Career Connections

Sabrina Austin

Major: Kinesiology and Health

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

Company/Organization: UI DeGowin Blood Center
Company/Organization website:
Destination: Iowa City, Iowa
Timeframe: Summer

Advisor/Coordinator Email:

I was responsible for...
My biggest goal as an intern at the UI DeGowin Blood Center was to promote blood donation to the community. I attended various information sessions at businesses as well as University of Iowa Orientation fairs. I also met with new sponsors throughout the community who would like to host blood drives. I typically worked at a couple blood drives per week registering donors and helping make sure everything was running smoothly. This internship also involves a lot of projects creating various promotional materials such as fliers and posters to recruit donors to come to the blood drives. I also helped with various other projects while working at a desk at the actual blood center. This was a paid position.

I accomplished...
The greatest accomplishment of my experience at the UI DeGowin Blood Center was getting to help plan our "Battle of the Badges" blood drive. The local fire departments and police departments helped sponsor this event, so many officers came in to donate and had a competition to see who could get the most votes, fire versus police. We had a record number of donors and the news even showed up when they saw what was going on. It was wonderful to see various community members seeking opportunities to help the patients in need at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. In a more general sense, the biggest accomplishment of this internship was providing these patients with blood products they need, as all products collected go straight to patients at that hospital. Although I have donated whole blood many times before, I became a first time platelet donor as well, which was also very exciting.

I learned...
The greatest lesson I learned from my experiences during this internship was that it is important to be flexible and brainstorm ideas and plans with others. If we ever hit a bump in the road and things did not go as planned, I felt that the greatest solutions came from working well with others and being flexible with whatever was thrown at us.

Advice for others...
My advice for future students is to be open minded and do not be afraid to relate what you are doing at your internship to your future plans! I also suggest reaching out to anywhere you have interest, even if they do not list an internship opening. I have always been passionate about blood donation and was able to create this internship position simply by sending an email. Don't be afraid to reach out!

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