Senior business majors Shayna Cedeno and Shoeb Hasan are leaving their desks behind at Penn State Brandywine and earning credits toward their bachelor's degrees a little differently this semester. The go-getting duo recently started a comprehensive internship program at the Clinical Practices of the University of Pennsylvania (CPUP) working in the department of neurosurgery.
According to its website, CPUP provides quality care at Penn Medicine's hospitals and facilities in the Greater Philadelphia region and southern New Jersey, with more than 3,000 nurses, physicians and staff members.
Cedeno and Hasan are involved in three main areas at CPUP: finance, research and clinical. Both students are in a rotation, working in each of the three vital areas of the department of neurosurgery. This work cycle is giving them a well-rounded understanding of how the department operates as a unit.
Throughout their workday, Cedeno and Hasan have several different responsibilities and are learning about CPUP's financial reporting processes, procurement procedures and new electronic communication initiatives to better serve patients.
"I really feel like an employee there," Cedeno said. "Having this internship on my resume will really help me stand out to employers. I'd like to go into healthcare management and working at CPUP has given me the foundation that I need."
"Employers today don't want someone who only has a degree," Hasan added. "Education is really important, but you need to have experience."
Frank Savarese, director of finance for CPUP's department of neurosurgery, is pleased with the performance of the Penn State Brandywine students. So pleased, in fact, that he has been working closely with faculty and staff at Brandywine to develop a partnership with the University to make it easier for Brandywine students to secure internships with CPUP.
"The interns have been very influential in every aspect in which the department has needed their assistance," Savarese explained.
One Penn State Brandywine faculty member working with Savarese to develop the partnership is Brandywine Instructor in Accounting Kathleen Yanoshak, who also serves as the business program's internship coordinator. Yanoshak has taught Cedeno and Hasan in several of her classes and is excited to see the pair transform from dedicated students to significant team members within an organization such as CPUP.
"I find it rewarding to see how the students evolve into more confident and mature individuals as they progress through their internship experience," Yanoshak said. "An internship is an opportunity for a student to gain valuable on-the-job experience and to apply the theories and the knowledge learned in the classroom. Today employers want to hire individuals who have experience in their chosen majors and who can demonstrate their skills and professionalism."