Something I have really grown to admire is the Voinovich School’s commitment to having their students combine their in-class knowledge with practical experiences. As a student, we can only really appreciate it at the end our journey with the Voinovich School. What I have realized in my last semester as an Ohio University student and while applying for jobs is that I have grown a lot professionally and personally as a person over the last two years. This is mainly due to the mentors and the other people who have been in involved in my life that I have helped guide me in this journey. This is my reflection of my experiences in graduate school.
The beginning of winter quarter (before the semester transition) everybody in my cohort had to have a practical learning experience. At the time, I did not think much of it and choose an internship with the Appalachian Rural Health Institute. The only reason I went after this internship was because of my interest with the Appalachian region. I had no experience and no background in the health care field. What I did not know at the time was that this internship would turn into a yearlong graduate assistantship for me. Something I really did not anticipate was how much I would grow from this experience.
What I gained from my graduate assistantship was vital experience in the public sector while also gaining something else, mentors. I currently work with Dr. Jane Hamel-Lambert and Dr. Tania Basta. Both of these individuals work in a field I had very little knowledge in, rural health. Over the last year though, they have constantly pushed me to challenge myself, improve my quality of work, and further my knowledge and passion for serving people. Without Jane and Tania, I do not think I would be the polished person as I am today. I owe them a lot for helping me over the last year and continually fostering the growth of my person. That is why the Public Administration program at the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs is unique. You as a student are paired up with well-established professionals in careers eventually we want to have ourselves. These professors and supervisors become mentors that help us develop beyond what we could do alone. That is the value of applied learning experience, growth in personhood.