Jaclyn Marie Klein
University of Michigan
Before the internship at Visiting Nurse Association of Southeast Michigan (VNA), a public relations career interested me but I had really no idea what a typical day was like for a person in the field. The description for the VNA internship caught my eye, and I was immediately interested. Not only did the responsibility description sound interesting and right on target to what I enjoy doing, the people seemed dedicated and committed to making this internship valuable to their interns. My first impression could not have been more correct.
The public relations internship at VNA is a perfect internship for anyone looking to work in the field. Alex Hichel, the Senior Communication Specialist and intern supervisor, organizes projects that are valuable to the interns and allows room for learning. Each project proved to be something necessary for the organization and never could be labeled as busy-work. For each project, Alex explained what the organization was looking for, gave some suggestions on how it could be created and was always willing to answer questions. She calls herself an evil editor, and yes she does ask for many revisions. However, for every revision there is a justification. One of the most valuable things I have taken from this experience is Alex’s constructive criticism. She continually took the time to explain each of her corrections, leading to a fabulous final project to include in my portfolio.
Although what is learned and accomplished is important for any internship, I believe the people are what make it special. Every person I worked with at VNA was kind, attentive and informative. They were all willing to answer my questions, explain their jobs and point me in the right direction. I received numerous smiles and greetings on a daily basis, and some from people I did not know. Alex consistently asked if I was enjoying myself, learning and still felt the internship was worth the drive. And let me tell you, I hate driving, so if I feel this strongly to drive over an hour for this internship, it was well worth it. The other people I worked closely with were also fantastic. They were quick to thank me for my efforts, include me in their work and ask how everything was going. Of the people I met, from the Vice President of Marketing and Community Relations on down, everyone was dedicated to their jobs and believed in the VNA purpose. Their commitment to the community of southeastern Michigan, VNA and their interns made me want to come week-after-week.
I have learned so much in so little time. Visiting Nurse Association of Southeast Michigan offers many community programs and health options to the Michigan community. Because of their wide expertise, I was introduced to the medical community and can honestly say that because of what I have learned; my dream job is to be the communications director at a hospital or possibly at an organization such as VNA. I have been enlightened to the communications and health care field through this internship and it will be helpful to my future. I will be able to show prospective employers my work from VNA because it all mattered. This internship opened my eyes to the public relation field and presented precious knowledge that I will never forget.