Friday, September 19, 2014

Extern Emma Kropke @ NBC Universal

      Spending a week at NBC Universal was a prospect that I was largely anticipating all summer long.  My experience that I had been anticipating came to fruition on July 28, 2014.  My week-long externship at NBC Universal began with an introductory meeting with Nick Johnson, SVP of Digital Media Sales, and other members of the NBC Sports team.

       I was eager to learn about the inner workings of the digital media division of NBC Sports.  I was to begin this learning process with Mike Marcus, the digital sports marketing director.  While shadowing Mr. Marcus, I was able to gain insight as to how the marketing team works and what their responsibility is at NBC Sports.  The marketers constitute ideas for ad campaigns and present these ideas on power point presentations.  On the second day of my externship, I met with Ali Leuthold and other members of the planning department.  Ms. Leuthold introduced me to the responsibilities of this division, which included their role as coordinators of activities between various departments.  The following days of my externship were spent meeting with the sales and operations department. 

       On Wednesday July 30, I met with Mike Hammer and Bill Keating from the sales department.  The members of the sales department work directly with their clients, as they are responsible for both receiving ad proposals as well as selling ad campaigns to the clients.  The final department I shadowed was the ad operations department.  Susie Meehan, the director of ad operations, explained to me her position as director of ad ops and explained to me how this department functions.  The ad operations department is in charge of the technicality of the company, ensuring the ads run smoothly.  On the final day of my externship I had a meeting with Nick Johnson, both one-on-one and as a group.  At this meeting, the externs and I gave Mr. Johnson feedback about our experience as externs at NBC Sports. 

       The externship I partook in at NBC Sports opened my eyes to the various job opportunities NBC Sports has to offer. It gave me an understanding of how the different departments at NBC Sports collaborate together to carry out the function of a digital media company.  The externship provided me the opportunity to experience what an employee of NBC Sports does on a daily basis.  For example, I sat in on various meetings, listened to several conference calls, and even helped Susie Meehan create a power point presentation regarding the upcoming 2016 Olympic games.  My week at NBC Universal provided to be an utterly invaluable experience.  Through the generosity of Nick Johnson and his team, I was introduced to the work of their digital media division.  I found this line of work to be of the utmost interest that has sparked a desire for me to possibly pursue a career in this field. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Extern Morgan Marianelli @ NBC Universal

            It seems like ages ago now that I first made the decision to commit to a summer externship in the spring of my Junior year. I vaguely remembered hearing about the externship programs in past years and seeing advertisements for them around campus, but never really felt compelled until now to take the initiative and apply to one of them. I had already completed an internship at a live entertainment venue called Komedia while studying abroad in Bath, England, which, lasting a full semester, I assumed would be far more extensive than anything I could take away from an externship lasting a mere week. A lot of people probably do it the other way around and start with an externship before transitioning into an internship. I questioned whether an externship was really worth my time and almost let my doubts dissuade me from applying. Less than a day into my externship, however, I realized how wrong my thinking was and felt immensely thankful that the opportunity to observe at NBC for a week was open to Gettysburg College students, and that I was accepted into the program.

            My greatest cause of anxiety before the start of the externship was probably figuring out how to navigate New York City on my own, and also presenting myself in the most professional way possible each day to high-end executives. It was more than a little intimidating walking into the enormous skyscraper in the middle of Rockefeller Center, getting a pass from security, and making my way up to the 29th floor to meet my externship host, Gettysburg alum Nick Johnson ’90. NBC is a company I have heard about for as long as I can remember, and I have grown up watching the NBC television network for news and entertainment, and viewing their content online. However, I initially felt like an outsider with no inside knowledge trying to insert myself into a major corporation, which was basically true; however, it didn’t take long to quell my nerves and start to feel comfortable with the externship as soon as I saw how friendly and accommodating everyone was. I was afraid I would feel like a burden by disrupting the employees’ normal work routines, but everyone whom I met with seem honored that I took such an interest in their work, and were eager to bestow their knowledge on me.

            I really enjoyed the rotational structure of the externship, since it allowed me to observe a different department within the NBC Sports Group each day, in order to get a feel for what each department did, how they collaborated, and which was most in line with my skills and interests. By the end of the week, I was able to conclude that a career in media marketing, either digital or linear (television), is probably the most promising scenario for me, from the four departments I observed. It seemed to involve the most creative thinking and writing/communication skills, which I have acquired from my English and Film double majors, and Jeff Carroll, the marketing director I met with on the first day, was an English major as well at Lafayette College. He gave me some great tips on how I can start to market myself as a writer to employers in the media and entertainment industry.  He has many writing and entertainment contacts that he can connect me with as well, such as writers for Saturday Night Live. 

