Editor's note: This story is part of a series profiling internship experiences of undergraduate students participating in Penn State Schuylkill Co-Op. For more stories like Banks’, visit schuylkill.psu.edu/co-op-stories. The series is written by Jontae Martin, a fourth-year Penn State Schuylkill student majoring in corporate communication.
SCHUYLKILL HAVEN, Pa. — Quon Banks is a third-year health policy and administration student at Penn State Schuylkill student hailing from Philadelphia. This summer, Banks secured a remote internship with Reed Tech, an organization specializing in products and services for life sciences professionals — an internship he thought complemented his degree well.
Penn State’s health policy and administration degree program prepares students to navigate societal challenges associated with providing widespread access to quality health care at a reasonable cost. The program helps students analyze community health data and understand supply chains, making Reed Tech a perfect fit for Banks. Through his internship, Banks has expanded his skills to better understand medical patents, including applying for and securing them.
“My work experience has improved the way I communicate with others greatly for both my major and in my future career,” said Banks. “This experience has allowed me to take control of my communication and listening skills,” he explained.
By enhancing his skills and taking on this internship, Banks reaffirms his goal of creating world change. He hopes to improve the way individuals receive health care all over the world, and he intends to help make a healthcare system that is beneficial to all.
While Banks juggles his major and participation in the co-op program, he is also earning a minor in business, participating in the work study program with Penn State Schuylkill’s Athletics Department, and is also a member of the Initiative Fee Committee and resident assistant in the Nittany Apartments.
Aside from managing both school and work responsibilities, Banks continues to prioritize the co-op program as a crucial aspect of his college experience. Both personally and academically, Banks revealed how the program has allowed him to overcome challenges, while also helping him improve his character in ways that benefitted his internship.
Q: What were your daily tasks at Reed Tech?
Banks: At Reed, my job included cropping images, arranging photos and making sure pictures for patents were clean and ready to be seen. I communicated with a team in order to achieve the weekly goals, and ways to improve efficiency of sending out patents.
Q: How can you utilize the skills you learned in the future?
Banks: The skills I’ve learned include listening skills, being a keen observer, and being transparent with my mistakes. These skills can help me in the future by improving my ability to be a team player and someone who takes constructive criticism well.
Q: How has remote work/learning been beneficial?
Banks: I would say remote learning is beneficial by its adaptability. You can choose the hours that work best for you, in addition to limiting the cost and time required to commute to another destination.
Q: How has co-op shaped your ideas about your career?
Banks: Taking the co-op course, I realized that’s it's so much more than just wanting a job and getting paid. This course has shown me that I must consider being happy in my career and seeing myself grow. Co-op allows me to dig deep within myself and really see what I want in life for my career.