Dear Past Jas,
Looking back on your letter from the first week I sensed a lot of optimism and hope for the future and your time at Authority Health. You talked about how strong you see the communities you build should be and the community you made at Authority Health far exceeded your expectations. Going in I didn’t know what to think about my role as an intern. I had done research only a couple times before this one and they both were completely different. One I felt like a valuable part of a team and the other I felt like a glorified assistant so it was a toss-up as to how I would feel working for Authority Health. After working there for the last 9 weeks I can proudly say that I felt valued and supported in every way imaginable and I couldn’t have asked for a better site or mentor. I felt like I was a seasoned researcher whose input mattered no matter how small. It took a while for me to fully start speaking up with questions or comments out of fear of rejection but Authority Health was so welcoming that it aided me in stepping out of my comfort zone which I appreciate more than you’ll ever know.
Working remotely was every bit of interesting, but also difficult to keep myself motivated to work for such long periods of time at home. As time went on my days became more structured and organized so I was keeping up with my hours. This remote experience really prepped me to stay on top of my responsibilities being that all my classes are online next semester. Sitting in front of a computer screen was not what I envisioned for my summer in the slightest. I was supposed to study abroad In Prague then have this amazing internship immersed in Detroit culture. Sometimes life doesn’t always work out the way you hope and you just have to go with the flow instead of dwelling on the negatives which is what I did this summer. Working remote wasn’t ideal, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way because I loved my time in DCERP in general despite everything. I’m so glad we decided to do it this summer instead of postponing it til next summer.
You ended off your letter saying you hoped I grew in some way this summer whether it be professionally, personally, or socially. Professionally I got to talk to many different people in the public health sector to gauge different job options and careers paths like a MPH. Strongly considering doing one of those. I also learned about other internship opportunities and med programs for post graduation that I am excited to look into more of. This summer really opened my eyes as to what part of history I see myself standing on and the impact I want to leave on this world. Personally I have learned so much about myself in such a short amount of time and I have no one to thank but quarantine lol. Without it I wouldn’t have had so much free time to think about what I like and areas for improvement in my life either personally or interpersonally. Lastly, I can’t really speak to if I grew socially because its an ongoing battle being introverted like myself making the remote format not so helpful, but I hope that I made friends through DCERP and look forward to meeting them all in person.