Friday, June 26, 2015

Michelle Fox '16 @ Quicken Loans

My family was all born and raised in the Detroit, Michigan area. When I was selected to the Quicken Loans externship, I was so excited when I realized that their headquarters were located in Downtown Detroit Michigan. I visit Michigan every year because my grandma still lives just outside of the city. When telling my friends that I was selected to an externship in Detroit, their reactions were either very surprised or concerned for my safety. Detroit notoriously has had a bad reputation but from visiting frequently I was excited that I able to return to Detroit because it was like I was able to return home.

I met my host, Laneisha Gunn and the Gettysburg Alum, Lauren Giorgio, who introduced me to the Human Resources recruiting team who I would be working with for the week. First, I had the chance to get acquainted with the company by learning about their industry. According to Inside Mortgage Finance, Quarter 1, 2014, Quicken Loans is the #1 online lender and the 2nd largest retail mortgage lender in the U.S. Quicken Loans is ranked in the top 30 companies on FORTUNE Magazine’s annual “100 Best Companies to Work For” list for the last 12 years.
These are just a few of their accomplishments. These show how accomplished Quicken is and also how much they value their team members. During my visit I heard many team members say “We work hard and play hard” referring to the free slurpees, coffee, and snacks that each company kitchen has, as well as the freedom of doing whatever makes them happy. People ride scooters in the office, take a break to play video games in the lounge, or play basketball on the court located in the middle of one of the floors. At first, I was shocked by how laid back the work environment was; I didn’t understand how anyone was able to be productive. Then I slowly witnessed that people were so comfortable and relaxed that this allows them to perform to the best of their ability creating very productive team members.

During the week I also had the ability to be involved in a tour of the company buildings for high school students in the Detroit area. Dan Gilbert, the CEO of the company, has made revitalizing Detroit one of his current main focuses. The company wishes to re-establish Detroit and change their notoriously bad reputation. The tour for the high school students was important to inspire them about potential careers and inform them about how to make steps in the right direction. This is just one example of the many initiatives the company is taking to redefine Detroit.

I also was able to gain experience that can be used for my career by following multiple people on the Human Resources teams. I was able to listen in to an Interview Screening Specialist’s phone conversations. Her job was to call potential candidates and have a quick conversation with potential team members to initially evaluate them before continuing on with the recruiting process. I also sat with a Mortgage Banker Interview Screening Specialist and learned what to look for in a candidate for that position, an extremely vital one to the company. I was able to learn how to look for people to fill very specific jobs that can be hard to fill from a Talent Sourcing Strategist. I sat with a relocation specialist who helps make plans for the relocation of newly hired team members; she also works to help approve the finances behind it. I was able to help my department with registration of a company wide event, which was an educational bus tour of Detroit to learn the history of the city they are working in. All of these experiences allowed me to grown personally and professionally. I gained a lot of knowledge about the career path that I hope I am able to pursue. This week with Quicken Loans was an amazing opportunity in an up and coming location. I owe a special thank you to Laneisha Gunn, Lauren Giorgio, and Quicken Loans.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Kelly Tinkham '18 @ Boston University

