Each summer, Northwell Health hosts the Healthcare Management Program (HMP), an internship for college juniors interested in learning about the administrative side of health care. It’s an extensive and unique 10-week paid internship, offering a firsthand perspective on what it’s like to serve as an administrator for our many hospitals, service lines or departments. Samara Jefferson, one of this year’s participants, shared how this experience has shaped the direction of her studies and future career.
Samara learned about the internship through her school, Spelman College in Atlanta. She initially felt outside her comfort zone because of her minimal background in business and finance, but her mentor — Nora Brady, an administrative director at Katz Women’s Hospital — provided encouragement and boosted her confidence in understanding the many facets of hospital operations. There was constant guidance and no question was off-limits. “I’ve realized there’s no such thing as the perfect administrator,” Samara says. “We each have different ‘whys’ for entering health care and we bring varying skillsets to the job.”
Samara proudly notes that her knowledge in health care management now includes project management, building an infection control unit (such as those erected for COVID-19), data analysis, and more thanks to the projects she worked on during her time in the program. “I recommend HMP to other college juniors,” she says. “The skills I’ve learned during my internship at Northwell Health are invaluable and everyone I’ve interacted with is very invested in seeing you develop and grow.”
Her program complete, Samara’s career plans have evolved. “Prior to the mentorship, I was focused solely on becoming a physician. However, in this program I was afforded the opportunity to work alongside actual health care administrators like my mentor, Nora. I realized administrators can improve health care at a systemic level. I hope to now become both a clinician and a future administrator.” We are excited for all that Samara will offer to the future of medicine as she returns to her studies this fall as a senior with a whole new perspective of what it means to work in healthcare.
Interested in the HMP internship? Join our Student Talent Network to stay up-to-date on the latest student news and resources, including our future plans for the program in 2022.