Our breast health programs are presented mainly at high schools and colleges, so it’s important for us to get young people involved at the ground level of our non-profit. Our interns offer incredible insight, out-of-the-box thinking, and energy that we love! Here’s an interview with one of our recent interns, Hofstra University graduate Margaret (Gosia) Vogelgesang, and her experience working with us.
What made you decide to apply for an internship with The Maurer Foundation?
As a community health major, one of the requirements of the program was to complete an internship. In many of my community health and public health courses, we learned about and stressed the importance of health promotion and disease prevention, so I applied to The Maurer Foundation because their mission aligned with my passion for improving the health of communities through education.
What is the most interesting or unexpected thing you experienced at The Maurer Foundation?
The most interesting thing I experienced at The Maurer Foundation was how many people on Long Island were not aware of how to reduce their risk of breast cancer and how to be proactive to detect the cancer early.
Tell us about a project you worked on during your internship that was your favorite, the most challenging, or the most exciting.
A project I worked on during my internship with The Maurer Foundation that I am proud of is updating the local and national resource guide for breast cancer patients. Something I am extremely passionate about is connecting people with resources in their community, especially cancer resources.
What was a typical day like during your internship?
There was no typical day at The Maurer Foundation, which is another reason why I really enjoyed my experience here! Some days I was out in the field, teaching young men and women about breast cancer prevention, while other days I was at a health fair representing the foundation and sharing our message. Some days I was helping prepare for fundraisers and working other events the foundation hosts, such as kick-offs and the Motorcycle Ride! Most days I was at the office working on projects.
What skills did you gain while you worked here?
The leadership team is dedicated to making sure that as an intern, you get first hand exposure working within a community to promote health and wellness. While interning at The Maurer Foundation, I received certification as a breast health educator. In this role, I presented a 45-minute presentation and breast self-exam demonstration to high school, college and corporate audiences. I gained very useful presentation and communication skills by presenting to large groups of people. One of my roles was also assisting the executive director with finding grants to apply for so that the organization could extend their message to more populations, as well as writing grant proposals. Grant proposal writing is a very sought-out skill and it has definitely helped me to have that skill on my resume!
How have these skills helped you in your education/career?
I am currently in my second year of the Master of Healthcare Administration program at The George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health. I reside in Washington, D.C and I work in Rockville, Maryland for Kaiser Permanente, specifically for the Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group. I am an intern in the Strategy and Communications department and I work very closely with a cancer committee comprised of senior administrative and physician leadership to improve cancer care at Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic region. These skills have allowed me to be successful in my graduate program, in which I present in my classes on a weekly basis. The communication skills I developed have allowed me to be successful in my current role at Kaiser Permanente, where I am constantly communicating with senior leadership, physicians and patients.
How has this experience shaped or impacted your career goals?
My experience at The Maurer Foundation reaffirmed my passion for improving the health of communities. It influenced me to apply for and pursue a Master in Healthcare Administration so that I could one day work in a managerial role within a health system and work in partnership with other organizations to improve the health of members in the communities they serve.
What would your advice be to someone considering applying for an internship with The Maurer Foundation?
My advice to someone considering applying for an internship with The Maurer Foundation would be to look at the foundation’s website and understand the mission and work that the foundation does to ensure it aligns with your passions. If you have a passion for community health and believe in the importance of prevention and risk reduction, then you should definitely apply for a position with The Maurer Foundation. This is a wonderful place to learn and develop the skills necessary to be successful in the field of community and public health.