Connor Armuth ’19: IRHA – If you are one of the people who thinks that externships aren’t valuable because of their length, you are wrong. Assumptions like that are what limit students. I know this frequently happens because I was one of those students who downplayed the significance of externships before I landed mine.
When I came to Wabash, I had no intentions of going into the “healthcare” field. The reason I am using quotes is that my assumption, the first problem being the word assumption, was that if I didn’t want to be a doctor or nurse or dentist I didn’t have a place in healthcare.
Thanks to the Indiana Rural Health Association taking me under their wing for their annual conference, I discovered an entire field of jobs that I had no idea existed. One of my good family friends works in healthcare policy and hospital management. He knew I was interested in business and wanted to expose me to the business sector of health. At first, I was skeptical, thinking that it would be a waste of my time because if I wasn’t a bio or chem major I wasn’t going to be involved with healthcare whatsoever. Little did I know, by the last day of the conference, I would have a summer internship offer for next summer.
Thanks to Career Services, I have had a little bit of practice networking just like every other student who has been to one of their networking events. By networking, I was able to communicate properly with professionals in the healthcare sector of business, and it turned out that I left with an internship offer. At first, I was shocked because this conference is the only exposure I had ever had to this type of work, but the man who offered it to me said he wasn’t worried about my lack of experience. If you show someone that you are motivated and willing to get out of your comfort zone, that shows the attributes of a valuable employee. Anyone can learn something like policy, but not everyone can approach it with the same attitude and willingness to work.
Getting out of my comfort zone led me to meet a group of amazing individuals who work in a field that I just so happen to find fascinating. Healthcare policy is something that liberal arts students have a place in. If it weren’t for our family friend pushing me to attend this conference, I wouldn’t know anything about the debates and board meetings on the change in healthcare policy.
I understand how lucky I was to have this opportunity presented to me after a casual conversation about school. This doesn’t mean that if you don’t have a connection you cant explore a new field. Professionals love to help out college students who are exploring the workforce because we are the future. It is very easy to think that you aren’t worth the time of a certain alum or that trying to talk to them would be a waste of their time, but I learned something that you have to conquer that fear. Believe it or not, they want to help you.