Lessons Learned as a Summer Student

Balancing school and work is not easy, but being a summer student with Plan A made it easier.

I am currently a second year Algoma University student double majoring in Community Economic and Social Development and Political Science. Many people, including myself, in the beginning, wondered what I would gain working at a health care staffing agency. But being a long-time employee of fast-food franchises, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to change up my employment history with a summer student position at Plan A Algoma. 

Coming into this job, I didn’t know what to expect. I had never worked a desk job before, nor had I ever thought about working in the long-term care sector. But I didn’t realize how much this position could benefit me. 

As a summer student, it was certainly intimidating at first. Being 19 when I started, I almost felt too young to be handling the roles I was given. What do you mean I will be speaking directly to nursing homes about scheduling? I was scheduling interviews, answering questions when people called, and managing our branch’s social media networks. These were all things I had never done before and therefore needed to learn to be comfortable doing.

Luckily, I had so much support from my co-workers in the office. They helped me immensely by walking me through step-by-step everything I had to do and answering any questions I had about other people’s questions. 

This position allowed me the opportunity to push myself into situations I may have previously felt uncomfortable doing and would have said no to before. I am learning valuable skills such as event coordination and social media planning which I have already put to use. I’ve also learned how to adapt to new technologies associated with the field I am in. It has also taught me so much about the health care field and their needs that I didn’t know about before.

No matter where I work after graduation, the skills I learned at Plan A will be a great asset in future careers. For me, it really has been the best job ever. I have a boss who is incredibly understanding and who is willing to work with me around my school schedule. I am learning and improving my interpersonal and professional skills every day. Most importantly, every day I work, I am able to help support the members in my community living in long-term care homes who need it the most.  

~ Kendall Mitchell, Summer Student at Plan A LTC

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