Hello, my name is Kelly Tinkham and I just finished my first year at Gettysburg College.  This past week I had the privilege of externing at Boston University under the Associate Dean of Academic Life, Stacy Godnick.  Although, I have to say, before I arrived my expectations about the week were not that great.  I was looking forward to the week but I did not think that I would enjoy my experience to the extent that I did.  I enjoyed every second of my externship, and by the end of the week I was wishing it was longer.  As I have been reflecting on my week I have been trying to pinpoint exactly why I enjoyed my time there so much.  There were many different factors that contributed to my time but I believe two really made a difference; the people I met and the variety of my days.  I met so many people all over the University starting with Stacy.  Stacy was amazing; she had great pieces of advice and always made sure to explain to me what was going on in meetings or just her everyday work.  Plus, in addition to being a great resource herself, she also set up meetings with me in different offices that I was interested in.  I had a meeting with a representative in the Office of Student Affairs, Admissions, and the International Students and Scholars Office.  I learned a lot about how the environment of the University really affects everything that goes on inside the school, and about how Boston University manages collaborations between offices and colleges despite its large size.  I was able to ask a lot of questions and really find out what their days are like and the pros and cons of each office.  Another person I met was a Gettysburg alumni who graduated in 2011.  She currently works in the Provost Office for Undergraduate Education.  It was really interesting to hear how she ended up in her position and her experiences since leaving Gettysburg.  In addition to the people I had met with I also got to know the people who work in Stacy’s office area.  They were all very kind and welcoming and I enjoyed getting to know them.  The other factor that I believe really added to my experience was the variety of my days.  In addition to the meetings Stacy set up for me, I also spent time observing her in her office, shadowing her at various meetings, and getting to help during orientation.  The meetings were interesting because I was able to learn a lot about meeting etiquette, as well as how meetings change depending on who they are with. However I think my favorite part of the week was the orientation experience.  Getting to actually work with incoming students was fun, but to also see it all from the faculty’s point of view was really interesting.  I also learned that I really liked having a variety of different things going on during my schedule, not a rigid routine every day.  I believe knowing that about myself will really help me in future career explorations.  Another part of my experience that was fantastic was the time I had every night to explore Boston.  I got to visit some really fun places like Quincy Market and the Boston Public Library.  Overall my experience at Boston University made me realize that working in higher education would be something that I would enjoy having as a career.  It was truly an eye-opening week and I am so grateful for the Center for Career Development at Gettysburg College and Stacy Godnick for making this experience possible.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Extern Erin Sweeney '18 @ London Women's Care

Spending a week at London Women’s Care in London KY, with Dr. Melissa Zook was a fascinating and eye opening experience. I feel so blessed to have been able to spend a week immersed in a culture so different from my own. London Kentucky is an unique town nestled at the base of the Appalachian Mountains. There are not many large and established doctor’s offices in this part of Eastern Kentucky, and so patients of the practice hail from all over the region. London Women’s Care is primarily an OBGYN, so Dr. Zook, as a family practitioner, is unique. She sees everyone from new born babies to the elderly, and throughout her many years of experience, has built strong relationships with her patients. She strongly values patient care, and despite the large number of patients she sees each day, she takes time to talk to each one individually about their lives. She believes in the importance of treating the whole person and not just the symptom, and works hard to better the quality of life for her patients.

I learned so much about the healthcare system, the people, and the culture of Eastern Kentucky through my externship with Dr. Zook. It was interesting to learn about the most common illnesses that the people of Eastern Kentucky face, and throughout the week I noticed several themes in the office. For instance many of the patients complained of chronic back pain and anxiety, and many suffered from high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

Additionally, London Women’s Care recently began a Subutex program to help opium addicts into recovery. Prior to my externship, I was unaware of just how huge a problem substance abuse is in Eastern Kentucky, and it was eyeopening to witness first hand the toll that these drugs take on the lives of their users. Previously, I had no knowledge of Subutex and Suboxone, but I learned a lot about them throughout the week. Suboxone acts as a replacement drug to opiates by blocking the opium receptors in the brain. Unlike opiates however, this drug produces no sense of euphoria, allowing patients to live normal lives. It prevents withdrawal symptoms, and allows patients the opportunity for recovery. London Women’s Care’s Subutex program supplies patients with Subutex while helping take steps to regain control of their lives. Many of the participants are expectant mothers, although both men and women can take part in the program.

 I feel so lucky to have been able to take part in this externship so early in my college career. This externship has taught me a lot about the healthcare system and what it means to be a good doctor. This experience has been a great introduction into the world of medicine, and has made me excited to explore the may avenues of the healthcare system as I move forward with my Gettysburg education.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Keennan Siciliano '17 @ Somerset Orthopedic Associates

Even with the high expectations I had heading into my externship, my experience with Doctor Vessa proved to be greater than I imagined it would be. Doctor Vessa made sure my schedule for the week included as much as possible, reaching out to other surgeons he knew so that I could see even more than originally planned. This meant that instead of just seeing spine surgeries, I was able to see knee operations, intestinal scopes, a hip replacement, and even see clinic patient care with multiple different doctors. The experience was like nothing I had ever done, and I left Friday being absolutely sure that I wanted my career to be in healthcare.

