Beyond the Gates: Wintermission Internships

During Wintermission, a group of students participated in internships that extended the education opportunities of this special term beyond the bounds of campus. Whether interning at corporate offices of retail shops, art galleries, educational institutions, or midwifery clinics, students gained real-world experience in fields of their choosing.
This week, we are sharing reports from several of those interns — Ally C. ’18, Ava W. ’18, Holland D. ’19, Sarah E. ’19, Chloe G. ’19, Kayla L. ’19, Sally E. ’20, and Jojo M. ’20.

Interning with Friends of Homeless Animals (FOHA) — Ally C. ’18
For my 2018 Wintermission term I chose to intern at a local animal shelter in Aldie, VA, called Friends of Homeless Animals (FOHA). I have volunteered there for many years, but during this internship I gained a greater knowledge and understanding of what goes on behind the scenes at the shelter when it is not open to the public. I was able to meet and work with the new intake dogs that were recently brought in from other shelters. My favorite intake dog was a funny, young pit bull named Isabel who loves to jump up and down when she is excited. While she gets along great with other dogs, her favorite thing is to sit in your lap or play tug-of-war with you and her toys. If I wasn’t playing with the dogs or cats, I was organizing or helping the volunteers with on-site projects such as inventory, donations, laundry, and kennel work. Over the course of this internship, I learned just how hard it is to successfully run a 501(c) 3 nonprofit and how much of an impact the staff and volunteers have on the shelter.

Interning with Täkt Saddlery — Ava W. ’18
During Wintermisson, I had the opportunity to go to Paris with my mother and intern with her saddle company, Täkt Saddlery. While I was there, I attended a meeting with a company that makes shears for livestock and wants to expand business to the United States through my mom's company. It was interesting to see how things work in a business and witness a business deal being made in person. 

I was also able to practice my French and visit many historical and cultural sites in Paris. Going to the Louvre and the Musée Rodin were the most interesting to me because I love art — mainly art from the Middle Ages — and the Louvre has a fantastic collection. Practicing my French in Paris really helped me improve my comprehension of spoken French, and my own pronunciation of the French language. 

My mom often got a lot of emails regarding her company during the trip, and I helped her with responses. I saw how a small business works through modern technology. After my trip I felt I really learned a lot about my mom's business and I now respect and admire what she does even more. I hope I can help her again in the future. It was also great to be able to improve and strengthen my French skills, which I think will be great in helping me in my French class at Foxcroft.

Interning with the Jackson Clinics-Physical Therapy — Holland D. ’19
During the week of Wintermission, I did an independent internship at Jackson Clinics-Physical Therapy in Middleburg. I shadowed Michael Glindmeyer, the clinic director and a physical therapist. Over the course of the week, Mr. Glindmeyer taught me how everything in the body is connected, and how physical therapy also targets the nervous system and the brain. I also learned the positive impact physical therapy has on patients and their general wellbeing. I will miss seeing the patients every day. This was such an eye-opening experience for me, and I hope to work with Mr. Glindmeyer again in the future!

Interning at the Office of Florida Governor Rick Scott — Sarah E. ’19
During my internship at Florida Governor Rick Scott's office, I learned a lot. On the first day, I learned about the Florida Gubernatorial Fellows program, open to Florida university students. Applicants have created a policy proposal they would be given a grant to pursue, if selected. I reviewed more than 20 outstanding applications from a variety of students who have excelled academically and in their community. On the second day, I — along with the current Fellows class — toured the Florida Department of Law Enforcement crime lab, an amazing experience. They have artifacts from the Ted Bundy case and have a gun collection of over 1,400 guns that were used in crimes, dating back to around the Civil War. On the third day, I reviewed more applications and filed papers. On the fourth and final day, the Florida House and Senate was in session and my supervisor, Mrs. Bane, took me to the viewing area and explained to me how it all worked. I am so grateful to have had this opportunity; having it made me realize that I would like to consider applying for the Gubernatorial program if I go to a Florida university and that I am definitely interesting in pursuing a career in politics.

Interning with K2M, Inc — Chloe G. ’19
This Wintermission, I interned at K2M, an innovative spinal technology company. K2M’s mission is “to become the preeminent Complex and Minimally Invasive Spine company in the world by developing differentiated technologies to improve the lives of patients suffering from the most complicated spinal pathologies” (http://www.k2m.com/about-us/about-k2m/). During the internship, I learned about the complexities involved in designing spinal technologies.

I started my week with an in-depth reading of the Spine Technology Handbook. Wow, what a page-turner! The Spine Technology Handbook, commonly read by engineers and used throughout the industry, increased my understanding of the anatomy of the spine. Equipped with new knowledge about the mechanics of the human spine, I went to work, ready for a hands-on biomedical adventure!

Touring the K2M workplace, I visited with many engineers who design implants and medical instruments. They showed me the print room, which houses 3D printers used for prototyping products, and the machine shop, where some implants and instruments are produced. For me, the most exciting tour was the bio lab, where surgeons practice using the implants and instruments on cadavers.

Interning at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) with Director of Riding Kate Worsham — Kayla L. ’19
During Wintermission, I did an internship in Wellington, FL, shadowing Director of Riding Kate Worsham and assisting the staff and girls competing in the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). I had an amazing time in Florida learning from the incredible experience. I was able to get a different ringside perspective and a view into what a trainer sees. For example, by helping to set jumps in the warm up ring I was able to hear different feedback styles, both from Ms. Kate and other trainers alongside us. I got hands-on experience with the horses, and I thoroughly enjoyed working with them, from helping with barn chores to bringing horses to the ring in preparation to show. Throughout my time there, the veterinarian came several times, giving different diagnoses and performing different procedures from analyzing smaller skin-related complications to giving injections, which I was able to view. I am so grateful for the opportunity, and I hope to return to the sunshine and palm trees again next year.

Interning with the Old Dominion Hounds and Veterinary Clinic — Sally E. ’20 and Jojo M. ’20
During Wintermission, Sally and I went to the home of my trainer, Betsy Burke Parker, to do a veterinary and foxhunting internship. We learned about the different aspects of horses and the lives of small animals and about the many things that must be done to maintain and care for these animals.

On the first day, Dr. Casey, who is a chiropractor, acupuncture, and eastern-western vet, came to the farm and assessed three horses. Dr. Casey diagnosed one horse with EPM, a neurological disease, and he described all of the reasons why this horse had EPM in great detail. Our trainer also showed us how to give shots and we did it, but it was terrifying. Thankfully the horses were perfect. Also, the horse dentist came out and he showed us what he did on a day-to-day basis with the horses. He had a contraption that helped him to keep the horses mouth open and once he was done he let us feel the teeth.

Later on in the week, we got to go to a small animal clinic and interned there for the whole morning. The vet clinic had many surgeries going on, and we were able to watch a tumor being removed from a Yorkshire Terrier, and teeth being removed from a cat. We also and we were able to see the sonogram of three puppies in a female dog. We assisted with writing things down and helping with the clinic's dogs by giving them walks around the block.

On Wednesday, we worked at the foxhunting barn and we got to play with the newborn hound puppies. We learned the daily schedule of being a master and a huntsman at the ODH kennels and it was great experience.
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An all-girls boarding and day school in Northern Virginia, Foxcroft prepares young women in grades 9-12 for success in college and in life. Our outstanding academic program offers challenging courses, including Advanced Placement classes and an innovative STEM program. Our premiere equestrian program is nationally recognized, and our athletic teams have won conference and state championships. Experience the best in girls' boarding schools: visit Foxcroft.