East Coast Internships
N.Y. internship spurs student’s passion for service career
By Elaine Pugh
summer internship at a New York hospital has further convinced Bobby Kelly of Madison that he has made the right career decision.
“The opportunity to travel to a vibrant city to work side by side with doctors, nurses, technicians, etc., in a field of study that I am passionate about, not only furthered my knowledge of medicine and expanded my networking pool but also provided me with an authentic view of the life that I want to lead,” Kelly said.
His favorite thing about his work, he said, was bringing hope to inner-city children and families who are struggling with health problems.
“I worked at an infectious disease clinic in the Bronx, which houses people of some of the lowest socio-economic levels in the country,” he said. “Being able to converse with patients and let them know how important they are and being able to encourage and lift up their spirits gave me great joy, and that let me know there was a definite purpose in my journey this summer.”
A member of UM’s Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, Kelly was awarded an honors college fellowship to help with his internship expense. He is a student in the College of Liberal Arts, majoring in psychology and minoring in theatre arts. With a keen interest in theatre and acting, he found time to enjoy the lighter side of life in the Big Apple.
“I also took advantage of satisfying my love of the theatre while I was in the city,” he said. “I was able to see some Broadway shows and talked to a few people in the industry. And on the spur of the moment, I auditioned for a few shows – just for fun.”
The Washington Internship Experience and the New York Internship Experience are coordinated through UM’s Division of Outreach and Continuing Education. Program Director Laura Antonow highly recommends them.
“The Washington Internship Experience and the New York Internship Experience provide a structured educational program with an extensive orientation, great housing and a cohort environment in which students really seem to thrive,” she said.
Slated to complete his bachelor’s degree in spring 2015, Kelly plans to attend medical school.
“My long-term goal is to be a successful physician with a great family right here in Mississippi,” he said. Showing a broad grin, he added, “Hopefully, a job for a singing-dancing doctor opens up later in life.”
U.S. capital experience excites UM senior
When Adam Blackwell of Natchez enrolled at the University of Mississippi three years ago, like many new college students, he was indecisive about his future.
But he relied on one consistent piece of advice from family and friends: Don’t be afraid to try new and different things. He found special support for his mantra as a member of UM’s Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College.
“The Honors College stresses the importance of expanding your worldview, taking risks and experiencing the world with a citizen-scholar perspective,” Blackwell said.
“Through my summer internship, I gained an immense amount of work experience and knowledge in the political field,” said Blackwell, who is a member of UM’s Lott Leadership Institute. He is slated to complete his degree in May, with a major in public policy leadership and minors in religious studies and political science.
“While In D.C., I also had the chance to meet people from many different places and to interact and learn. Overall, my summer experiences have greatly expanded my worldview and knowledge. I’ve been able to find an area that I would certainly be happy working in, and I met some really great current leaders, as well as future leaders. I’ve also made some great contacts that will be imperative when it’s time for me to enter the job market.”
And he witnessed history in the making.
“Being able to stand on the steps of the Supreme Court building as they announced their decision on DOMA and Proposition 8 was certainly one of the highlights of the summer,” he said.
Summing up his internship experience, Blackwell said that while he is unsure of his long-term career goals, he knows he wants to be in a career of service to others and he wants to live in D.C., at least for a while.
“I want to work to create positive change, whether that means I work for a nonprofit, in higher education or work to elect officials,” he said. “After moving away for a while, I would love to move back to Mississippi one day and work to bring about effective change.”
For more information on the WIE and NYIE programs, visit http://www.outreach.olemiss.edu/. To learn more about the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College and the Lott Leadership Institute, visit http://www.honors.olemiss.edu/ and http://www.lottinst.olemiss.edu/.