During my week I witnessed some unbelievable operations that were both jaw dropping, the hip replacement, and unbelievably technical, the cervical procedure. It was incredible to see everything in action and to watch everyone in the operating room working together seamlessly. I was able to spend some time talking with sales reps from numerous medical device companies, an industry I am very interested in. They were more than happy to talk to me about their career path, job details, and gave me plenty of advice about the industry as a whole.

Spending time with different surgeons, all in different fields of expertise was awesome and gave me the chance to truly understand the many directions that I could go in. It was cool to stand in on the patient care at each surgeon’s personal clinic. I was able to see patients coming in with new injuries, some that were partway through various treatments, and then many who were recovering from recent operations. It was cool to see the relationship that the doctors had with their patients, you could tell that the patients really liked the surgeons and were very thankful for how they were healing them. The surgeons all told me the same thing about their job, and that is that they loved it. The physicians told me numerous times about how rewarding it is for them to see a new patient come into their office in serious pain, and through months of treatment, be able to heal them and watch them leave happy and ready to continue their lives. This week was unlike anything I’ve ever participated in and isn’t something I’ll soon forget. After a couple years of studying health science, being able to see everything I’ve learned in action outside of the textbook reassured me that my hours of studying would one day be put in action in great ways. I loved my externship experience and recommend it to anyone interested in Healthcare.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Julie Welde '18 @ Hershey Medical Center Outpatient Pediatrics

This past week I had the opportunity to shadow a pediatrician who works for the Hersey Medical Center Outpatient pediatric office in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania. I started my trip on Sunday night when I drove about three hours from my hometown Manasquan, NJ to Hersey, PA. I arrived at Dr. Telford-Wren’s home at 8 pm. The next morning Dr. Telford-Wren and I left for the office to begin work at 8 am. I was able to meet a lot of the staff including medical students and pediatric residents. It was great to finally get their point of view on applying to medical school; it has really changed my mind about what I plan to do in my future. In the morning, I was able to shadow about 4 patients for a well visit along with 4 patients for a sick visit. In the afternoon it was a similar schedule, and the workday ended at 5. On my first day I was able to interact with some of the residents and I really enjoyed getting to know them!

Day 2 was even more exciting. In the morning, Dr. Telford-Wren had to attend a lecture at the Hersey Medical Center about Orthopedic pediatrics. I learned so much about identifying clubfoot in infants. After the lecture, I was given a tour of the hospital and saw the new children’s hospital. In the afternoon, Dr. Telford-Wren and I went back to the office and saw a few more patients similar to Mondays schedule. I learned more about strep tests and saw how the nurses do the tests.

On the third day, I went to the office with Dr. Wren, Dr. Telford-Wren’s husband, who practices family medicine. I was able to gain more insight about medical school from a Penn State student who is in her third year at Hersey Medical center. It was very interesting to see the difference between pediatrics and family medicine. I thought that there would only be a slight difference but they are actually very different. In family medicine, I was able to see a biopsy of a mole that was going to be sent to the labs to be tested. As much as I enjoyed family medicine, I was happy to go back to pediatrics in the afternoon. In the afternoon I worked with Dr. Brittany Massare who was a great help. I got to see an infant today and see what its like working with the newborns.

My fourth and final day, I went to the office again with Dr. Telford-Wren and shadowed both herself and Dr. Massare. I saw a few patients with both and it was great to see how the doctors interact with their patients. As this week came to an end, I was able to reflect on the experience. Before this externship, I wasn’t sure if I would want to go to Medical school. However, talking to the students and practitioners I was able to really get a good idea about the whole process. Though I’m not sure exactly what I want to do yet in the future, I’m really considering going to medical school and maybe pursuing pediatrics. Overall, my externship experience has been great. I’m excited to take what I have learned this week to Gettysburg College.