Learning about a job firsthand provides experience not even the best classrooms can teach, making internships a vital part of the college experience. Many Ferris students have been at work since the end of Spring semester with a summer internship, preparing them for their post-graduation careers.
Ferris social work junior Caitlyn Smith, spent her summer interning at Metron of Cedar Springs, a nursing home for the elderly. As part of her internship, Smith interviewed residents for social service histories, depression tests and cognitive exams.
Smith describes working at Merton as an eye-opening experience, as she learned what it took to work at a nursing home; everything from admitting and screening patients to performing various mental health exams and managing separate patients cases.
Smith also said her internship changed her opinion on working with elderly citizens.
“I originally didn’t want to work with the elderly when I started in the program,” Smith said. “But through my internship, it has changed the way I see working with the elderly. I actually enjoy it now.”
Second year pharmacy student Sam Shifman, who interned at Family Health Care Pharmacy in White Cloud, said her first time working in a pharmacy helped her understand daily pharmacy operations and gain confidence working with customers.
“I learned a lot about pharmacy law and problem solving in my time interning,” Shifman said.
As part of the internship, Shifman filled prescriptions, counseled patients on over the counter medications, consulted with other pharmacies and performed compounding of medications.
Ferris public relations alumna Katie Barnes interned at MSL Detroit, a public relations agency that represents General Motors. Beginning her internship shortly after the GM bailout, Barnes was given the opportunity to take on many responsibilities due to MSL Detroit being short-staffed.
Barnes said she learned more about herself during her internship than she had anticipated because of the work she was assigned.
“I found out what kind of work I enjoyed, what kind I loathed, the things I was surprisingly good at, and the things I’ll probably never be asked to do again,” Barnes said. “Being able to figure out my strengths and weaknesses so soon really helped me figure out which area of PR I wanted to focus my career on [for now] and where I can go from here.”