Interning at Hillcrest – By: Katelyn Monteleone

Katelyn Monteleone“What do you want to do with your life?”

This is the question that always seems to be hovering in the air that surrounds any college student, or any young person for that matter.

It’s a question that continues to haunt me as I progress through my college career, still having very little certainty about what I want to do. Some kids grow up wanting to be a professional soccer player or a doctor or a marine biologist or a pilot or an ice-cream flavor scientist, but even as a kid, I never really had an answer to the “what do you want to do?” question. I’ve always floated in the category of just hoping I’ll figure it out eventually, that I’ll one day stumble across something that I love and know that it is what I want to do for the rest of my life.

Of course, I know it’s not as simple as just “stumbling” across something – to find what you enjoy doing, you have to be willing to give things a try. Accordingly, when I heard about the summer internship program at Hillcrest, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to explore some of the careers that may interest me in the future when I inevitably step out into the real world.

On my first day of work, any anxiety I had about the experience quickly dissipated as I was introduced to the dozens of kind and friendly Hillcrest employees. After taking a brief tour of the Administrative Offices, I headed next door to Hillcrest Dental Care, where I would be an HR intern for the summer.

Before this summer, I did not know much about Human Resources, and I definitely did not know much about the Dental world, but I was excited to learn. I met my supervisor, Kristen Elcox, the HR manager for Hillcrest Dental Care, and I immediately knew that I would be able to learn so much from working with her. Kristen is sort of like the queen of Human Resources – she has an incredible amount of experience in HR, has worked in many different HR settings, and she handles what can be an extremely stressful and demanding job with grace and ease. I feel so lucky to have gotten to work with her.

Over the course of the summer, I got to observe what happens behind the scenes in the dental office and I spent time researching, learning how insurance credentialing works, writing office policies and procedures, creating various spreadsheets and employee evaluations, and completing other office tasks. The internship helped me to gain confidence in my skills along with giving me an understanding of what it is like to work in an office setting.

As my internship comes to an end and I get ready to return to school, I still don’t know exactly what I want to do with my life after college, but I feel so fortunate to have gotten the opportunity to explore a new field that I probably would not have considered before. I’d especially like to thank Kristen, Tricia, Trina, Mike, and Eileen for all of their guidance throughout the summer, and extend my best wishes to the rest of the HDC team and HEC staff.

Hillcrest represents a truly incredible group of people, and I now feel an even greater appreciation for the organization and all for which it stands. I could not imagine a more valuable and engaging experience than interning at Hillcrest this summer.

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