- Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
By Ryan Clark
CHS Communications Director
Last year, Christian Hendricks was on the other side of the table.
He was interviewing with potential employers for a summer internship, and while he didn’t land one there, he did utilize some family contacts to get an internship at Jackson & Coker, located near his hometown of Alpharetta, Ga.
You could say things went well for Hendricks. “I was hired,” he said.
And that was before he’d even graduated. Hendricks, now a senior in the College of Health Sciences’ Clinical Leadership and Management program, has a full-time position at Jackson & Coker, which connects healthcare organizations with physicians and advanced practitioners. Thursday, Hendricks represented his organization — one of 10 healthcare companies present — in the Harris Ballroom in the UK Student Center to participate in interviews with about 30 CLM students.
This time, Hendricks was doing the interviewing, and some of the interviewees were his current peers.
“Yes, there were a few people who were surprised to see me here,” he said. “But they were all great. These students are so well-taught, I was able to find quite a few who I think could do the same thing I did and get hired.”
For the second consecutive year, the CLM students were interviewed in the speed-dating style, as each met with all the companies for a few minutes apiece. Then, the students would move to the next company, and so on, as each employer would also see each student.
The idea began during the summer of 2021, when professors heard employers asking to speak with talented students about internship and job opportunities.
Between Sarah Kercsmar, PhD, program director and director of undergraduate studies in CLM, and her partners at the Stuckert Career Center, they came up with the perfect plan — interviews in the speed-dating style. Kercsmar said the second year offers even more opportunity for her students.
“We were thrilled to invite employers back to campus for our Second Annual Speed Networking/Internship Fair Event,” she said. “Throughout their undergraduate program, students hear early and often about the importance of networking. This event allows them to make connections with employers across the region for summer internships and beyond. A big thank you to our partners!”
One of the things the students said they learned was how diverse the healthcare job opportunities can be.
“I didn’t really know how many kinds of opportunities we have,” said Rachel Grigg, a sophomore from Louisville who was looking for her first internship. “And I know interning is really important. I was told that’s what employers are going to look for, so I wanted to come and network.”
One of the more surprising opportunities came from Meggan Frederick, a 2021 alumna from Lexington. While going to school in CLM, Frederick said she wanted to work at a spa, so she contacted nearly every single one in town. It led to her getting experience, and on Thursday, she was back recruiting, now working in business development for The Spa at Marshall Lifestyle Medicine.
“My advice to students is there so much opportunity in this field,” Frederick said. “Just do your homework. Investigate and network. You can find what you want to do.”
Jacob Yeray, a junior from Lexington, said he came away from the interviews with a very positive feeling.
“I think there were three or four real possibilities for me here,” he said. “I can see myself interning with them, or even working for them. It was a great experience — fingers crossed.”
Hendricks, who will graduate in May, said he was looking for a certain kind of person — someone who may not have a lot on their resume, but instead has an ability to learn.
“We need someone who can communicate with anyone, from doctors to administrators,” he said. “And we need someone who brings an energy with them, a person you want to talk with. Lastly, we need someone who can adapt to different situations. You’re always going to have issues you need to solve.”
So, did he find what he was looking for?
“Definitely,” he said. “And I knew I would. I know these students, and I know how well-taught they are. I’m confident we’re going to find some people we want.”
Appalachian Regional Healthcare
Baptist Health System KY/IN – Health Professionals
Jackson & Coker
King’s Daughters Health System
Marshall Lifestyle Medicine
Trilogy Health Services, LLC
University of Kentucky Healthcare – EVPHA Team
University of Kentucky Healthcare – Stroke Care Network