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Libby Hetler

Political Science

Parkview Health

How has your internship helped build skills and clarify your career goals?

This internship has really given me a taste of what it is like to work in a real-world setting. Basic skills like communicating with other employees and asking for clarification on my tasks and projects built up my confidence to speak up and make my voice heard, and they listened even though I was a new intern. I learned that Parkview especially expected confidence and determination from me, but also a willingness to learn and try new things, approaching everything with a positive attitude. This internship showed me the values I might seek in a future employer, and also made me realize the types of values employers will be seeking in me.

How do you apply your Liberal Arts skills in your internship?

I read, analyzed, and summarized a lot of articles related to opioid addiction treatments, mental health systems within schools across the country, and a variety of other topics related to the social and behavioral health studies that were going on while I was at Parkview. Although these topics do not find their way into a Political Science major’s curriculum often, I felt that the amount of analytical reading I have to do for my classes really helped me break down these articles. I honed in on my writing skills as well, whether I was writing up summaries from the articles I read, or if I was looking over study or program proposals for any grammatical errors. My largest task over the summer was spearheading the use of a new survey tool. I was the first to make a survey within the software for an ongoing project. I was able to present to three different groups about how to use the software and answer questions they had about it, so using my verbal communication skills was key.

Describe your typical day as an intern.  

I would walk in the office and check my email to see if I had any meetings or any updates about any of the projects I was working on. Then, I would check the Intern Board, which would have little post-it's with little tasks that needed to be done for one of the Informatics team members. I would do the task if I had time, otherwise I went to work on my ongoing projects. Sometimes, the team would schedule special field trips for interns to experience more of Parkview. We were able to observe procedures in Interventional Radiology and the Cath Lab, and also got to stand up on the helipad where their helicopters bring in critical patients.

What was the most challenging aspect of your internship?  

The most challenging part was figuring out how to use RedCAP, which was the survey and data storage tool I was tasked with figuring out. It was frustrating at times because there was no one I could turn to to ask questions about it, because I was the only one who had ever used it before. It took a lot of patience for me to finally get a handle on it, but the feeling of accomplishment I felt after the project was done was worth it.

What surprised you most about your internship? 

No one on the Informatics Team questioned why a Political Science Major was interning on a hospital's research team. They understood that the liberal arts background that I had prepared me well enough that I would be able to contribute to projects. It's such a satisfying feeling to know that you aren't tied down to one specific job with a liberal arts major. The opportunities are vast, and real people in the real workplace understand the value of a liberal arts degree! In addition, I was not doing typical intern tasks, I was working on projects that truly were going to make a difference, and that made me feel great to know that the team trusted me and gave me the responsibility to do a good job with everything I was assigned.

Describe the most meaningful experience you had as an intern.

I actually have two really awesome experiences from this internship. The first comes from my very first week, when I was thrown into doing environmental scans on cities across the country that had innovation centers, as Parkview has the interest of putting an innovation center in Electric Works (where an old General Electric plant used to be, they are repurposing it to make it an urban space within the historical building). This was a special project for Dr. Mirro, the Senior VP of Research and Innovation, so I was honored that they had faith in me to complete this task, being from Fort Wayne and all.

Second was being able to present about RedCAP, the survey tool and data storage software. I was very proud of my work and it was fulfilling to know that my hard work this summer was appreciated and will continue to be built upon in the coming years. 

How did you learn about your internship?

I had a family connection within Parkview who put me in touch with the head of Informatics Research.

Did you meet with the Liberal Arts Career Center prior to applying for this internship? What kind of assistance did you receive?

I work there as a CPA, where I learn new things everyday about how to better myself and others on our journey to finding a career!