Career Connections


Nate Oetken

Major: Kinesiology and Health


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

Year: Senior
Hometown/State: LeMars, IA

Type of experience: Internship
Company/Organization: Story County Public Health
Company/Organization website: https://www.storycountyiowa.gov/index.aspx?nid=110
Title: Public Health Intern
Destination: Ames, IA
Timeframe: 5/23/16-7/29/16

Advisor/Coordinator Email: dpower@iastate.edu

I was responsible for...
My responsibilities included making an immunization report for Story County schools, creating a Story County Public Health newsletter, and collecting/analyzing data for various public health collaborations and projects. I also sat in and observed for many public health meetings.

I will never forget...
The most memorable experience I have from the internship was the challenge of my first two projects. I was given the task of creating an immunization report of student vaccination rates in Story County and developing a Story County Public Health newsletter for major Story County employers. My boss gave me his vision for the projects but left the bulk of the work to me. At first, the tasks seemed overwhelming, but eventually I was able to create a 20+ page immunization report and a professional newsletter in about a month. The process for these two projects was memorable because I was able to take a challenging task and create two tangible products.

Advice for others...
If you are given control of a large project, take it head on and don't be afraid to take risks. It will pay off in the long run when you are able to say that you spearheaded the project. In most cases, the project is never as hard as it seems at first. Also, do not limit your internship search to just job postings. Do not be afraid to ask around or contact health entities about potential internships. The organization I worked for did not have an internship program before I interned. I simply asked the Director of Story County Public Health about internship opportunities and he offered an internship opportunity to me.

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