Creating Smiles, Improving Lives

Behind the Life of an Intern

Behind the Life of an Intern- by Jennifer Gonzalez

I’m Jennifer Gonzalez, the new intern for Austin Smiles. I am a third year undergraduate student at The University of Texas. Currently, I am working towards my Health and Society degree while following a pre-medical track. I hope to attend medical school after my undergrad and one day become a doctor.



I discovered a passion for volunteering and helping those around my community through different service clubs I involved myself with throughout high school. That passion was fueled even further when I joined Global Medical Training, a service organization at UT that takes medical mission trips to Latin American countries. I’ve had the opportunity to attend two missions in the past two years, one to the Dominican Republic and the other to Nicaragua. Since I am not a licensed physician, the help we provided was using our limited knowledge on medicine to diagnose patients and help provided treatments. Our patients treated us like real doctors and it was truly rewarding having the opportunity to help. Both mission trips were truly eye opening and it helped me realize what I potentially wanted to do with my future.



St. David’s Medical Center has also provided an insight into what my future career will be. Every week I have the opportunity to volunteer alongside doctors and nurses in the emergency room. My duty as an ER volunteer consist of setting up discharged rooms, transporting blood specimens, and helping out the nurses with whatever they may need. Throughout my semester in the ER, I have had the pleasure of becoming close with close with many of the nurses and staff.


I never thought I would end up rushing when I went to college, but here I am two years later, a proud member of Zeta Tau Alpha. Some of my closest friends and greatest college moments have come from Zeta. As recruitment approaches soon, we are preparing to bring in the new pledge class, and I am so excited to finally get a little. A little is a girl from the upcoming pledge class who you get to guide and become a mentor to during her first year of college (sort of like a little sister). When I rushed I got the perfect big, and I hope to have that same experience and relationship with my potential little as well. Within Zeta, I am a part of the philanthropy committee, where I get the chance to work with others to help raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness and Education for not only our chapter, but for Nationals as well.



As I start studying for my MCAT this upcoming semester, I constantly wonder why I want to be a doctor. The funny part is that growing up I knew that this was the one profession I never wanted to choose, mainly because I did not see myself in school for longer than 4 years. However, halfway through my junior year of high school, I oddly enough fell in love with the brain when learning about it in my psychology class. Since that moment, I decided neurology was the path I wanted to pursue, although not set in stone, my mind can change once I get to med school. The medical trips I attended and volunteering at the hospital have definitely helped reassure me that this is the career I want to pursue.



When I’m not stressing about school and my future, I like to sit back and just enjoy spending time with friends. Living in Austin means there’s always something to do, whether it’s trying new restaurants, or going on a hike. Usually I try and distract myself by trying new things throughout the city. For example, during finals week I was stressed out like most college students are in this period, so I decided to go paddle boarding for the first time, and it was the most soothing experience ever. Leaving this city in a couple of years is definitely going to be hard, therefore I am trying to enjoy it!



Although my time here with Austin Smiles has just started, I can tell it’s a perfect fit. Everyone here has welcomed me with open arms and I am truly excited to work along-side them every week. With my new fond love of doing volunteer work abroad, I think this internship position can continue to strengthen that as well as teach me a lot. I’m excited for what the future holds here at Austin Smiles!

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