So, I have recently started my internship at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in the research department of the hospital. I am very excited about it and cannot wait to see how this whole thing turns out. First, going to Roswell Park for the first time was an experience within itself. I never knew what it looked like before I went there. It looked like something you would see in a medical hub like Cleveland or Baltimore. The buildings looked state of the art, the garden was very relaxing, and everyone who worked there was walking around dressed in professional clothes and looking very important. Shortly after I arrived at the hospital I met up with my supervisor who is a Canisius grad and extremely excited about his job. I noticed as we were walking around the hospital my supervisor would frequently open doors for people, call them by their first name, strike up a quick conversation, and ask them how their family was. This made me feel as if Roswell Park was one big family. Everyone one seems friendly, driven, and welcoming to all.

I am not being brought in to cure cancer, pitch a new medicine, or do anything related to medicine. I was brought in to Roswell Park as a communications research intern. Now, when people think of hospitals and research, communications research is most likely not going to come to mind first. The fact of the matter is that Roswell is not just doing research on cancer and how to cure it, but they are also researching how to grow the surrounding community and show kids – from high schoolers to grad students – how to become a Roswell Scientist, Physician, or Physician Scientist. This is the part where I come in. I and the two supervisors that I assist are coming up with a career test, specific to Roswell Park, that will show people how they can become involved in Roswell Park. This test will combine a short personality test, interest questionnaire, and skills questionnaire to come up with the job at Roswell that best suits the participant based on the answers they gave.  At the end of the questionnaire a list of  professionals will appear with a short video in which they talk about who they are, what they do, and how they got to where they are now. Finally, the professional’s contact information will appear at the end of the video presentation so that the participant can create a relationship with someone who is currently doing the job that they may wish to have in the future. This mentorship is what sets our test apart from other career and personality tests.

Currently, we are working on a shortened version of this test and making it into a game board format that we will test out during the Ride for Roswell fundraiser. At this fundraiser there are tents set up for promotion and give-aways. We are trying to promote our career test, named “How to Build a Roswell Scientist” and see how the public reacts to the game. The test will be played in a fashion that closely resembles the popular board game, Life. The game player will start out in high school and according to the random cards they draw they will continue on to college, graduate school, doctoral programs, and ultimately become a Roswell scientist. This game is made to show the importance of random events impacting on someone’s career. Not everyone’s plan works the way that want it to or the way they imagine it. Life throws curve balls and it is how you react to those situations that makes you who you are. Ultimately, the game is supposed to show someone how to become a professional at Roswell Park and what it takes to get there.

It is going to be interesting to see how this all works out.

Until next time…