            There were many fun perks thrown into the five day externship experience, such as a lavish dinner with Nick and some other NBC employees at a restaurant called The Palm, the chance to meet individually with some employees who had experience working in the entertainment sector of NBC, and just getting to explore the city on my own. However, the best part of the externship, overall, is by far all the new knowledge and experience I will take away from it, as well as multiple contacts I can continue to communicate with for career advice and references. My externship experience at NBC Universal was well worth my time, and I am so grateful for everything I have gained from having participated in it!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Extern Miranda Ray @ London Women’s Care: Family Practice

                The externship in London, Kentucky with Dr. Zook has been extremely rewarding. Dr. Zook works at London Women’s Care: Family Practice. This is a well-established rural health care center. Rural health care centers are established with the intention of aiding persons with Medicare and Medicaid. These rural health clinics have extended hours and are very accepting and flexible with patient’s schedules and overall needs. London Women’s Care’s clientele is comprised a whopping 60% Medicare/ Medicaid insured persons. In short, these people that we have been interacting with are sometimes sweet Kentuckians with a warm accent and sometimes snappy and unappreciative, sometimes pensive and considerate of Dr. Zook’s advice while others are glazed over when they were given medical tips, sometimes they smelled like cinnamon or axe and sometimes, well, they smelled like cat pee.                        

As exemplified by the list above, during my time at London Women’s Care I was exposed to a variety of patients. I witnessed many techniques used to deal with difficult or abrasive situations. My, if you will, dream is to somehow work with and improve the lives of underprivileged folks. This Externship has thoroughly introduced me to a population I have been working towards caring for; I have been given an excellent jumping board for understanding the skills I need to develop to work with this population. I will speak of one example of a patient where I have learned a great deal about interviewing, understanding a patient’s physical needs, and helping with the patient’s emotional needs.
                The lady I will speak of was a relatively new patient, only on her second visit to London Women’s Care. Upon entering the room, we could see that she was noticeably shiny due to sweat, but let me assure you, the facility is quite cold. She was fiddling incessantly with a magazine to avoid eye contact after initial introductions. Dr. Zook chatted with the anxious woman for a bit and she calmed slightly. Dr. Zook then began to interview her asking simple questions that were friendly and inviting. At one point the lady commented on how sweaty she was due to her anxiety when she leaves the house. She mentioned repeatedly how difficult it was to leave her house to go to Walmart or go to a doctor’s appointment.  Dr. Zook mentioned social anxiety, and I, being inexperienced, just assumed that this was a diagnosis and Dr.Zook would not have ask many more questions, giving us a nice, short visit with a concrete conclusion. Then, Dr. Zook asked her a question that I found odd: “What are you afraid of when you step out of your house?” To my surprise, the woman became unsettled and looked away from us, turning pages of a magazine just to turn them. She was beginning to cry! After she settled a bit, she proceeded to tell us her amazing story. A story where we glimpsed the life of a seventeen year old marrying a boy, who quickly became an abusive and controlling man. He taped the doors when he left, so that he knew if she opened them, he tortured any pet she owned and dared her to save them, he installed cameras to monitor her daily movements, and he beat her severely if she returned after an amount of time he deemed too long. Oh, and he also placed a gun to her head every time she stepped outside to smoke (she had the babies to worry about), threatening to “blow her brains out. This and more was apart of 31 years of a psychologically shattering marriage. She finally ran away, but was left with serious emotional damage, including PTSD.  Her new diagnosis changed a lot of things in this woman’s life. She would be switched to new medication that would help alleviate her PTSD symptoms, she would be given the correct sleeping medication, she would start therapy to help heal the broken places in her heart and she would hopefully be able to leave the house and go hold her one month old grandbaby. These major changes in her life are occurring because of a few questions from a doctor who felt the need to find the root cause of a patient’s problem.
                Even in a visit with a single patient, I saw what I must work on to become an efficient and caring health professional. I have to get to the root cause of a patient’s problem with a gentle and eloquent style that reflects the degree to which I care.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Extern Emily Wasson @ London Women's Care

Life in London - My public health Externship experience in rural Kentucky

My name is Emily, and I will be a junior biology major at Gettysburg College this year. I am now faced with decisions about my future career, and it is more distressing than I ever imagined. The classes I have taken at Gettysburg have assured me that I have a passion for public health initiatives. Thanks to the Career Development Center at Gettysburg College I was set up with an externship in August 2014 that would help me determine if public health is the right field of work for me.

