N.Y. Internship Spurs Student’s Passion for Service Career

University of Mississippi junior Bobby Kelly takes time out from his summer internship at New York's Bronx-Lebanon Hospital to visit with friend Maggie Iupe at the High Line, a public park built on an historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan's West Side.

OXFORD, Miss. – A summer internship at a New York hospital has further convinced Bobby Kelly of Madison that he has made the right career decision.

The University of Mississippi junior said his New York Internship Experience, from May 28 to Aug. 9 at the Bronx-Lebanon Hospital, helped prepare him for medical school and a physician’s life.

“The opportunity to travel to a vibrant city to work side by side with doctors, nurses, technicians, etc., in a field of study that I am passionate about, not only furthered my knowledge of medicine and expanded my networking pool but also provided me with an authentic view of the life that I want to lead,” Kelly said.

His favorite thing about his work, he said, was bringing hope to inner-city children and families who are struggling with health problems.

“I worked at an infectious disease clinic in the Bronx, which houses people of some of the lowest socio-economic levels in the country,” he said. “Being able to converse with patients and let them know how important they are and being able to encourage and lift up their spirits gave me great joy, and that let me know there was a definite purpose in my journey this summer.”

A member of UM’s Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, Kelly was awarded an honors college fellowship to help with his internship expense. He is a student in the College of Liberal Arts, majoring in psychology and minoring in theatre arts. With a keen interest in theatre and acting, he found time to enjoy the lighter side of life in the Big Apple.

“I also took advantage of satisfying my love of the theatre while I was in the city,” he said. “I was able to see some Broadway shows and talked to a few people in the industry. And on the spur of the moment, I auditioned for a few shows – just for fun.”

The Washington Internship Experience and the New York Internship Experience are coordinated through UM’s Division of Outreach and Continuing Education. Program Director Laura Antonow highly recommends them.

“The Washington Internship Experience and the New York Internship Experience provide a structured educational program with an extensive orientation, great housing and a cohort environment in which students really seem to thrive,” she said.

Slated to complete his bachelor’s degree in spring 2015, Kelly plans to attend medical school.

“My long-term goal is to be a successful physician with a great family right here in Mississippi,” he said. Showing a broad grin, he added, “Hopefully, a job for a singing-dancing doctor opens up later in life.”

A graduate of Madison Central High School, Kelly said his decision to attend the university was an easy one.

“I always knew I wanted to come to Ole Miss and never strayed away from that desire,” he said. “Ole Miss has this infectious, warm feeling that everyone can love and it has a place for everyone. No one is able to feel left out at this united university. It welcomes you with open arms.”

Kelly’s honors include listing on the Chancellor’s Honor Roll and receiving an Ole Miss Women’s Council Scholarship.

“My Ole Women’s Council mentors, Susan Hayman and Bonnie Brown, have guided and encouraged me throughout my time at the university,” he said. “Without them and the love and support from my family, friends and my God, I would not have been able to experience this great city this summer.”

For more information about the WIE and NYIE programs, visit http://www.outreach.olemiss.edu/. To learn more about the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, visit http://www.honors.olemiss.edu/.