Creating Smiles, Improving Lives

Interning with Austin Smiles- Variance and Exposure

Interning with AS – Variance & Exposure

By Sarayu Parthasarathy

Interning with Austin Smiles this summer has been an incredibly insightful experience. Being a pre-med neuroscience major about to enter my second year at UT Austin, I was very interested in joining Austin Smiles to expose myself early on to how non-profits in the medical field function and how they communicate with health professionals, businesses, volunteers, and other organizers. Now, towards the end of my time here, I can confidently say that I have learned much from this diverse exposure.

Early in my time here, Renee and Ellise had allowed the interns to sit in on a conference call in which they discussed the Guatemala medical mission trip with medical professionals from the partnered hospital, as well as other surgeons and organizers working with Austin Smiles. Witnessing the careful planning and professionalism that goes into coordinating such trips was very surprising to me, especially with language and monetary limitations.

There was also a Wish Upon a Smile gala meeting at one of the organizer’s houses, where another intern and I were able to sit in and discuss how the individuals helping with the gala strategize to contact organizations, discuss budgets, and reach out to companies for donation requests. In addition to this, speaking to companies and organizations, both medical and non-medical, about donation items, sitting in on meetings with medical professionals to discuss medical equipment for the medical mission trips, and generally working with other interns to organize medical inventory and raise awareness for the non-profit has brought me a wide array of valuable experience. I have seen the levels of professionalism and communication needed in cooperating with others and the detail and persistence required to run non-profits, all of which I can take with me and apply as I advance into the medical field.


austin-smiles-intern-sarayu-p photo

Sarayu Parthasarathy, Global Public Health Intern Summer 2022

The University of Texas at Austin – Neuroscience


1 in 700 children are born with a cleft lip or palate

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