more tasks. I am currently learning how to properly dress wounds, assess fractures, and stabilize fractures. I am also currently writing for their social media in the form of hospital news updates on our patients and releases.

What do you like most about your internship so far? What has been your favorite part of the experience?

In my internship so far, I really enjoy hand feeding baby birds and providing medical care. My favorite part of the experience is being able to do releases of animals, so far I have been able to release a Mountain Cottontail and a Grosbeak.

Which skills have you learned or strengthened during your internship that you think will help when applying for jobs/graduate schools?

I have learned a great deal about everyday animal husbandry and caring for injured wildlife. As I would like to do something in the field of wildlife biology, these are excellent skills that will take me very far in my career field. I have had the chance to handle all different kinds of wildlife from songbirds, to raptors, to small mammals, and even ungulates! Perhaps more importantly, I have had a lot of time to do self reflection on how I work in a team and how to better understand and get along with my team members. We also interact with the public in a professional manner on a daily basis; educating the public is an invaluable experience in this job.

How has your time and experience at Denison prepared you for this internship? How have you used your liberal arts education during your internship?

My time at Denison has helped me prepare to balance a busy schedule and multitask very efficiently. Denison has introduced me to a huge variety of people from all different backgrounds and in my internship I have met even more people that I knew how to work with and talk to effectively. I have had an easy transition here from Denison’s level of comprehensive education; I feel as if I was very well prepared for this internship due to excellency of my education at Denison and the wide variety of topics we covered.

Denison Internship Program: Featured Summer Intern

Sophia Menconi

Year:  Class of 2020 (Rising Senior)
Major:  Theatre & English (Creative Writing)
Internship Provider:  Spooky Action Theater
Title:  Artistic Directing Intern
Location:  Washington, D.C.


What are you doing for your internship? What are some of your responsibilities?

This is a position created specifically for me, to provide hands-on experience in what it takes to operate and lead a small-scale professional theatre company. As the Artistic Directing Intern at Spooky Action I am responsible preparing for and monitoring auditions for the upcoming season, reading and evaluating script submissions for New Works In Action series, as well as assisting in the day to day operations of the theatre including coordinating marketing for the upcoming season and maintaining the costume and prop storage.

What do you like most about your internship so far? What has been your favorite part of the experience?

I have loved being able to work directly with professionals in my desired career path, without being treated like an intern. I am gaining valuable hands-on experience with the inner workings of a professional theatre company, as well as being allowed to work on creative projects with the support and advice of my supervisors. My work is treated as integral to the functioning of the company, and the respect my supervisors give me has provided me with further confidence to continue in this chosen career path.

Which skills have you learned or strengthened during your internship that you think will help when applying for jobs/graduate schools?

In receiving an inside look into the functions of an Artistic Director and Literary Manager for a small professional theatre company, I will be able to speak with accuracy and conviction toward the work that I want to be doing in the future. In working with a dynamic and young theatre company in Washington, D.C. I am able to connect with many different working professionals, as well as gaining insight into what it takes to create a theatrical season and find actors and technicians to flesh out that season.

How has your time and experience at Denison prepared you for this internship? How have you used your liberal arts education during your internship?

Through my varied experiences at Denison, working toward an interdisciplinary Theatre degree, I have been given tools to be able to succeed in most theatre work, and I know how to speak up and ask for guidance when I need it. The Theatre Department’s versatile teaching style has provided me with the tools I need to work across many different fields of theatre with ease. I feel that I am a well-rounded theatre artist, with Denison giving me experience in acting, directing, carpentry and design. Through what I have studied in my double major in English, I am able to write and speak with clarity and precision, a skill that is necessary for the fast-paced working environment of professional theatre.

Denison Internship Program: Featured Summer Intern

Allen Primack

Year:  Class of 2021 (Rising Junior)
Major:  Data Analytics (Economics) & Global Commerce
Internship Provider:  Retail Business Services
Title:  Assortment Services Data Analytics Intern
Location:  Carlisle, PA


What are you doing for your internship? What are some of your responsibilities?

