Tri-C student, Michael Pierce, completed a 20 hour per week, paid, summer internship at the Swetland Center for Environmental Health at Case Western Reserve University Medical School. Pierce, is participating in the Cleveland Humanities Collaborative and plans to transfer to CWRU to study Philosophy and Psychology. He learned about the internship through a professor whom he made connections with during the school year.
In his role as a field researcher, Pierce collected, analyzed and presented data from interviews with food and beverage retailers and their customers throughout the Hough and Buckeye-Shaker neighborhoods in Cleveland. The Center is conducting research on the issue of food desserts, a situation faced by many people in urban areas who have no or little access to healthy food options.
Pierce said of his experience and how it relates to what he is learning in the classroom, “I enjoyed community outreach and working with Clevelanders. Hearing about their journeys and struggles was a very enlightening experience. The internship solidified my view of being proactive and focusing on making direct change. Another thing I used frequently was my basis in philosophy to try to work around problems in a different light.”
When asked if he had advice for students seeking an internship, Pierce shared this insight, “Everyone should be actively seeking internships in the fields they are interested in. So many internships are available, and it is great to make sure you enjoy the field you are pursuing. Behind the scenes many jobs are different than they appear to be on the surface.”