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Intern Spotlights: Irene Cao and Addison Scales

Irene Cao: Medical Research & Curriculum Intern

Irene Cao is a nursing student at the University of Texas at Austin who is passionate about public and global health. Aspiring to be an advocate for vulnerable populations, Irene is interning with OGT to spread health awareness and create a medical curriculum for neglected communities.

How did you first learn about One Good Turn?

I found OGT through a UT opportunities blog for my program. I was looking for an organization geared towards public health and neglected communities when bingo! I read OGT's description. Once I researched how dedicated OGT was to promoting health and educating neglected communities I knew I had to apply!

What has been your favorite part of working at One Good Turn?

While this sounds a bit weird, my favorite part is poking at the brains of Dr. Messer and co. I always enjoy learning what and how other people think. Writing a medical curriculum with Dr. Messer has been enlightening. While I can research certain content myself, theory doesn't beat experience. I've learned so many ways to reword certain phrases to make it more understandable as well as little tidbits of surprising facts that you can't know until you get there. For example, acetaminophen (Tylenol) is called Paracetamol in other countries. In addition to Dr. Messer, I've learned a lot from my fellow interns! They always come up with new and interesting ways to make information fun and understandable for laymen, something I struggle with. I now understand how difficult it is to be a teacher. Shout out to the professors and other educators out there!

What is the weirdest job you’ve ever had?

Last summer I went to Japan for an intern abroad experience. I was interested in Japan's health care system, so to get a broad perspective, I joined a healthcare-focused headhunting company named Titan Consulting JP. I got a firsthand experience of how hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, and research facilities were staffed, what employers looked for, what experience was considered the norm, etc. The company itself wasn't weird but given that I'm a nursing student with zero business experience or knowledge about office work, it threw me for a loop as I joined. Never before did I have to deal with office politics (good thing there were barely any), sales, casual Fridays, and more. It was a fun and fruitful experience, however, and I'm glad I interned there.

What’s your favorite indoor/outdoor activity?

When I'm indoors (and many times outdoors), I love reading. I've been a bookworm since a child and can go through days of just being a hermit and reading. My favorite genres are fantasy, action, adventure, and books with great character development and world-building. While outdoors, I love gazing at the sky, especially for star-gazing. It's amazing to look at the sky and wonder how small and insignificant we are compared to the vastness of the universe. I'm reminded of how lucky I am to be alive and able to see this gorgeous view.

Ten years ago, who did you think you would be now?

Even as a child, I've always been a planner. 10 years ago I expected myself to be studying to be a doctor who would one day go abroad and serve neglected communities. 10 years later, while I'm not studying to be a doctor, I am studying to be a nurse and still expect myself to go abroad. I'm even serving neglected communities now with OGT!

Thank you Irene for all the incredible work you do!!

Addison Scales: Medical Research & Curriculum Intern

Addison Scales is a current undergraduate student at the University of Texas at Austin. She is majoring in nutrition while also completing an interdisciplinary certificate in social inequality, health, and policy and a minor in anthropology. During her time at UT, Addison has interned with a community clinic in her hometown of Amarillo, Texas, and worked with the Austin nonprofit Girlstart to teach elementary girls STEM topics. Additionally, she studied public health in India for a semester where she conducted research on menstrual equity. After graduating from UT, Addison plans to pursue a career in global health with a focus on public health and

applied anthropology.

How did you first learn about One Good Turn?

I learned about OGT from the Bridging Disciplines Program (BDP) opportunities blog at UT. I had been searching for a global health internship opportunity and knew when I found OGT and read about their awesome team that this was an organization I'd love to be a part of!

What has been your favorite part of working at OGT?

I love the team environment of OGT. Even though all of our work has been remote to this point, every team Zoom meeting and phone call feels like an open space to collaborate and share ideas. As an intern, my top priority is to learn from my experience with OGT, but the collaborative environment also makes me feel like any ideas I have are heard and valued. I get to learn from Ann and Annie's expertise, work alongside the other interns, and share my own thoughts -- it's an incredible environment!

What is the weirdest job you’ve ever had?

I'm not sure that this qualifies as 'weird', but the coolest job I've had was probably interning with Girlstart in Austin. I got to hang out in an all-girls environment and combine all things girls' empowerment with engaging in STEM! I taught 4th and 5th-grade girls during an afterschool program how to do a whole range of hands-on STEM experiments all while reinforcing Girlstart's main motto -- that STEM girls are 'Brave, Creative, and Curious'!

What’s your favorite indoor/outdoor activity?

I love hiking and camping! My sister and I share in this enthusiasm and recently took a camping trip to Utah. We were able to hike to an incredible slot canyon and a waterfall, and we saw crazy rock formations that felt staged. Also, nothing beats an egg and hash brown campfire breakfast on a cold, desert morning.

Ten years ago, who did you think you would be now?

I think I always imagined that by this point I'd feel like I had my life completely figured out: jobs totally lined up, expert cook, not still needing to call my mom to help with daily tasks. I assumed early 20s was when life just fell into place and you were suddenly a fully-functioning adult. No such luck, but I've always wanted to go into the health field and I know the prospect of being a part of OGT would have excited me just as much ten years ago as it does now!

Thank you Addison for all your work! We appreciate you!

Thank you, Irene and Addison! Keep an eye out on the blog for more intern spotlights.

Interested in interning with One Good Turn? Email with a resume and letter of interest. We look forward to hearing from you!


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