Bridging the Gaps Q&A: Meet Our Summer Intern Jessica

This summer we had the privilege of working with medical students in the Philadelphia area through the Bridging The Gaps program! In this blog series, we’ll highlight the people behind the program and learn more about our interns who helped us so much this summer.

Tell us more about yourself!

My name is Jessica Pederson, I am a rising second year medical student at Drexel! I love science and connecting with my community which is why I went into medicine. I am originally from the Seattle area, went to undergrad at University of Wisconsin, and have been living on the east coast for the past three years! I have enjoyed getting to connect with all different communities across the US and am grateful for my experience at HMS to learn from this amazing group of people.

When you heard that you were going to join HMS School for this opportunity, what were you most looking forward to or looking to gain?

I was mainly excited to observe and learn from the unique community at HMS. I wanted to learn how to connect with the amazing students in my class and to learn what each individual enjoys in terms of music, movement, and games so that I could engage with them every day.

What was your favorite part about this internship experience?

My favorite part about this internship was the students in my class! I learned so much from them and was amazed at their perseverance everyday despite their challenges.

What is the most rewarding lesson you learned that you will take with you?

The most rewarding lesson I will take with me is the power of patience. I hadn’t worked with people with cerebral palsy before and it was helpful to learn how to engage and connect with each unique individual. People need time to process, and this is important to help them develop new connections and stay connected with their peers.

How do you envision yourself utilizing your new-found knowledge in your professional career endeavors or future studies?

I am particularly interested in going into pediatrics and my time at HMS has allowed me to appreciate the breadth of experiences people with cerebral palsy have. I will take this perspective with me into my future career by viewing each child I see as a unique person with their own experiences and health goals.

What advice would you give to someone who is interested in joining this internship program with HMS and Bridging the Gaps at UPenn?

I would just suggest coming each day thinking how you can help and how you can connect with the students at HMS. Even if you aren’t sure what to do, being there and helping the students engage in the activities of the classroom is significant!

Interested in working with HMS? Visit our Career Opportunities page to see what positions may be right for you!