By Taylor Music
Caile Spear, professor for the School of Allied Health Sciences in the Department of Community and Environmental Health, recently held the eighth semiannual “Meet-N-Greet” for Public Health and Health Science students in search of internships and networking opportunities to transition their education into a career. All Health Education and Promotion students are required to complete internships before graduation. Spear has helped create tremendous success for these students looking to turn their degree into an internship or future career with this event.
Approximately 20 different agencies attended the latest Meet-N-Greet, held in October, with hopes to find interns and employees who strive to excel in their education through hands on learning found in such internships. With the help of Health Education and Promotion student Kasey Tobin, Spear orchestrated the afternoon for agencies to introduce themselves, share what kind of work is done within the agencies and create rounds of networking. Students then have the opportunity to talk and meet with professionals in their degree path to expand their network. Attendees believe this one-on-one time to be extremely beneficial in getting their name recognized when making connections and applying for internships.
“Having multiple agencies attend the event allows students to explore opportunities, even those that they may not have thought of prior,” said Tobin. “The event is a also a huge step for Boise State in helping students achieve the bridge needed to apply their major to their work after graduation.”
Spear oversees this successful event with many graduates and current students who have received not only internships but jobs through the networking. Graduates Mindy Hoskins and Kristi Wilson, who have both graduated in May of 2017 and attended a previous Meet-N-Greet, secured internships which led to jobs after their graduation. Hoskins, not only secured a job with her internship but also attended this year’s event as an American Lung Association (ALA) representative to network to other students and gain interns for her agency.
“The Internship Meet-N-Greet is one of the big reasons I am where I am today,” said Hoskins. “I went through the process and at the end of the day I ended up giving at least five resumes away in hopes to get the internship I really wanted. After the fall 2016 Meet-N-Greet the ALA called me in for an interview.” After graduating from Boise State University as a Health Education and Promotion major, Hoskins was hired as the ALA Lung Health Coordinator due to the knowledge and experience she gained about ALA programs and systems through her internship.
Wilson also created a pathway of success for herself thanks to internships provided by the Meet-N-Greet. After interning with two different organizations from the event, Wilson was able to combine what she had learned from these experiences with her schooling to receive a job after graduation with PacificSource as a team member in the wellness department.
“I loved being a health education and promotion major, but I really struggled deciding what exactly I wanted to do with it,” said Wilson. “The Meet-N-Greet opened me up to all that is going on in the community and the different projects and areas of health I could be a part of. Events like this are what help take the students from the classroom to the working world. I only hope that events such as this can be as beneficial to other students as it was for me.”
“This one on one time at the Meet-N-Greet allowed me to learn more about organizations by asking more specific questions,” said Kasey Tobin. “By making an initial connection with ALA, I was able to apply to an internship where my name was recognized and I was immediately called for an interview. This internship with ALA has allowed me to apply educational materials I have learned in the classroom directly to the workforce.”
“This internship has really helped me receive the hands on experience in the career I am interested in pursuing after I graduate in May,” said Alexa Potter, a senior in Public Health: Health Education and Promotion who landed an internship with St. Luke’s in the area of child injury prevention. “I have also been able to network greatly through this internship and spend time in the community meeting all types of people that can help me connect to potential jobs and other internship opportunities after graduation.”
Claire Weingartner, who is a senior in Public Health: Health Education and Promotion student currently internships for Agency for New Americans (ANA) as a volunteer manager, a position she gained through the previous Meet-N-Greet. “Interning at ANA is aiding my education by giving me a taste of working in a professional setting and is helping me build confidence in my abilities. I am really happy that I attended the Meet-N-Greet because it helped secure the internship I have now. I am grateful to have gotten the opportunity to meet and connect with so many people in the Boise community.” said Weingartner.
Success is already being seen from the latest Meet-N-Greet held in October as Maddie Hamilton, health science studies student, attended the event and has already received an internship with Central District Health Department (CDHD) in the Health Policy and Promotion Department. Due to an impressive interview, Hamilton was then offered a part-time position with CDHD and the opportunity for promotion upon graduation.
“The Meet-N-Greet provides an opportunity for students to connect with a variety of agencies, practice oral communication skills, expand their network and learn more about the agencies within the Treasure Valley.” said Spear.