Career Connections

Morgan Kisler

Major: Kinesiology and Health

Minor/option/emphasis: KIN-Community and Public Health

Year: Senior
Hometown/State: Ames, IA

Type of experience: Internship
Company/Organization: Children's Cancer Connection
Company/Organization website:
Title: Devlopment Intern
Destination: Des Moines, IA
Timeframe: June 1, 2016- August 20, 2016

Advisor/Coordinator Email:

I was responsible for...
Over the course of my internship, I was responsible for a number of different tasks and projects, which were assigned to me by both my supervisor and other staff members. My responsibilities included: -Various volunteer research projects -Assisting with preparation and execution of Camp Heart Connection, Day Camp and Sibling Camp -Volunteer orientation -Volunteering at a food booth at RAGBRAI to raise money for Children’s Cancer Connection -Executing promotions for various events -Managing organization’s apparel inventory -Working alongside development team to explore fundraising methods within the community -Assisting with various aspects of fundraising -Volunteer engagement and recruitment -General administrative support -Updating and entering new information into organization’s database -Miscellaneous tasks as needed

I accomplished...
It only took two short days after starting with Children’s Cancer Connection for me to achieve my biggest accomplishment, which was being given the reassurance that I am on the right career path. This happened after I sat down with one of the teens who utilizes Children’s Cancer Connection and he shared his cancer story with me. For starters, I was humbled to have this brave young man sit down and completely open up to me about his devastating, life-changing experience with cancer. When sharing his story with me, he talked about the different nurses he crossed paths with throughout his journey and how much he appreciated them and how great they were. It was at this moment that I knew I was at the right place and wanted to continue my education and pursue my dream of becoming a pediatric oncology nurse. You always hear people say how important nurses are and how they make all the difference in the lives of their patients but hearing it first hand from a teen who battled cancer really helped instill that thought and has given me the encouragement to work that much harder towards achieving my career goals.

My most valuable effort...
The most valuable effort I made wasn’t necessarily one of my assigned projects but instead was in implementing the organization’s mission as a whole. Putting myself out there in order to make a difference has proven to be one of the most valuable ways I’ve spent my time. I made sure I made an effort to establish relationships with all of my co-workers and learn about the role they play within the organization so I could gain a full understanding of what this organization is all about and how things work in order for them to continue to strive. Developing these relationships really benefitted me because my co-workers would be sure to include me in anything they could. Whenever there was an opportunity for me to do something outside of my assigned tasks, I jumped right in so I could make the most out of my internship experience.

I learned...
My most valuable learning experience was after I had a meeting with our Child Life Specialist/ Family Advocate where we discussed how to work with children and families who are battling childhood cancer. I learned that normalcy is the most important entity when it comes to working with Children’s Cancer Connection families. When children and/or families come to the CCC house or participate in any of the programs, services and events, they don’t want to be treated differently because of their situation. They want to be treated like every other person because in many cases, these are some of the only opportunities where the children and their families get to feel normal. When the kids and their families participate in these activities, it gives them a little break from the reality of dealing with cancer.

I will never forget...
When I helped out with Camp Heart Connection and was given the opportunity to work on a unique project. The idea for the project was inspired by the blog and bestselling book, Humans of New York which features portraits and interviews collected on the streets of New York City. The name of the project I worked on was called Kids of Camp and I was responsible for going around camp all day to interview campers about their experiences with previous camps and Children’s Cancer Connection. I will never forget the responses I heard from all of the kids I talked to. Working on this project showed me just how much Children’s Cancer Connection and the services they provide impact the lives of these kids.

Advice for others...
Go into each day with a positive attitude, make the best out of every situation and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Immerse yourself into as many different activities as you can, even if it’s not one of your assigned tasks; this will express your willingness to help and really allow you to understand how your organization runs as a whole and enhance your overall experience.

I first learned about this career-building experience from...
I learned about this internship opportunity while attending one of the career fairs and then again after going through different student profiles on the Kinesiology Career Connections page.

I landed this assignment by...
I went on to Children’s Cancer Connection’s website and found a page that listed all of their internship opportunities and followed the instructions that were given. To apply I emailed the supervisor letting her know I was interested and attached my resume and cover letter. After she received all of my information she emailed me back to set up an interview.

I wanted this experience because...
I love working with kids and really admire Children’s Cancer Connection and all of the amazing efforts they make and services they provide to improve the lives of children and their families battling childhood cancer.

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