For Tyra Forde, an incoming fourth year English major at Wilfrid Laurier University, her summer internship with Grand River Hospital (GRH) showed her the industry she wants to work in after graduation. She completed a placement in the summer of 2020 with the Office of Innovation and Research (OIR) and returned again for the summer of 2021, this time to work jointly with OIR and the GRH Communications Team.
“Sarah Laferriere, Office of Innovation and Research Administrator, and Cheryl Evans, Manager, Communications, Engagement and Marketing, both supervised me during my placement this summer. The opportunity to get my feet wet in a hospital setting in two different departments really opened my eyes to how much I enjoy working in the health care industry,” Forde explains.
During her internship, her main priorities were to write articles for the biannual publication ‘Action at GRH’ that is produced by OIR and the Grand River Hospital Foundation and write the weekly GRHnow newsletter and COVID Updates for the Communications Team.
“I had the opportunity to write articles about innovative technology that will improve patient experience, partnerships in the medical and education community that the hospital fosters, and interview GRH President and CEO, Ron Gagnon, for the upcoming ‘Action’ editions.”
“On the Communications side,” Forde continues, “I was able to produce documents regularly reviewed by hospital staff that contained important information about facilities and operations, human resources, COVID protocols, and staff success stories that help keep the whole GRH team connected.”
She was first inspired to pursue an internship at Grand River Hospital when she saw the posting from her university’s co-op department. “I had never before considered working in health care, but the amount of writing that the position required convinced me to apply and I could not have been happier with my decision.”
Alongside polishing her writing and design skills, including through using programs like Adobe InDesign and Canva, Forde was able to improve her multitasking. “A hospital is an incredibly fast paced environment and both information and priorities can change on a dime. Being able to constantly adapt and juggle multiple projects is an incredibly transferable skill that I will be able to take with me into my future career.”
“I am sad to see my internship come to a close. Both summers with Grand River Hospital were unforgettable and instrumental in setting me on my current path. I am grateful to Sarah and Cheryl for their encouragement and faith in me on the various projects I was lucky to work on. I would recommend a summer internship with Grand River Hospital to anyone looking for a place to both hone their existing skills and foster new ones in a supportive and exciting environment.”