The Power of Mentorship

The summer before college, I was nervous about starting nursing school. I had never truly experienced patient care before and had lingering doubts about my abilities. Sure, I wanted to be a nurse, but who knew what would happen when I had to take care of a sick patient for the first time? What if I couldn’t handle it?

Enter Eva Gomez, a nurse and clinical educator at Boston Children’s Hospital. She ran an internship program designed to expose high school students to nursing careers, and she shaped my nursing career from the moment I met her. Smart, confident, but not afraid to discuss her own mistakes, Eva made all of us instantly comfortable. She challenged us to think of nursing as a calling, not just a career. Eva never made us feel like students; she treated us like future nurses. The infusion of confidence I gained as a direct result of her intervention fueled me through my freshman year and showed me that even if I had doubts about my abilities, there was at least one nurse who believed I could do it. After the program ended, Eva and I kept in touch, as she has done for all the graduates of the program. I have frequently asked for her advice, and she remains a huge influence in my life.

My mentorship experience began my freshman year of high school through a program called Project Reach, which is designed to help at risk elementary school students academically and socially by pairing them with a high school tutor. I worked with three children over four years, providing both homework help and emotional support. In all cases, when the students felt comfortable sharing their feelings with me, their academic achievement increased. Additionally, their outlook on school changed from pessimistic to optimistic. I will never forget the pride each child had when they showed me their first perfect score on a spelling or math test, a feat they never believed was possible until they had someone who believed in them. Even here at NEU, my involvement as a mentor in Bouve Fellows has shown me just how valuable having someone show you the way is, especially in your first year at school.

Finding a mentor at work is crucial to your success, and not just in that they may help you “get ahead.” Mentors are a wealth of information about your chosen career and the complications you may run into as time goes on. A true mentor will want to help you succeed both professionally and personally. Eva and the countless others who have been mentor figures to me over the years have shaped my development every step of the way, allowing me to pay it forward and become a mentor figure myself.

I see mentorship as the best possible way to improve relationships within a group and encourage each member to work towards his or her goals. It perpetuates a cycle of service, building the confidence of the mentees while allowing mentors to have a positive impact on the community that gave them the opportunity to succeed. It also strengthens the bonds between the younger and older individuals, building a strong cohort that helps each one professionally as well as personally. I have had several mentors within nursing, and each has given me valuable information that I will carry with me throughout my nursing career. I have witnessed the positive effect mentorship has, particularly in the nursing major here at NEU. Nurses who graduated years or even decades ago look back on programs like Bouve Fellows fondly and are more willing to help younger nurses transition. The interconnected nature of the major coupled with program like Bouve Fellows creates a strong network of empowered nurses, not only benefiting Bouve College but also the healthcare community as a whole.

Julia Thompson is a second year Nursing major in the Bouve College of Health Sciences. She works as a nursing assistant at South Shore Hospital and is currently on her first co-op at Boston Children’s Hospital. She is the secretary of the Northeastern University Student Nurses’ Association and is also involved with Bouve Fellows. Feel free to contact her at thompson.jul@husky.neu.edu with any questions. Connect with her on LinkedIn and follow her on Twitter.

Raising the Bar with SBAR: How to Communicate Effectively

One of the most intimidating parts of starting any new co-op is learning to communicate effectively with both your peers and your senior colleagues. Professionally and concisely explaining your views is difficult, and the potential for misunderstanding is high. In life or death situations that require a quick, informed response, improper communication can lead to unintended negative consequences. That’s why the healthcare community has almost universally adopted the SBAR procedure, which is designed to give the most relevant information as concisely as possible and take the guesswork out of decision making. Having a script to follow helps reduce the intimidation felt by more junior members of the team and helps increase confidence as well. SBAR is not just useful for healthcare workers, however. SBAR can help communication in every field, as long as you follow the steps below.

S- Situation

This is essentially the “why” of your phone call. What prompted you to pick up the phone in the first place? This is usually brief and confined to a sentence or two. The provider needs to know the main issue facing the team or the patient. The other major part of “S” is identifying yourself and your role. Don’t just launch into the problem without letting the person on the other end of the conversation know why they should be listening to you,

Real World Ex: “Hello John, this is Julia, the team leader for the testing program. We just ran the new software from your team and discovered a few bugs that need to be worked out before the launch.”

B- Background

This is where you provide the facts necessary to justify the call. It is also a way to reacquaint the provider or manager with the case. Managers and doctors work on many projects on a daily basis and may not remember every detail. Also, please be sure to have all relevant info in front of you when calling (vital signs, important dates, specific numbers or lab values, etc.). There is nothing worse than being asked a question and not having the answer. No one expects you to remember everything about a patient or product- but you must be able to look up the information quickly and accurately when required,

Real World Ex: “Jake from your team had sent us the Alpha software to test for any issues. The launch date is currently scheduled for Thursday. As we ran our basic testing we discovered that it tends to crash and is very slow with more than minimal use. Additionally, there are issues with security as we were easily able to obtain user passwords during our test.”

A- Assessment

This is where your knowledge comes into play. You know the patient or situation best and you likely have the knowledge to understand what needs to happen next. As a result, the provider or client will look to you for your assessment of the situation. You should have this analysis ready before calling the provider or manager.

Real World Ex: “I believe the software will need more time before launching due to the bugs presented.”

R- Recommendation

Based on the situation presented, what do you feel is the best course of action? Again, you should use your prior knowledge when deciding what to recommend and you should definitely know what your recommendation is before calling.