The main purpose of my internship is conducting in-depth analysis of consumer data for the ahold delhaize-affiliated grocery stores, looking at product departments and categories. The goal is to leverage the data to help the stores make informed decisions regarding their shelf space. Stores strive to have an optimal allocation of products, in order to maximize their profits and retain their customers. Optimizing the space on the shelves of these stores, by leveraging data, involves analysis of certain trends in the data, sales figures, and current allocations and their success, along with many others. As an intern on the assortment services team, I’m working with data to help determine the optimal size of each category within the grocery stores. Changes in consumer preferences of products require changes in stores’ allocations, and this is a highly important process. In my role, my main project will be leveraging data on natural and organic products, answering key questions surrounding the placement of these products while making recommendations to store planners based off of the data. The initial portion of internship involves attend high level trainings, meet relevant teams, job shadowing macro, micro, in-store, and innovation and technology teams. Gathering data on a day-to-day basis and staying updated is an essential function. I’m currently working on a wide range of projects regarding shelf space optimization, incorporating both macro and micro space. I’m assisting the assortment services and planning teams with the natural and organic product category at the moment- which is one of the fastest growing categories, thus making it one of the most important to optimize. My hours are 8am-5pm with a lunch break between 12-1. It’s been great helping the company thus far, putting all of the skills that I’ve learned at Denison thus far, especially through my data analytics and statistics coursework, to good use.

What do you like most about your internship so far? What has been your favorite part of the experience?

My favorite part of my internship is the people that I’ve been able to get to know and work with thus far. Everyone that I’ve connected with has been so welcoming, friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable. Some great people in the company have helped me to get acclimated and settled in to this new role, along with providing me with recommendations for things to do in the Carlisle, Pennsylvania area- and area that is still new to me. Along with the people, I’ve also really liked working through some of the data, and I’ve also been able to have some great food! I’ve valued every conversation I’ve had thus far in my internship, and I’ve been able to learn so much in a short period of time.

Which skills have you learned or strengthened during your internship that you think will help when applying for jobs/graduate schools?

Thus far, I’ve been able to learn more about utilizing Microsoft Office tools, something that I wasn’t too comfortable with before starting the internship. I’ve already completed multiple tasks with Microsoft Excel, which has allowed me to improve my excel skills. Furthermore, I’ve had my first experience with creating and maintaining databases in Microsoft Access, a skill that I think will be very beneficial to me throughout this internship. I’ve also been able to learn more about the retail industry, and everything that goes into it. It’s a highly complex industry, and I’m enjoying becoming more familiar with some of the terminology and processes in the industry. This has allowed me to gain a greater appreciation of the industry and those who work in it. i think the data analytics that I’m conducting on real world data, that will have real world impact, will help me when applying for jobs/graduate skills. Some would argue that the work I’ll be involved with is high-stakes, and directly impacts the success of the company and each of the stores that we work with. Connecting with others throughout the company, and networking effectively throughout the Summer will also be very helpful to me when applying for jobs/graduate schools. I will also be giving many presentations throughout the Summer, which will be great practice for the real world, where I I’ll likely be giving presentations and partaking in important meetings very frequently. The problem solving skills that I’ll be able to attain from this internship will definitely be useful when applying for jobs/graduate schools. A goal of mine is to eventually enroll in an MBA program, and I’m constantly looking for applicable skills to gain and topics to learn that will prepare me for the application process.

How has your time and experience at Denison prepared you for this internship? How have you used your liberal arts education during your internship?

Denison’s liberal arts education has allowed me to master my reading, writing, problem solving, and communication skills, along with many others, which I’ve been able to apply to my internship. My data analytics, computer science, and math/statistics coursework has given me the technical skills to succeed on tasks relating to data. This past spring, my CS 181 course (data systems with Dr. Kelley), allowed me to learn SQL, which I’ve already used throughout my internship. I’ll be doing a lot of work with SQL databases, and Dr. Kelley’s course has prepared me well for this type of work. My involvement outside of the classroom, which has given me leadership experience, has helped me to improve my confidence and professionalism, allowing me to smoothly transition into my role with the company. I’ve always tried to seek out every opportunity outside of the classroom, as the skills learned and connections I’ve made within campus organizations has carried over to the professional world. Denison has taught me key time management skills, and I’ve been able to gain a “hustle”, which I’ve carried with me to the professional world. I’m tremendously thankful for all of the opportunities that Denison has provided me, both inside and outside of the classroom, and I’ve learned a tremendous amount, allowing me to grow as a young professional. Without Denison’s liberal arts education, I would not have been as prepared, confident, and skilled in this role as I currently am. When interviewing for this internship in the first place, the hiring manager proclaimed how valuable a liberal arts education was in her mind, and how she was confident in how Denison has prepared me for this role. I definitely think this is true, and I’ve further immersed myself in the liberal arts. I find myself applying things that I’ve learned throughout my time at Denison to almost every aspect of my internship.

Denison Internship Program: Featured Summer Intern

Benjamin (Benny) Mandelbrot

Year:  Class of 2021 (Rising Junior)
Majors:  History & Education
Internship Provider:  Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries
Title:  Research Assistant
Location:  Philadelphia, PA


What are you doing for your internship? What are some of your responsibilities?

