Indiana INTERNnet celebrated internship excellence on Feb. 3, 2016, at the 10th Annual IMPACT Awards luncheon. Though the event is over and the winners have been announced, we are continuing to celebrate the nominees’ successes.
These are their stories.
Ashley Griffith is a graduate student in the Master of Health Administration program at Indiana University Fairbanks School of Public Health. After graduation in 2017, she hopes to land a fellowship position in a not-for-profit health system.
Indiana INTERNnet: What got you interested in HR?
Ashley Griffith: I wanted to see how a health system ran from a system-wide perspective. The human resources department is responsible for hiring and maintaining all the leaders and staff for the system, along with countless other duties. Without the HR department, the right people would not be working for the health system; and the system would not be successful in its mission. I respect all the tasks team members in the IU Health HR department do to make the health system successful in providing quality care to our patients.
IIN: During your internship with IU Health, you learned a new software system and loaded massive amounts of candidate data into it. What was your approach to that project and what did you learn?
Griffith: Essentially, I tackled the project one day at a time. If I didn’t break it up, it would have been overwhelming. I set small goals every day to challenge myself and keep myself engaged. I didn’t want to rush through the information just to get it over with – I wanted to make sure I entered in quality data. I learned that sometimes the most menial tasks make the most impact. After six months of work, it was rewarding to see how beneficial the software system became for the team.
I want to gain more experience in different areas of a
health system to build my knowledge base so I can be an
informed, effective leader no matter where my career takes me.
IIN: How did you balance your time with your internship, grad school and volunteer work?
Griffith: To balance everything, I first decided what was important to me and then decided how much time I have to dedicate to each aspect. This led to compromises in some areas of my life – such as not having as much free time – so that I could fit in the things that are important to me.
However, I would tell students not to give up too quickly on one aspect just because it will be a challenge to handle in your schedule. When I started graduate school, I thought I would have to quit volunteering with pet therapy at Riley Hospital for Children because it was difficult to balance school, work and volunteering. To compromise, I reduced the number of hours I volunteered and I improved my time management skills so that I could volunteer, work and maintain my grades. If volunteering or another activity is a priority to you, there is a way to integrate it into your schedule.
IIN: Why is volunteering so important to you?
Griffith: I started volunteering at Riley about two years ago. I asked the IU Health volunteer services team to be placed in a wide variety of areas so I could gain exposure, and they did just that! I have volunteered on a unit, in a surgery waiting area, at the Riley library for patients and families, with guest relations, and with the pet therapy program.
I’m passionate about it because I want to help people when they are at their most vulnerable and make their hospital stay a positive experience. For instance, I am passionate about the pet therapy program because I love to see a child’s eyes light up when we bring a dog to their room. The experience brings back some normalcy to the child’s life. Volunteering also helps me stay focused on why I want to be a health administration leader – to make a difference in the health of my community.