Real World Ex: “I think my team should run some additional testing before we give this to the client for approval. I’ll need at least three days to run the tests I need to feel comfortable with the software. In light of that, I believe the launch date should be postponed and the client notified so that my team can run the additional testing.”

SBAR is a tool that can be easily implemented to improve communication and ensure that team members receive the most pertinent information in a timely manner. It can be used over the phone, in an email, or in person to ensure that your views on every situation are communicated effectively. While SBAR is crucial for healthcare workers, it is relevant and needed in other areas as well. It saves time while making you seem knowledgeable and ready for any situation.

Julia Thompson is a second year Nursing major in the Bouve College of Health Sciences. She works as a nursing assistant at South Shore Hospital and is currently on her first co-op at Boston Children’s Hospital. She is the secretary of the Northeastern University Student Nurses’ Association and is also involved with Bouve Fellows. Feel free to contact her at thompson.jul@husky.neu.edu with any questions. Connect with her on LinkedIn and follow her on Twitter.

Beyond the Green Line: Silicon Valley, CA

Beyond the Green Line: Silicon Valley, CA

BEYOND THE GREEN LINE is a blog series featured on the Northeastern University Career Development Blog, ‘The Works.’ Each post highlights a major city and gives you an inside look at the local food, culture, music scene, the industries that are thriving there, and some current job openings in the area.’

You may have already read “Beyond the Green Line: San Francisco,” but we felt that the Silicon Valley deserved it’s own post entirely. The ‘Silicon Valley’ refers to the southern portion of the San Francisco Bay Area and includes San Jose and the Santa Clara Valley and was named as such because of the production of silicon semiconductors. The area is now known for its booming biotech and software industries and is often considered the heart of the technology world.

There are at least 20 Fortune 500 companies concentrated in the Silicon Valley area alone, depending on where you draw the boundaries. These include Apple, HP, Google, Facebook, Netflix, Tesla and many of the other most innovative companies you can think of. However, if you’re more interested in working for a start-up than a major corporation, lucky for you there are literally thousands of startups based in the Silicon Valley.

In 2015, Northeastern University actually opened a Silicon Valley hub, offering advanced degrees in STEM fields through partnerships with several companies. Almost 400 NEU students have worked in a co-op role over the last year alone. There are also over 5,000 Northeastern Alumni currently living in the Bay Area, so you’d be in great company there.

NU alumna Ana Gvalia loves living in the San Francisco area. She shared:

“After graduation I moved to San Francisco to work at a startup to learn more about entrepreneurship and innovation. The city is an amazing place to meet young, aspiring founders as well as seasoned, experienced business leaders. Every day I learn something new and everyday is a new adventure!”

 

Food and Drink:

  • There are 22 wineries to visit in the Santa Clara Valley
  • Try “gourmet” ramen, made popular first by Orenchi Ramen
  • Enjoy very fresh food thanks to the growing farm-to-table trend
  • Several funded startups are even developing meal replacements that are gaining popularity

Culture:

  • Visit the museums – there are several technical museums like the Computer History
  • Museum and the Tech Museum of Innovation
  • Go to the Ballet San Jose and Symphony Silicon Valley
  • Learn about traditional Japanese culture at the Japanese Obon festival
  • Stroll through the SoFA arts district

Activities:

  • Relax at a nearby beach, like Half Moon Bay
  • Root for the 49ers and the San Jose Sharks
  • Visit the Winchester Mystery House
  • Go to the San Pedro Square Market for local vendors and live music
  • Attend free lectures at Stanford
  • Visit the HP garage, the “birthplace of Silicon Valley”

Job Opportunities – log into NUcareers to apply!

Companies with Current Postings:
Airbnb: Software Engineer – Full Stack, Job ID 181535
Apple: Software Engineer – Data Scientist, Job ID 1821887
Cisco: Full Stack/Backend Engineer, Job ID 1821882
Dropbox: Product Designer, Job ID 1821705
Facebook: Data Scientist – Analytics, Job ID 1821699;
Software Engineer – Network, Job ID 1821701
Github: Git Infrastructure Engineer, Job ID 181704
Google/Alphabet: Software Engineer, Job ID 1821695;
Credit Research Analyst, Job ID 1821696
GoPro: Software Engineer – Media Discovery, Job ID 182163
Lyft: Business Intelligence Engineer, Job ID 1819885
Pandora: Software Engineer, Job ID 1821707
Plethora: Prototype Machinist & Programmer, Job ID 1821372
Quantcast: Software Engineer, Job ID 1816127
Twitter: Data Scientist – Ads Marketplace, Job ID 1821702
Visa: Business Development Analyst, Job ID 1819880

Additional Companies:
Box
Chegg
eBay
Sun Microsystems

Coming up Soon: Beyond the Green Line – Denver!
We want your feedback!
Feel free to leave us a comment if there’s anything we’ve missed or a particular city you’d like us to profile. If you’d like to have your photos considered for the next post, send over your Denver photos now!
This post was authored by Molly Osmulski, a third year Northeastern student. Molly is working toward a degree in Marketing with a minor in International Affairs. She works part time at the Northeastern Career Development office and has previously completed a co-op at Travel + Leisure Magazine in NYC and has studied abroad at the London School of Economics. When she is not studying or searching for her next co-op, she loves travelling, thrift shopping and trying new foods. You can contact her at osmulski.m@husky.neu.edu.

Sources:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/jimhandy/2012/05/30/what-is-it-like-to-live-in-silicon-valley/2/#532e6ac16e9c
http://www.businessinsider.com/tech-startups-will-never-leave-silicon-valley-heres-why-2015-12