Searching the catalogs and websites of area repositories for collections related to stories of resistance as part of a project with the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries. In addition to doing supervised and independent research using the PACSCL databases and libraries, I got to explore much of the greater Philadelphia by visiting several colleges, museums, and historical societies that were member institutions, and took photographs and conducted interviews at each sight to supplement my work. My finished product will be an Omeka blog post that will display my findings at the end of the summer.

What do you like most about your internship so far? What has been your favorite part of the experience?

Being able to work independently, not being restricted by specific work hours, and having time to explore the beautiful city of Philadelphia. My research is very interesting because it affects so many people and resistance covers a broad span of time so that I am getting to study different moments in history.

Which skills have you learned or strengthened during your internship that you think will help when applying for jobs/graduate schools?

Creating a finished product without an explicit assignment. In college, I am usually assigned very specific tasks and writing assignment that vary with difficulty but usually have clear instructions. Now I am working on a single assignment and focusing on it for an extended period of time much like a senior thesis or what I anticipate graduate-level work will look like.

How has your time and experience at Denison prepared you for this internship? How have you used your liberal arts education during your internship?

Denison has immensely improved my time management skills by forcing me to balance classes from a variety of disciplines while also juggling on-campus jobs and extra-curriculars. It feels easy by retrospect to only have to focus on one thing at work and then the rest of my focus goes into navigating the city and taking care of myself in an apartment. The biggest skill I have gained and use daily is writing at a professional level that I could not reach in high school. Minimizing unnecessary words and highlighting important points and arguments is what my boss most looks for when summarizing my research.

Denison Internship Program: Featured Summer Intern

Denison internship program; featured summer intern - veronika-danchine-247x300.png image #0Veronika Danchine

Year:  Class of 2020 (Rising Senior)
Major:  Biology
Internship Provider:  University of California, San Francisco
Title:  Visiting Scholar
Location:  San Francisco, CA


What are you doing for your internship? What are some of your responsibilities?

I am conducting research in the orthopedic department of UCSF Benioff’s Children’s Hospital in San Francisco and Oakland campuses. I am researching how to improve patient portal “MyChart” which is the electronic hub for all patient information regarding their health care including appointment information, medication lists, and send non-urgent messages to their provider. I am administering surveys to teen patients (11-17 yrs) and their parents to understand what functions of the portal they appreciate and think need improvement. The patient populations I am studying are adolescent idiopathic scoliosis patients and ACL tear patients.

What do you like most about your internship so far? What has been your favorite part of the experience?

It is a multidimensional experience. I am able to both shadow Dr. Diab and collect data at his clinics each week. I love the hospital environment and working at a world-renowned facility that is full of resources and amazing professionals. You are learning at every turn and observe how doctors work with nurses, patients, and their students. An added perk is that San Francisco city is full of activities and nature/parks all at your fingertips.

Which skills have you learned or strengthened during your internship that you think will help when applying for jobs/graduate schools?

I have refined how to interact with patients and other health care professionals. It can be difficult to collaborate in such a large institution so finding the resources you need is a skill that you learn. Along with this, you learn to ask questions and reach out for help and working closely with the research coordinator. You are shadowing yes, but you are also independent because the doctor or PI will mention something that they think you should look into and it is up to you to take initiative and research if it is feasible.

How has your time and experience at Denison prepared you for this internship? How have you used your liberal arts education during your internship?

Networking through Denison helped me land this internship. Also, I was a summer researcher and Denison last summer that helped me prepare for a summer of research anywhere in the world. Although I was doing lab work at Denison with Dr. Caldari, the attention to detail that I learned is really important, especially for surgery. I am able to write about what I am doing/researching eloquently and clearly which I learned with my poster presentation at Denison.

Denisonians in Health Professions: Osteopathic Medicine

Denisonians in health professions: osteopathic medicine - 04-22-19-kristen-brennan-283x300.jpg image #0Name: Kristen Brennan
Denison Graduation Year: 2018
Denison Major: Biology
Professional School: D.O. from Midwestern University- Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine (CCOM), Class of 2022
Contact me: brenna_k1@denison.edu

What is the focus of your graduate/professional school and what content has most engaged you?
While the curriculum at every medical school is different, the focus of my first year of school has been focused on learning the human anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, and also working with standardized patients (actors) to develop my formal interpersonal skills required to be a doctor. Being a student of osteopathic medicine means that all of my classes tie in and demonstrate the role of osteopathy in every condition present. My training thus far has consisted of a lot of hands on work — learning to identify the human body by touch, distinguishing normal from abnormal, practicing osteopathic manipulations and techniques, and ultimately being able to decipher what pathologic process the structural or functional problem is indicating internally on the patient. All of my classes interest me, I love being a medical student. As a first year student, I believe the most engaging component of my schooling is when I can see how every class ties together. I now understand the necessity of all of the prerequisite courses I took at Denison before medical school, as most of my courses now are based upon and pull in material that I learned throughout my time in undergrad. My most engaging medical school moments are when I get to interact with a standardized patient. In these moments, I am being assessed on my ability to take their health history, develop patient diagnoses, and ultimately put knowledge into action.

