Wilcox completes rare internship within UNMC’s Munroe Meyer Institute
16 Nov 2023 By UNL Career Services
Elsa Wilcox’s internship at University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Munroe Meyer Institute strengthened her passion for speech pathology. She worked with a diverse team, enhancing her skills, and her experience, normally reserved for graduate students, set her apart.
“It really solidified for me that this is the right career for me, because it’s so rewarding. Helping a child, being a part of their support staff, and seeing them succeed and advance in treatment, it’s like the best feeling ever, and that makes me really excited for the future.” Wilcox said.
Wilcox, a junior communication sciences and disorders major at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, got a rare internship opportunity at UNMC’s Munroe Meyer Institute Pediatric Feeding Disorders Program. She worked alongside a multidisciplinary team of psychologists, speech pathologists, board certified behavior analysts, registered behavior technicians and nutritionists gaining experience and insight into her future career goals.
As this opportunity points to, Wilcox hopes to go to graduate school for speech pathology and eventually work with children in either a clinical or educational setting. She is also the recipient of the Nebraska Career Scholarship, and to help meet the requirements, Wilcox scheduled an appointment to meet with a Career Coach to help her develop some options.
“Holly Smith and I just talked about possible internship opportunities,” Wilcox said. “It’s not typically a major that you would have an internship with, but I had a great experience. She gave me 12 different contacts, so I tried to reach out to people. I found a perfect fit for me, and it was very helpful. I would really recommend it.”
Smith, a Career Services Career Coach, met Wilcox’s UNMC contact at the fall 2022 Career Services event, “Exploring: Human Services, Nonprofit and Social Justice Pathways.”
“I was able to connect with Amy Drayton at UNMC who was very open to bringing interested students in for interning, shadowing and volunteering in a collaborative unit including speech language pathologists. Elsa scheduled a meeting with me, and I was able to connect her with Amy who has created an internship opportunity for her at the Munroe Meyer Institute in UNMC for the summer,” said Smith. “This is an amazing opportunity that will greatly set Elsa apart in her candidacy for graduate school and is allowing her experiential learning that is typically reserved solely for graduate students.”
“I think the biggest thing was learning how to collaborate with professionals in the field. It taught communication skills, how to work with a team, and how to present data to one another,” Wilcox said. “I also learned about what kinds of disorders could cause feeding and swallowing problems, what disabilities can kind of occur with them, and how to support children with disabilities. So, getting to support that was something that I haven’t had experience with previously. That was a huge takeaway.”
Outside of her internship, Wilcox is involved with the university’s Nebraska Student Language Hearing Association chapter, where she volunteers often for the community of Lincoln. She minors in education studies and gerontology, and is also involved with Greek life on campus, being a proud member of the Chi Omega sorority.
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