Summer Reflection: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” by Kathryn Schoenauer

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” This is a question that I have asked myself throughout my entire college experience in the hopes that one day I would wake up with a clear cut answer. It is quite ironic that the question has become harder to answer as I have gotten older. I am technically a grownup, so shouldn’t I know what I want to be when I grow up? In the midst of summer internship applications during the fall of my junior year, I began to put more and more pressure on myself to know the exact career path that I wanted to pursue. I knew only a few things. I knew that I was passionate about public health and healthcare, that I didn’t want to be a doctor, and that I wanted to be able to directly help people. In the pinnacle of mid-semester stress, I fell upon the OhanaHealth application through Handshake. One of the first things I read on the website was that Ohana is for people who want to do meaningful work and have an impact in healthcare, just not in the clinical setting. It seemed like a perfect fit. I was really able to see myself in Ohana’s mission and see similarities between myself and the past fellows. So, I submitted my application.  

Fast forward a couple of months, I was chosen to be one of the twelve 2019 Ohana Fellows. I have had exposure to so many amazing experiences because of OhanaHealth. First, I was connected with Transcendent Endeavors, a venture studio that creates technological solutions for underserved and vulnerable populations based out of New York City. The great part about working at a startup is that you are allowed a significant amount of responsibility. You are busy right away and are able to feel like you are really making an impact on the work of the company. I have gained so many skills during my summer at TE because I have been able to take an active role in various projects through research and product development. 

But the value of OhanaHealth expands far beyond the professional experiences that I have gained through my internship. OhanaHealth has allowed me to be a part of an amazing community and network. The other eleven fellows are very amazing, and as my summer internship comes to a close I look forward to keeping in touch with them and following along with the great things I am sure that they will accomplish. And above all, OhanaHealth has given me greater confidence in my skills and professional abilities. Although I still may not be completely sure of “what I want to be when I grow up,” I feel assured in my abilities to succeed and feel a sense of comfort in the amazing support system, mentors, and peers that I now have through OhanaHealth. 

Nicole Mintz