Describe the process you went through while selecting your graduate or professional school pathway: what impacted your decision?
I have always felt very fortunate that from a young age I knew that I wanted to be a doctor. Every exposure to the profession only reinforced my desire to one day be a physician and for that reason my time was spent more on trying to get into medical school and selecting the one that I found best suited for me. Being an athlete my entire life (Go Big Red Volleyball!), I had my battles with acute and chronic ailments. Chronic back pain plagued my Denison volleyball career and what kept me going was preventative rehab, treatment, and hands-on care. Feeling the massive benefits that this type of care brought me really drew me towards the osteopathic field. My own body was so angry with me, so out of its normal structural alignment, and constantly compensating for the physical toll I was putting on it. Painkillers helped my pain to go away temporarily, but working to counteract those stressors with preventative and targeted physical modalities provided by my doctors, incredible athletic trainers, and physical therapists is what made me better long term. I still keep up with these preventative methods daily, and feel so much better because of it. For that reason, I felt the strong urge to be the type of physician that would emphasize and utilize the body’s “normal” structure and function as a roadmap to help make my future patients better.

What challenges did you face on the way to graduate or professional school, and how did you overcome them?
One of the largest challenges I faced on my way to medical school was multifaceted. My challenges stemmed from my desire to “do it all” at Denison. School was my priority; however, I also was a member of the volleyball team, worked for Admissions as a tour guide and a senior interviewer, was a member and held leadership positions in multiple clubs, participated in sorority and fraternity life, and mentored younger students. In addition to these things at school, I had to make sure I was fulfilling the extra service work, research, and shadowing experiences necessary to be a competitive medical school applicant. Almost every minute of my days were planned, I would even pencil in times to eat! I do not regret it for a second because it is what I wanted to do; however, every day presented a new challenge. I think the biggest challenges I faced and that so many other medical school students I have talked with face during their pre-med journey involve sacrifice and fears of inadequacy. Figuring out what to prioritize when everything is important led me to sleepless nights, and sacrificing time with friends and people I cared about. Most days I felt like there simply was not enough time in the day. Throughout the path to medical school you are constantly being evaluated on your grades, extracurriculars, and ability to hold it all together. Daily stressors of not being good enough are present for most pre-med students. I think getting over that fear and being proud and happy with all of the work you put in as a student is one of the biggest keys of success. A positive mindset and a great support system will really get you a long way.

What are your professional plans post-graduation?
While I am unsure of the exact type of doctor I want to be right now, I plan to match into and enter a residency that will provide me the tools and training to go forward and be able to practice independently as a physician for the remainder of my career!

What advice would you give a current Denison student considering a graduate or professional program like yours?
Never give up. If becoming a physician is your dream, make it happen. There will be people who do not believe in you, grades that discourage you, and days that make you wonder if all of the effort is worth it. Go back and think about why you want to be a doctor, ground yourself, and keep pushing forward. While of course I would advise students to do well in school, be involved, and find ways to demonstrate your passions, I do not think that would be the most important advice I could give you. The two most important pieces of advice I can provide are: 1) surround yourself with people who support you and 2) take care of yourself. I am so grateful to have had such an amazing support system including my family and friends, professors and advisors, and even my bosses.  This is a tasking journey and you are going to need their hugs and cheers along the way. Never forget to thank them and make time for those people, because at the end of the day that is what is important in life. I will say that while getting into medical school might have been one of the greatest days of my life thus far, the best part about it was being able to share it with the people who helped me to get there, and thank them for everything they did. Secondly, while the support system is so vital — those individuals are, for the most part, not trying to go to medical school. You are your biggest advocate and if you do not take care of yourself first, you are not going to be able to get done what you need to do. Listen to your mind and your body. Take breaks!! Exercise, eat well, drink lots of water, laugh, and make time for the things that make you happy!!!! I cannot stress that enough. Recognize when you need to reach out for help and do just that. Finally, Denison is the best place in the world. My time on the hill grew me into the person I am today. Take advantage of the incredible people and opportunities that Denison provides you. Every member of the Denison community only wants your success. Believe in yourself, be a better you every day, and never give up on your dreams!