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Student Spotlights

Seth Larson: Public Health

Seth interned for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during the Winter semester 2022.

Describe a day in your life as an intern.

I spent the mornings working on the two or three ongoing projects of the moment. This typically involved drafting manuals and quizzes for online classes. Afterwards I met with the committee for each project via Zoom to show my updates and see the updates of others. Together, we chose which updates and edits were the most helpful for the project, and then we all received assignments for the following day.

What industry/job specific skills did you learn?

I learned how to manage a project and write by committee, both of which are huge pillars of public health and health campaigns.

What are three things that you learned from this experience that could be applied to other settings?

1. Work with diligence, but don't get attached to your contribution. When working in committee, it is important to not get upset when your personal ideas are cut down, ignored, or changed completely. This is a skill that is useful in ANY job where projects are managed by committees.

2. Even as an intern, leadership wants you to be confident in yourself. I didn't feel comfortable inserting myself in many conversations because I was just the intern, but I learned that every team player - even the newest ones - need to bring a lot of confidence to the workplace every day.

3. I learned how to connect to other cultures. My internship was in Mexico, and all of the projects I worked on were Mexico-specific. As an American, I felt out of place writing curriculum for Mexican students, but I built important relationships and held focus groups so I could better understand my clients and their needs.

What was your favorite part of your internship?

I loved building relationships with my supervisors and my clients. I made lifelong friends as I adjusted to their culture.

How did this experience affect your future goals?

I originally had planned on working in international health, but after seeing how long it took me to adapt, I don't think I am fit for traveling all over the world and spending short amounts of time in different projects. My goals now are focused more on writing and less on international work.

How did you get your internship?

I saw an advertisement for the internship in the Kennedy Center, and applied a year later after preparing myself to be a more competitive candidate.

How did this experience contribute to your growth?

I became a much more empathetic person after working with a new culture exclusively for three months. I also gained much more self-confidence that will allow me to navigate the professional workplace better. My Spanish, which was functional, also improved greatly as I learned the Spanish vernacular necessary for the medical and business world.

When you get tired of the office, the Mexican rooftop offers the peace and quiet necessary to work on editing.