The biology department offers both regular semester and January term internships to students. These internships involve a direct association with an institution or professional individual and are distinct from independent study. These internships are work-oriented and observational rather than academic.
Internships allow students a first-hand look at a profession. They discover both the attributes and drawbacks of their intended profession. Students can come out of these internships with a better idea of their future careers. In addition to this, the internships are educational. The volunteer and observational nature of the program provides valuable learning. Students write throughout the internship to better process their experience. Their Off-Campus Supervisor also fills out a short evaluation form of the students at the end of the program.
A more detailed description can be found in Bio 380 Internship Information. Examples also appear on this page of past internships.
When: Summer 2017
Where: University of Minnesota, Department of Pediatrics Division of Nephrology, Minneapolis, MN
Abby spent her summer examining kidney biopsies from all over the world at the University of Minnesota. She worked with diabetic patients and with patients who have a rare genetic disease called fabry disease. Abby used a technique called Transmission Electron Microscopy, which sends electrons through a biopsy to create images. These images focused on the glomerulus, the first step in the kidney’s filtration process, and the renal medulla, the innermost part of the kidney. The doctor overseeing the lab used Abby’s images in his research, which encouraged her and the other interns. The lack of funding for the research surprised Abby, but she was impressed by how well the lab overcame that hardship. Abby’s experience reaffirmed her passion for the biomedical sciences, as well as gave her a newfound appreciation for coffee.
When: Summer 2017
Where: The Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota, Roseville, MN
Major: Environmental Studies and Biology
Anna spent her summer interning at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota (WRC). There, she assisted with the rehabilitation of animals and observed their development. She worked primarily in the mammal nursery, where she fed and cleaned the cages of baby mammals. Anna not only kept track of the needs of the different animals, she also spent time preparing the animals for their eventual release back into the wild. The internship taught her how to care for animals and monitor their development. The goal of the WRC to educate the community and protect the environment moved Anna. She loved watching the animals heal at the center, and this experience made her more interested in working with animals in the future.
When: January 2016
Where: Debbie School, Mailman Center for Child Development, Department of Pediatrics, University of Miami, FL
Tricia headed south for January term and volunteered at the Debbie School, an inclusive elementary school under the pediatric department at the University of Miami. Students at the Debbie school consist of those with physical and mental disabilities, who are deaf or hard of hearing, as well as children without disabilities. A number of therapists work in this school, including physical therapists. Tricia observed the therapy methods and realized how different they were from outpatient orthopedic physical therapy. She saw how individualized the plans were for each student. Many of the students had some form of autism, Down’s syndrome, or cerebral palsy, yet each required an individualized treatment plan. She found the internship informative, and it showed her a different side to physical therapy.
When: Summer 2017
Where: Centro Médico Estación, Alicante, Spain
Major: Biology and Spanish
This summer, Kjerstin shadowed doctors, receptionists, and various staff members of a private medical clinic called Centro Médico Estación in Alicante, Spain that specialized in helping patients balance a healthful lifestyle. One of her responsibilities was helping the staff with daily tasks. She also learned how to connect with patients when giving uncertain or unfavorable news and how to help patients feel at ease from the moment they step in the door. Kjerstin found that she was able to apply much of what she learned in her biology and Spanish courses at Luther to her internship in Spain. She gained confidence in being able to contribute positively to a healthcare environment as well as developed a new understanding of her patients. To Kjerstin, the warmth and care of those who took her under their wing was the greatest reward one could receive from this experience.