When Charleston stole my heart and other internship stories.

Two weeks later and I’m finally writing about interviews and internship offers I received.  If you remember, it all started with 22 applications to hospitals across the nation.

Then came the waiting.  Applications were due by September 5th and I had no idea if anyone would offer interview spots to me.  I interviewed with

  • Children’s Mercy in Kansas City, MO
  • Children’s National in Washington D.C.
  • MUSC Children’s in Charleston, SC
  • CHOP in Philadelphia, PA
  • Children’s Memorial Hermann in Houston, TX
  • MUSC Children’s in Charleston, SC (SECOND ROUND)
  • Cook Children’s in Fort Worth, TX
  • MD Anderson in Houston, TX
  • Cardon Children’s in Mesa, AZ

That’s 8 hospitals and 9 interviews.  As the phone calls and emails started coming for interview spots, I had to constantly write down what I had committed to or who said what. My calendar was filled to the max with interviews.  I received 3 phone calls and an email during the art retreat weekend for interview spots – that weekended was pretty spectacular with all the creativity and internship excitement.

All of my interviews were over the phone except my second round with MUSC Children’s and Children’s Memorial Hermann.  When doing phone interviews, I took lots of notes and had questions prepared.  All of my interviews went really well aside from Cook Children’s.  That interview I almost stopped in the middle of because it was going so horribly.  After some interviews, I had a really good feeling about the hospital and program while others dropped down on my list.  The interview process was the fun part for me.  A few weeks into interviewing, I found myself using “child life” talk with friends.  I was fully immersed into all things Child Life.

Then came the hard part.  I had a casual phone interview with MUSC Children’s in SC.  At the end of that conversation, Jennifer (the intern coordinator) asked my thoughts on an in-person second round interview.  I didn’t know what to say because I wasn’t prepared to consider flying out for interviews.  I made sure all of my out-of-state hospitals did phone interviews prior to applying.  She didn’t make me give an answer, but said she’d be in touch.  Let the freaking out begin.  What was I supposed to do if she offered the second round interview?  Well the next day she emailed with a second round offer.  I talked to several friends and family in addition to sending Jennifer some more questions prior to giving a decision.  In spite of the financial and time commitment, I decided I couldn’t turn down this opportunity.  I had to keep my ultimate goal in mind which was to obtain an internship.  A few nights later, Robyn and I facetimed for the first time and planned out my trip.  It’s really nice having a twin.

With my South Carolina flight booked, I could think about my previous planned trip for the weekend.  I headed to Angleton to visit with family and talk to the Problems & Solutions classes at the high school.  Friday morning started with an early run and dew covered pastures.

Then it was time to head to the school.  Problems & Solutions was known as Advanced Academic Studies when I was in school.  The class is a career investigation class which allows students to discover their personality and strengths, research careers, interview professionals, and complete a mentorship.  Academic Studies still benefits me six years later.  My teacher, Mrs. Ward, and the current teacher, Mrs. Griffith were there to hear me talk.  I told the students about my time in the class, what the class did for me, and where I’m at now.  With each class I talked to, I became more comfortable and remembered more things I wanted to tell them.  I was so touched when one student stayed after school to ask my advice and wanted to stay in touch.  I offered encouragement to do what she loves verses what her parents want her to do.  Before she left, she asked for a hug and of course I said yes.  I can’t wait to come back at the start of the new semester to talk to them before they start their mentorships.

Sunday morning before I headed to Houston, I had a little friend surprise me when I got gas.

After the frog scare, I drove on to Intercontinental Airport for my 24 hour trip to Charleston.  There was no traffic or waiting in line for security so I had plenty of time to wait and instagram.

I had to change planes in Charlotte, NC and ended up on one of the smallest planes I have ever flown on.

Once in Charleston, I checked into my hotel and set out to explore the city.  The timing worked perfectly for me to make it to Sunday night mass.  This cathedral is downtown and gorgeous!

Then I got my first glimpse at the hospital.  It was all I could do not to go explore it before my interview the next day.

I ended my night walking up and down King Street.  This area of downtown is known for their market, quaint shops, and the University of Charleston.  I felt like I fit right in with all the other college kids around.  I had already experienced southern hospitality, but the camo golf cart reminded me they’re a little country too.

Monday morning I woke up early to go see the battery and waterfront.  To the right of this bridge is the suburbs of downtown Charleston.  To the left, is the edge of the peninsula Charleston is on.

The battery is beautiful and right on the water.  I’ll have to figure the history behind it in the Spring.

Then I had a little bit of time to ooh and ahh over gorgeous tree-lined streets and historic homes with front porches.

The majority of my day Monday was spent at the hospital.  I met with 8 of the Child Life Specialists, toured the units, and interviewed.  I was so welcomed by the staff and charmed by their southern accents.  The playroom in the hospital was like nothing I’ve seen before.  It was amazing!  I left the hospital not wanting to hop back on a plane, but rather stay and get to know them more.  Regardless of my feelings, I had a rental car to return and flight to catch.  Farewell South Carolina.


The best part of the flight to Texas was having two hours worth of sunset to watch out my window.

Once I was back in Texas, I had two more interviews scheduled and a little over a week before offer day.  The more I told people about my time in South Carolina, the more I fell in love with it.  South Carolina called five days before offer day to offer me the internship.  I was so excited – that meant I would definitely be interning in the spring.  I told them I would give them a decision on offer day the next week.  Meanwhile, I started dreaming about interning in Charleston – where I could live, the staff I would become friends with, the learning opportunities and experiences.

On offer day, October 9th, I received my second offer from Children’s Mercy in Missouri.  Prior to flying to SC, I had Children’s Mercy tied with MUSC Children’s on my hospital ranking.  For about an hour, I pondered the thought of going to Missouri instead of South Carolina.  Then Robyn told me they have blizzards.  And my heart was back in South Carolina.  So that night I called and turned them down.  The contact person at Children’s Mercy was so nice, but could tell by my voice that I wasn’t accepting their offer.  Seeing MUSC Children’s in person is what sealed the deal.  I now understand why they require a second round in person interview.

On October 10th, the second round offer day, I received my third offer from MD Anderson.  I had already accepted South Carolina so I turned them down on the phone.

With two weeks gone since I made my decision, I have had time to start looking for housing and received my potential rotations for my internship.  I am so blessed and grateful for this internship.  All the applications, time, and waiting were well worth it.

I don’t want to leave Texas permanently, but four months in the next best southern state will be awesome.  Goodness knows I’ll have adventures to share on the blog.

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3 Responses to When Charleston stole my heart and other internship stories.

  1. mar says:

    Any advice for preparing for answering child life interview questions? I am having a practicum phone interview soon and I am extremely nervous!

    • I used the internship interview practice questions on the Child Life council’s website. It is also helpful to know your child development theories and specific toys for each developmental stage. Hope this helps!

  2. Christina says:

    Hello, I am looking at MUSC for an internship for Summer 2014 and cannot find the right information! Can you direct me to the right website? Thanks!

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