Hi my name is Kelly, reporting to you live from this computer with the word “INTERN” pasted in the corner, which constantly reminds me of how lucky I am to be able to spend my summer in this beautiful cubicle labyrinth. This summer, I am in Arielle Deutsch’s lab, and my project is focused on alcohol exposed pregnancy intervention. What I’m looking at right now is the different motivations and barriers Native American women have in regards to substance use and contraception. The project has been interesting but, sadly, summer is quickly coming to an end. As things wrap up, I’m starting to get a bit sentimental, which sucks because I hate experiencing emotions. Anyway, let’s push away the fears that I may never see these friends I have made after August 10th and instead talk about how great this internship is!
To be completely honest, I was terrified to start this internship. My fears were rooted in my anxieties surrounding the unknown. I had no idea what I would exactly be doing, if I would make friends, or what South Dakota would be like. The first week was rough, as I was just getting adjusted. I was constantly getting turned around in the building, doing a bunch of trainings, and trying to get my bearings on things. My birthday was also that week, and I was terrified I was going to have to spend it alone. And guess what! I DID spend it alone! But then the next day I made some friends and we went to dinner to celebrate.
Once I got past the initial week, things really picked up. I finally understood what I was doing and really got to work on it. Along with time spent in the office, my summer has also been filled with conferences, trips, and trainings! A few weeks into the internship, I got to attend the South Dakota Public Health Conference here in Sioux Falls. Since this summer is my first experience in the public health field, it was really cool to learn about all the different areas public health has its hands in. I also got to take a trip to Crazy Horse with four other interns and our program coordinator, which was a bonding experience for us all. Before this program, I had only driven through South Dakota once, and it was during the height of my teenage angst when my parents forced me to move across the country. So during this trip I was able to see the beauty in the state, since I was in a much better mood. And at the end of this month I will be going on another trip to Rapid City to meet the people my mentor works with!
One of the reasons I wanted to take this internship was because I thought it would help me figure out which career path I want to take. Do I want to go to med school? Grad school? Pursue comedy screenwriting? And here is my answer: I am STILL not sure. I really like research and being able to see the ways every single lab here helps so many people has been incredibly eye opening. But I also still want to go to medical school… and write… so… you know those medieval torture devices that kill by pulling each limb in a different direction? I feel like that’s me but it’s my passions that are pulling me in every direction (sorry that’s dramatic).
Thanks for tuning in!
By: Kelly Walls | University of Arkansas | SURE Intern | Deutsch Lab