Only five years after graduating from the Health Services Management (HSM) program at IU Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health, alumna Kelsey Singleton has already made a commitment to students following in her footsteps.
In her position as development manager of operations at Cancer Support Community, Kelsey (right) hosts interns from the HSM program year-round, like Te'Nia Jackson (left), an HSM student currently interning with CSC.
“Having had such a wonderful experience while in the HSM program, I wanted to give back in the most beneficial way I could,” Kelsey said. “That is why hiring fellow HSM students to intern is so important to me. I know I wouldn’t be where I am today if someone hadn’t taken a chance on me and hired me for my first internship.”
Kelsey started as an intern for CSC in 2014, working there part time, and eventually accepted a full time position in 2015.
“It is no secret that I am passionate about the work I do,” she said. “I truly enjoy having a career in the nonprofit field, allowing me to make a difference through the work I do each day. I know how meaningful my work is to me, and I love giving students the opportunity to find a job they are just as passionate about.”
Annually, Kelsey oversees anywhere from three to six interns depending on the projects and events CSC has. Every fall, she hires two interns to work with her on a silent auction for the organization’s largest annual fundraiser, Laughing Matters. She also looks throughout the year for students interested in learning about fundraising and nonprofit event planning to help with fun and exciting new events.
The best thing about hosting interns is the chance to encourage students to see that there is “a whole other world to healthcare outside of a hospital setting,” Kelsey said. “Having been a student myself in the HSM program at IUPUI, I know how hard it can be to figure out what you want to do post-graduation.”
Kelsey believes that rarely in life, aside from internships, do you get the opportunity to try out a job before you commit to it. Additionally, interning allows students to get a better understanding of the jobs available, as well as learn what characteristics they enjoy (or do not enjoy) about a particular work environment.
“I love being able to host students for a few months at a time, giving them a chance to try out a position that just might be exactly what they’re looking for,” said Kelsey, who may have accomplished that with one of her recent interns, Te’Nia Jackson.
Te’Nia, a senior in the Health Services Management program, is currently a special events intern under Kelsey’s supervision at Cancer Support Community. Te’Nia took the initiative one day to visit CSC to talk with Kelsey about her experience and perspective about working for a nonprofit organization. Encouraged by their conversation, Te’Nia applied and interviewed for the position. Having interned with CSC for several months, she now believes working at a nonprofit organization might be a great next step for her.
“I wanted to do something to not only get my foot in the door but to gain that hands-on experience in the field,” Te’Nia said. “Prior to this internship, I had not worked in a healthcare related field, and I wanted to change that.”
As the special events intern, Te’Nia reaches out to businesses to secure funding for CSC’s silent auction. She prepares and organizes the paperwork for items donated, organizes the items into appealing packages, oversees the preparation and setup for the silent auction event, and handles the day-of logistics. In many ways, she believes the HSM program has prepared her for what she does in this position.
“I have taken classes about how to interact with people and how to represent myself and my organization well,” she said. “These are all things I have taken with me into my internship. Also, with this internship, some of the ideas that I have or the documents I have created, have come from things that I have learned in my classes.”
With all that Te’Nia is learning, she credits much of her success to having “an amazing leader like Kelsey.”
“Interning with Kelsey has helped me see exactly how beneficial organizations like CSC are to the community and the people they serve,” Te’Nia said. “An important goal with my long-term job is that I want to see how I am benefitting my community and people.”
Cancer Support Community is always accepting applications for both development & fundraising interns, as well as program interns. If you are interested in completing or hosting an internship for HSM students, please reach out to Sarah Johnson at email@example.com.