Summer interns learn the value of work during a pandemic

Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc. provided two San Antonio youths with a unique opportunity to gain real-world work experience from its experts during this year’s San Antonio Works Summer Internship Program, which started July 6 and ends Aug. 14.

This year might look different, due to the pandemic, but Methodist Healthcare Ministries’ interns were still able to learn what it’s like to work at an organization like the nonprofit, despite not being able to meet their mentors and build a professional network in person.

Nhyla Davis is a high school senior at the International School of the Americas, a magnet school in the Northeast Independent School District, and has been interning at Methodist Healthcare Ministries for the last month. She said the experience is providing her with an edge in the workforce.

“I’ve felt from the beginning that this was the perfect internship for me because lots of my passions are aligned with Methodist Healthcare Ministries’ mission and commitment to serve the underserved,” said Davis.

Davis is grateful for the opportunity to further her career exploration and earn money for her hard work over the summer, while gaining the experience she needs for her future. Interning from home during a global pandemic has been interesting for her, as well.

“With all that is happening in the world – from protests to the pandemic, things can become very stressful and very quickly. Even though nothing has been certain, and things are happening in ways we’d never experienced before, my school decided to stick to yearly traditions and continue to implement the requirements for securing an internship,” she said.

And, despite the challenges a pandemic can bring to our communities, she believes focusing on the positive is extremely important and will pay off in the long run.

“In the beginning, I was worried that I wouldn’t secure an internship because of our world’s current situation. I was turned down from the first two internships that I applied for so when I checked my voicemails and saw that Karla De la Tejera from Methodist Healthcare Ministries’ HR department had left me a voicemail, I was extremely happy and hoped that the third time would be the charm. And, it was,” she said.

Alex Bryant, also a Methodist Healthcare Ministries intern this summer, said he seized the opportunity to participate in the program because he wanted to experience what it’s like to work in the field of information technology and cybersecurity, which is his passion.

“I’m definitely getting real-world work experience and I’m also gaining more communications and computer skills. I’m learning to be more patient as I learn. And, I appreciate that I’m treated like a responsible adult. I’m also getting a nice refresh on Microsoft software and I’m getting to learn new skills as well,” said Bryant.

Bryant is a high school senior at Roosevelt, also in the Northeast Independent School District, in San Antonio. He said interning at Methodist Healthcare Ministries has provided him with the gift to network and connect with IT professionals supporting team members who are working from home during the coronavirus pandemic.

“I’m working from home but staying very busy helping the IT team with various computer projects. It’s been great. I review my daily tasks and connect with my mentor, Chris Barron. I also help with imaging computers and serve as technical support to team members having issues with their computers. I really enjoy helping employees get their computers working again,” he said

Davis agreed. She said interning at Methodist Healthcare Ministries has taught her better organizational skills as she tackles assigned projects each day.

“I begin the day by checking my emails and meeting with my mentor to talk about my day and to-do list, then I join online meetings with Methodist Healthcae Ministries teams. I work on flowcharts and other process improvement projects,” she described.

Davis and Bryant both said they are looking forward to returning to school in-person, but they realize they may have to continue to learn virtually in the new school year.

Methodist Healthcare Ministries wishes Nhyla Davis and Alex Bryant a bright future, as they begin the next chapter in their learning experience.