Career Connections

Haley Wellman

Major: Family and Consumer Sciences Education and Studies

Minor/option/emphasis: Gerontology

Year: Senior
Hometown/State: Houghton, IA

Type of experience: Internship
Company/Organization: Iowa Department on Aging
Company/Organization website:
Title: Training Intern
Destination: Des Moines, IA
Timeframe: August 24-December 18

Advisor/Coordinator Email:

I was responsible for...
My responsibilities during my experience were to assist the training specialist. My responsibilities included creating a list of statistics about older adults and adults with disabilities, developing the calendar of trainings for all staff, and managing the training database. Finally I was responsible for any needs that my training specialist needed done.

I accomplished...
My accomplishments including providing the staff a list of statistics that can be used to talk to organizations in Iowa about the needs of older adults and individuals with disabilities. Another accomplishment was being able to manage individuals, who were participating in trainings on the database, and ensure that the individuals, specifically staff of the Area Agencies on Aging, were completing the trainings correctly.

My most valuable effort...
The most valuable project was managing the Area Agencies on Aging staff in ensuring the complete the trainings correctly. Iowa is working on ensuring that staff is educated in dementia thus monitoring if all the staff is completing specific courses in a time manner ensures that the Iowa Department on Aging is reaching their goals.

I learned...
The most valuable learning experience was when my supervisor, Nichole, took the time to teach me about the purpose of the organization and the different jobs that all the employees have. This gave me an opportunity to ask a variety of questions about the organization and learned the purpose of all the work they do.

I will never forget...
My most memorable experience was having the opportunity to attend the area roll out meeting. This means that I had the chance to learn about how all six area agencies on aging in Iowa are going to work together to better work together and serve older adults in Iowa. This is the most memorable experience because during the meeting a learned a variety of different things about how these agencies work alongside with the Department on Aging.

A surprising discovery...
One thing that I did not expect was how different the responsibilities that I thought I would have were actually completely different from what I actually did. This changed my approach to my profession because it made me realize that in the working world is that it is always changing. Depending on the needs of those you are serving and your supervisors often your responsibilities will change to cater to their needs and demands.

Advice for others...
Enjoy your time at your internship. The great part of having an internship is that supervisors and all the organization often want to answer any questions that you have. Therefore take advantage of the chance to ask questions about the organization and their advice as move forward in your career.

I first learned about this career-building experience from...
I had worked with Dr. Jennifer Margrett, director of Gerontology, on a grant that was partnered with the Iowa Department on Aging. Since the Iowa Governor's Conference on Aging is coming up in May, the organization needed extra help with this conference and other projects, while it's staff spent more time on planning the conference. Since I had spent some time working with members of the Iowa Department on Aging, I was offered a chance to work with this organization.

I landed this assignment by...
Nichole, a former student of Dr. Margrett's, was one of the particular employees at the Iowa Department on Aging who would be in charge of the conference. Thus since she would be spending more time on the conference she was one of the employees at the department that needed extra help.

I wanted this experience because...
I have had the opportunity to work in a facility caring for older adults. However I have not had experience working in a government organization. As I continue to learn about what path I would like my career to take, I was thrilled to have yet another experience in a different sector of the job market.

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