DEC 06, 2013
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Student Comments - Elisa Pinhat
Last winter for my holiday vacation from Brazil I decided to try something different. I started to search on the internet for a good program for me to do. All the options I found were the same things as always, when finally I managed to find something different from everything I had seen!
I wanted to practise English in an English speaking country as well as experience the work environment in my area of study, which is the Medical field. I knew it would be difficult as far as dealing with people's health is concerned especially in another country other than mine. The Business Internship Program fits perfectly with what I wanted and I got really excited to try! I was afraid of VEC not being able to find an internship place for me, as medical student. After all negotiations, they advised me they would do everything they could to find an internship in my field.
Arriving in Canada in minus 3 degrees weather made me concerned about all the difficulties I would face, like the job interview and the tests I would have do . The classes started immediately and I was feeling more confident. Paul, our teacher, trained us very well, not only in the business area but also for life in Canada, so that I could learn things I had never imagined. While Wendy, the Internship Co-ordinator, was trying hard to find a clinic or hospital for me to complete my internship at. After some frustrating obstacles Wendy managed to find the place of my dreams. I went to the interview and they hired me.
At the beginning, I was supposed to prepare the rooms for the doctors and do some paper work. That was very stressful, as there were 5 doctors, 10 rooms and uncountable patients waiting! I literally had to run while preparing the rooms! After 2 days, when I got into the swing of things , it started to get boring for me, that is when I asked for more tasks. I tried to keep in touch with the doctors every time I had the opportunity to do so, always reminding them that I am a third year medical student, and would love it if they would allow me to watch some of the appointments.
With the help of invaluable friends, I was able to answer phones and book appointments, and do all of the front desk responsibilities, so that in certain times when I was left alone at the reception, I did my job very well. I believe I proved myself to be very useful and hard working.
A magical thing happened, the doctors started to call me when they had something interesting to show me or to teach me! After that moment, my fellow co-workers managed to cover me at the front desk while I was with the doctors . I tried to learn as much as I could, always discussing and comparing the difference between the two health systems. I believe the doctors learned a lot from me too. My supervisor, one of the doctors, was the person who taught me the most and we also got to be friends. She invited my parents and I to visit some beautiful landscapes from the city, as well as to have dinner with her family in her house. That made me realise I had not only a job, but also friends for life.
By that point I didn't want to come back to Brazil anymore to the doctors and my MOA fellows. By the end of my internship all the people from the office in Vancouver prepared a big “Good Bye” party in the middle of the office during work hours, with cake and presents .
My supervisor wrote me a wonderful recommendation letter, which certainly will help me on my future jobs and when I return to Canada as a student or a professional.
My experience was wonderful, and I recommend people to try this program. This not only made me feel that I am in the right career but also to value all the opportunities which appear in front me.