I have to say that things were bitter sweet today as the Summer 2016 UMassMed IT Innovation Interns presented their final projects at our farewell party. Although we are ready and excited to get back to the business of the upcoming semester, we will surely miss the connections and relationships we’ve established.
I find myself constantly thinking about my first day here at UMass Medical School. I remember being so anxious about the summer that was ahead of me, the people I would meet, and if I would be able to do the work that was expected of me. But I look back at things now and I couldn’t be happier with how things went. I know I speak for every intern when I say that the IT department embraced us in such a way helped us settle into our positions and accomplish what we have. There was never a question that we had that went unanswered, or the feeling that we were ever alone. We even had direct access to Chief Information Officer, Greg Wolf, who joined the rest of IT in encouraging us to make this opportunity all that we could.
After the first couple weeks of my internship, I had a great sense of how things were going to go. I was given the opportunity to mold my experience here into whatever I wanted it to be. So I decided that I wanted to grow my network and enhance my soft skills. This had been perfect because these things were embedded in the projects that I was working on. My engagement with my fellow interns for my weekly blog broke me out of my shell and drew me closer to them. It taught me to go beyond the surface of how their experience here had been so far. I knew that they had produced great work, but I really wanted to highlight the small details that brought their work to a perfect finish and the things that had made their process and experience worthwhile. And this could have been helping medical professionals detect a disease, or just accomplishing something that they never thought they could; whatever it was I wanted to make sure everyone could see it.
I also gained a lot of skills while helping to establish social media sites for the Horae Gene Therapy Center with intern Hanna Gulla. Our main goal was to convince our researchers that the use of social media was vital to the growth of their research. So whether it was showing them the meaning of a hashtag and where it belonged in a post, or setting up countless meetings with different people, we were determined to get their work out to the public. To do this, we needed to showcase the importance of social media in the way we communicated with them. This taught me to carefully observe the people I worked with and think deeply about the best ways I could help them and complete the task at hand. It taught me to listen more attentively to them and be considerate about their reservations. I was very intrigued with how receptive the researchers were to our advice. They were willing to take time out of their days to help us help them. This was something I didn’t expect because I knew how busy they were and how important their work was, but they never belittled what were aiming to do.
Overall this internship has exceeded every one of my expectations and has taught me to own every experience and situation that I find myself in and really make it what I want it to be.
I join all of my fellow interns in saying thank you to UMassMed IT for making us feel like rock stars and pushing us to recognize our full potential.