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Staff Stories - November 30, 2023

Shaping the Future of Senior Living Through Internships

by Cameren Golden

In the ever-evolving landscape of the senior living and healthcare workforce, internships provide a vital steppingstone for young professionals to gain hands-on experience and make a meaningful difference in their chosen fields. Goodwin Living offers a diverse range of internships that provide invaluable opportunities for interns to contribute to the organization.

Internships at Goodwin Living

Goodwin Living has provided exceptional senior living and healthcare services since we welcomed our first resident to Goodwin House Alexandria. Along with our excellent services, we offer internships in key departments seasonally throughout the organization to students from various universities and local high schools.

Here are some of the departments that have welcomed interns:

  • Brain Health
  • IT (Information Technology)
  • Dining Services
  • Social Work
  • Life Enrichment
  • Marketing and Communications
  • Finance

Students who participated in the internship program attested to how thorough and beneficial their internship experiences have been. Some interns join the organization as full- or part-time team members.

One Intern’s Journey

While pursuing a degree at Marymount University, international student Makeda Retta dedicated a summer to intern with the Goodwin Living Finance Department. She describes her experience as nothing short of rewarding.

“The program is really good because you’re able to get firsthand world experience, but you also get to talk to the residents,” Makeda shared “I don’t think that is something I’ve ever seen before. I don’t think it’s common at all.”

Throughout her internship, Makeda got involved in various duties.

“I helped the team with weekly check runs,” she shared. “I also supported monthly close, indexed checks and cash receipts, and communicated with vendors to reconcile financial inconsistencies.”

Both Makeda and her peers play a pivotal role in enhancing the quality of life of our older adults and contributing to the holistic well-being of the Goodwin Living community.  While Makeda started her journey as the first-ever finance intern at Goodwin Living, she has since become a part-time Accounts Payable Coordinator.

Coming into internships can be quite intimidating for students, so it is important for them to feel supported by their team.

Makeda shared that the Finance team was “welcoming and loving.” She continued, “Michael Krivell, my supervisor, is very supportive. And he’s not just a supervisor but more like a mentor to me as well because it is my first internship in the finance industry. He was there to help me answer some questions I’ve had about the industry and overall about the job.”

Makeda Retta and her supervisor Michael Krivell

 

Makeda Retta and Payroll Coordinator Julie Zhu

The Power of Mentorship

As we serve our mission at Goodwin Living, we commit ourselves to the future of senior living and healthcare. In 2023, the organization was ranked by The Washington Post as the #1 Top Workplace in the Greater Washington area. This accolade signifies the dedication and passion of every individual involved with Goodwin Living.

The culture at Goodwin Living is one of community. Our newest internship program fosters close relationships between interns, Goodwin Living residents and members. It is not just about learning the ropes; it is about feeling supported throughout the journey.

For Makeda, the most memorable part of her internship was the mentorship she received from GHA resident Khacki Berry. Makeda shared that Khacki offered one of the most important lessons: “to look at life from a different perspective, just taking it one step at a time.”

Coming into the internship experience at Goodwin Living, Makeda had preconceptions of how senior living would be. Yet through her relationship with Khacki, Makeda said, “It enabled me to have a positive image of what senior living is and what it is about.”

Makeda Retta and her GHA resident mentor Khacki Berry

The Goodwin Living Foundation: Making a Difference

The Goodwin Living Foundation plays a pivotal role in enhancing the quality of life for residents as well as team members. Thanks to generous donors of the Goodwin Living Foundation, students like Makeda can participate in an internship program and gain first-hand professional experience.

The Goodwin Living Foundation programs and initiatives extend beyond our residents and interns, touching the lives of Goodwin Living team members as well through our Resident Programs, Staff Program and Hospice Fund.

Shaping the Future of Senior Living

Goodwin Living stands as a beacon of excellence in the senior living and healthcare industry. Our diverse internship programs offer young professionals like Makeda Retta a platform to make a significant impact while honing their skills. Being honored and recognized as the #1 Top Workplace in the Greater Washington area is a testament to an unwavering commitment to both Goodwin Living employees and the older adults under our care.

The mentorship program ensures that interns are nurtured and guided by residents, setting the stage for a fulfilling career and life. The Goodwin Living Foundation extends our reach beyond our immediate community, introducing career options some interns might never have imagined or heard of before participating in our program.

Makeda embodies the essence of a true learner and collaborator.

As she aptly puts it, “I feel like the smartest person is the one that learns from others.”

Makeda’s philosophy of continuous learning and eagerness to draw knowledge from those around her are both admirable and integral to her success here at Goodwin Living. She has been a shining example of the positive impact that a humble and inquisitive approach can have in a workplace. Her commitment to personal growth and open-minded attitude are commendable and highly inspiring for all prospective interns seeking to join the Goodwin Living team. Makeda’s journey encourages us all to embrace growth opportunities and to approach every day as a chance to learn and thrive together.

With a focus on shaping the future of senior living, Goodwin Living continues to lead the way, setting the standard for senior care excellence in the Greater Washington area. We hope Makeda’s example of how internships can empower young professionals to make a significant difference in the senior living and healthcare industry and beyond.

____________________________________________________

As a Senior Merchandising & Marketing major at Marymount University in Arlington, VA and Marketing & Communication intern, Cameren Golden assist with internal and external communications at Goodwin Living. She joined Goodwin Living as an intern in Fall 2023, where she is practicing and sharpening her Marketing skills. Cameren is originally from Montgomery Alabama and currently lives in Pennsylvania. In her free time she enjoys cooking with friends.

 

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