Planning ahead

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Working at Sexual Health Innovations has helped me a lot in deciding what I want to do both during and after my final year at Dickinson.

Primarily, I’ve reaffirmed my commitment to working in sexual and reproductive health. The biggest realization I’ve come to is that I want to go to graduate school for public health; I want to do more in the field, and I think this would be a great learning environment for me. I’m taking the GRE in September, and planning to apply in the fall.

Thanks to the Career Center’s internship grant, I’ve been able to try out living in NYC and have really loved it. I would definitely want to live here again after college.

When I get back to Dickinson, I’m going to try to take a computer science class to learn more about coding and the tech necessary to make programs like Callisto. I’m also hoping to bring programming from a group that runs workshops for Greek students to help change cultures of sexual violence on campus.

I’m so thankful to everyone at SHI and Dickinson for making this experience such a great one, and helping me determine what’s ahead.

Finishing up

Last week, I completed my internship at SHI. It was great to see the other interns’ project presentations, and have a final long talk with my supervisor. Of everything I’ve learned this summer, these are the most important:

  • Use all the resources your site and Dickinson offers: Primarily, the internship notation and grant program. These allow your internship to be officially marked on your transcript, and the grant provides money to students to alleviate the costs associated with an internship (rent, transportation, and food). The perks at WeWork were less helpful for me as just a temporary intern, but they had a lot of free food and events for members!
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for more work: even if your boss seems busy, it’s important to remind them that you’re there to help and to learn.
  • Ask a ton of questions, about everything: I asked my peers and employers all about their educational and career backgrounds, as well as the internal workings of the org and its various relationships with donors, other companies, and foundations.
  • Network: I had to ask my boss a few times to introduce me to people I wanted to meet. I also made sure to connect with them on LinkedIn afterwards.
  • Get advice: I asked my supervisor and the CEO a bunch of times for career advice, and made sure to keep them updated on what my plans for the future are. I also intend to keep in touch with them in the coming years, as they know a ton about graduate programs and could connect me with some of their friends who went to the schools I’m interested in.

Connecting with Other Interns

Sexual Health Innovations took on four fellows this summer: me, the development fellow, a Callisto fellow, and two special projects fellows. The Callisto fellow is in our San Francisco office, so I only interact with her over video chats, but I’ve gotten close with the other two in my office.

They have spent the past few months completing an incubator project; our supervisors tasked them with creating their own piece of technology to improve sexual health in the US. Next week, each will present their idea.

I’ve been slightly involved with their projects; since I’ve been drafting and editing project notes, as well as participating in budget meetings, I have some insight into how their proposals should look and sound. Mostly, I’ve been a sounding board for their ideas.

It’s tough finding people with similar interests, so I’ve really enjoyed getting to know them. We work very independently from each other, but it’s been worthwhile to schedule time to all meet and talk, whether it’s about their projects, my work with SHI, or general topics in sexual health.