Hodson intern explores genetics and medicine
The Hodson Trust Internship Program at St. John's College in Annapolis funds 25 summer internships each year. Senior Audra Zook, of Pahrump, Nevada, used the opportunity to explore a career in medicine. Zook was a research intern at the Volunteer Summer Research Program at the University of Maryland-Baltimore School of Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Nutrition. During her ten-week program, Zook studied genetic variations in patient responsiveness to a medicine used in the treatment of cardiovascular disease.
"Going into this program, I was set on genetic research, and while I still am interested in that path, I now see there are other possibilities which have their own benefits and drawbacks. I realize now that I want a career that allows me greater contact with the people whom I am trying to help,” she says. The experience helped her refine her career goals.
“I am grateful to have had this opportunity to obtain a broader view of the professions within medical science. The internship made me seriously consider medical school as an alternative to research, but I've now discovered that I'm most interested in research programs that involve more patient interaction, such as those in epidemiology."
Hodson internships are open to all Annapolis undergraduate students. Students with interests in any field may apply. The goal of these internships is to allow each student to explore a professional field, gain experience outside the classroom, and learn whether a particular career path is a good fit.
At the end of her internship, Zook worked with her mentor to compile the results of her work; she also gave a presentation on her findings. While she says the scientific significance of her research contribution was small (though rewarding), she observed something in herself : "I heard from my mentor that many people in the lab were impressed with my presentation. St. John's certainly helped me gain confidence and clarity in speaking about my work and thought processes."
A selection committee consisting of faculty and staff members reviews each student's application for the Hodson Internship Program after they are received by the Career Services office each spring. Students can participate in already established internships, or select a professional mentor and create their own internship. Other fields students explored include law, international development, sustainable farming, art, video production, and education. Generally, required hours of work for the program range from 20-40 per week. The stipend depends on the length of the internship and the quality of the proposal.
"I recommend a research internship for anyone interested in the sciences," says Zook. "It can provide a wealth of experiences not usually available in a classroom."
To learn more about internships in Santa Fe, visit the Santa Fe Career Services web page.