Oh the Places You’ll Go and the Things You’ll See!

Susan Rayer in the Career Development Center

In my four years at Transy, I can say that I have had some very interesting opportunities and internships. I mean how many people can say in college they witnessed a high school food fight, watched a colonoscopy, watched open heart surgery, ducked and dodged protesters at the capital rotunda, witnessed stints being placed in clogged heart vessels and nearly been ran over by a school bus on a gravel road in Eastern Kentucky? This kid can!

It all started with one of my favorite people in the world, Susan Rayer, Transy’s Director of the Career Development Center. Not only is she genuinely amazing, she has an awesome sense of humor and has coined many phrases such as “don’t stand there looking like a bump on a pickle” and “you’ re either networking or not working”.  Susan has been a key factor in helping me understand and realize what I want to do with my life.

I came into college as a pre-med student, determined to work in the face paced life of an emergency room doctor. Unfortunately, as time went on I slowly lost these feelings and started to question if this is really what I wanted to do with my life. In talking with my advisor, she recommended that I take the “Projects in Professions” course during May Term. This course, designed to give student hands on experience in the field which they are interested in, was what I needed to see if I really want to be in the medical field. Working through Career Development and the Alumni Office, I was able to split my course work between two Transy alums, one an emergency room doctor in Winchester and the second a gastroenterologist at the Lexington Clinic and a third physician who was a cardiologist at Saint Joseph in Lexington.

Now, when discussing the course, it was highly emphasized that this would be a hands-on course and that I would have to live the life of the professional. Me, still being young and naive, really didn’t understand what I was getting into.

It all started with my first 4:30 a.m. wake up call, telling me that Dr. Walters had been called in and I should meet him at  the hospital. Now, the first time, I must admit, I was like a little kid on the first day of school, so excited to see what had happened that we had been called in on.  One of Dr. Walters patients had been experiencing severe chest pains and his wife brought him in to get in checked out. Turns out he had three blood vessels that were closed, two of them could be stinted the other we would have to bypass. This was like heaven to me! Day one and I am already getting to see a major surgery. So we begin to prep, and Dr. Walters talks me through all that was going to happen. Now sitting in the observing room, watching a sternum being cracked is a very liberating experience, especially at five in the morning.

After a lot of debate and discussion, I realized my heart truly was not in the medical field. I wanted to work in Education. So, back to Susan I went and, again, she knew someone who I could work with to see if this is what I wanted to do. The battle now was: did I want to work in Higher Education or Secondary Education? Susan said that it didn’t matter she knew people in both places that would love to house an intern for the semester.

To the Academic Dean’s Office at Bryan Station High School I went. Jamee Barton, (the academic dean), was a person very similar to Susan so therefore, I couldn’t help but love her. In this role, I help facilitate state testing, conducted classroom evaluations, worked with AP funding and even helped write a grant or two. Additionally, this was another hands-on role, so that entailed the being at school at 7:30 a.m. and having to have cafeteria duty.

The first days at the school were great, but my first day of cafeteria duty without Jamee with me, was a day of flying spaghetti sauce and chocolate milk. Now, this was a beneficial experience because this was like the Hollywood version of a food fight, so I was amazed. After getting a grip on the situation (the entire ordeal lasting all of 25 seconds) the place was a mess, but I had another memory of what the life of a high school educational professional would be like.

I guess the point of this is: No matter what you want to do,  Susan knows someone in the field. She can help you find something during the semester or over the summer.

All in all, the internship and shadowing experiences I have had have provided me with plenty of knowledge and memories, smiles and stains, do’s and dont’s and honestly, I would do it all over again.