I ended up in a small town in eastern Kentucky.  For one week, I had the pleasure of shadowing Dr. Melissa Zook, a family physician at London Women’s Care in London, KY. She generously provided housing in her own home during my stay, and I had the opportunity to experience the hectic life a doctor lives. Unexpectedly, I was astounded by the severity of the problems that the people of this part of the United States face every day.

As a family care physician, Dr. Zook serves as a personal therapist and gives advice to her patients to get them through the day. Some of them even broke down in tears during their appointment. There were so many people that appeared to be well and thriving, but were desperately seeking help. And up until recently, they could not afford it.

Now that affordable health insurance is available to the impoverished community of London, there has been a steady rise in the number of people that desire medical attention. Sadly, there is a severe lack of medical resources in this place. I saw for the first time how desperately some people need and want to get their lives on track, but simply do not have the resources or education to do so.
As a result of limited psychiatric and counseling services, many of the people that walked through the doors of the office were emotionally unstable. Mental health problems in terms of depression, anxiety and drug addiction have overwhelmed the health services system.

Additionally, there were kids that had half the teeth they should. Poor dental hygiene is a major issue in this community and has been attributed to the abundance of sugary drinks and sodas available in the home, and or the fact that people do not have access to or insurance to pay for dental visits.
During the five days I spent at London Women’s Care, I met six pregnant teens, many of whom already had children.  Teenage pregnancy is so common in this area, and unfortunately, the foster care system has a difficult time placing children into loving homes.

Poor parenting in some of these situations can cause many behavior problems in children and lead to an abundance of complicated health issues in their adult lives. Dr. Zook explained that she regularly contacts social services to help the neglected and abused patients she has. 

You can see these side effects of these public health problems in the school systems, and they are hindering students’ ability to earn a good education. One boy from the town of London described that nearly one third of the students in his graduating class dropped out of school before receiving a diploma. Many left due to drug related issues, teen pregnancy and or criminal behavior. He explained that this is the norm.

I think the hardest part about listening to these stories is how challenging it is to make change as a doctor. This is especially true for the people of this community that have lived this way their whole life and see no need for improvement.

Poverty exists, and this cycle will never heal completely unless we convince others that there is a need for change.  My experience in London, Kentucky has shown me that I want to study public health after Gettysburg College to address the problems that our society has created and bring new solutions to the table. I feel confident that this is the career path that I am most passionate about pursing, and I will be eternally grateful for my experience with Dr. Zook for helping me come to a decision about my future profession. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Konrad Neptun '17 @ OpenLink

When I first heard about the externship program offered at Gettysburg College, I was unsure yet eager to discover more about the program that I had heard so much about from upperclassmen.   

So, when I stopped into the career development office to learn more about all of the externship options, I was taken aback as to the plethora of opportunities that were available to all students.  After some further research, I decided that my top choice was to apply for the OpenLink externship and I was thrilled when I learned I was chosen later that semester.  Now that I am finished with the externship, I can honestly say that this was an incredible experience that benefitted me in more ways than one.  This experience allowed me to witness and even participate in meetings, conference calls, and a variety of other business situations.  One of the most interesting experiences of the week was meeting with employees of OpenLink from almost every branch of the company.  This was especially interesting because I heard each individual’s career path from when they graduated college and to where they are now.  This taught me that career paths are extremely variable and that it is essential to network.  One of the most interesting meetings was on the second day of the week when I met with the CEO of OpenLink, Mark Greene (see first picture above).   

This was especially interesting because Dr. Greene talked about a wide variety of topics including any vital career lessons or tips that he learned throughout his business career.  Other meetings that were interesting included any of the positions in the company that were being held by Gettysburg alums.  This was beneficial because these employees were in my position at one point in their lives and seeing where they are now was a reassuring feeling that Gettysburg will prepare you for the working world (see second picture below).  All in all, this experience proved to be extremely beneficial I am very glad that I decided to participate in this program.  I am sure that I will be able to use the skills I gained in this program both in a out of the classroom in my next three years at Gettysburg College.