Internship Spotlight: School of Nursing and Health Sciences

Explorers are learning outside of the classroom in rewarding internships. Here, a School of Nursing and Health Sciences student shares what it’s like working in a role that’s a step toward a future career.  

Ryan Keen, ’23 Ryan Keen, ’23
Public Health major
Internship: Jefferson Center for Injury Research and Prevention, as part of a gun violence research team

What interested you in the internship?: While deciding on an internship site, I took into consideration what I wanted to do later in my career with public health. I want to eventually get into the field of epidemiology and some of the key traits of the field include skills like data collection and analyzation, which I am interested in, as well as communication skills.

Primary duties: Some of my duties included researching different community groups and nonprofit organizations around the Northwest region of the city that were doing similar work in the community like addressing gun violence or ones that were advocating for the victims and their families. The purpose was to see if these groups would be interested in partnering with Jefferson and making Jefferson more involved in the local community it is trying to serve. Another duty was working with larger data sets that track gun violence throughout the city and analyzing what groups or demographics have a higher risk for being involved in gun violence, trying to find and look for trends and patterns in different populations and locations, as well as linking gun violence to the social determinants of health.

Favorite part: I had a great time looking at all the data, graphs, and charts that are all out there constantly tracking this issue and being able to look at epidemiological data is something I was really hoping to get out of this internship. I also enjoyed learning about the issue and why gun violence research is so important.

Biggest challenge: My biggest challenge, I would say, would have been filling out the institutional review board certifications in order to look at the data.

Takeaways: My time at Jefferson Center for Injury Research and Prevention taught me a lot about working as a professional, how to communicate with a supervisor and colleagues, as well as not being afraid to ask questions or raise concerns if you were not always sure what needed to be done. It also gave me a sneak peek into work that epidemiologists and researchers do and gave me valuable experience and lessons that I will take with me into my future career. 

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