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The Hope and Joy of Hospice: CHAPTER 1 – THE APPLICATION PROCESS

What comes into your mind when you hear hospice? Do you get scared, sad, anxious, happy, optimistic, or worried? Try to imagine how a volunteer talks to a patient, creates bonds, and shares memories in a day, only to find out the next day that their lovely friend is no longer in this world. As sad as it might sound, it is also fulfilling to know that the friend is now relieved of their immeasurable pain. Volunteers at hospice centers go through this cycle over and over again rejecting their own self-worth and accepting that of the patient. What, therefore, is the essence of being a hospice volunteer?

However, the true essence of being a hospice volunteer goes beyond the simple application process. It requires immense compassion, empathy, and a willingness to confront the fragility of life. It is a journey of self-discovery, where volunteers learn to cherish every moment and provide comfort to those in their final days, finding fulfillment in the profound impact they have on the lives of others.

Becoming a volunteer typically involves straightforward steps. The first step will be to research hospitals or clinics with hospice facilities where you can volunteer. Some hospice facilities have different roles or duties for hospice volunteers that may range from spending time with a hospice patient to recording the testimonials or life stories of patients. You may also be assigned to work as a front desk assistant, welcoming and guiding families and patients.

After conducting thorough research on the facility and the hospital or clinic, the next step is to understand the requirements and application process. As mentioned earlier, most volunteer applications are not as complicated as those for scholarships or internships. There are two options available to apply: speaking directly with a representative from the institution or completing an application online or in a soft copy format. It is more advised to reach out to someone in the institution, to get a sense of the people and the environment.

The subsequent actions are contingent upon the previously mentioned steps. A scenario for each choice will be more valuable than relying on assumptions. The first scenario is dependent on the option of reaching out to a representative. After reaching out to a representative, and asking for more information and clarification, you will be informed to complete an online application if applicable. In the second scenario, a representative is reached out to after completing the online application if also applicable. Review of your application should take less than a week for which a representative will reach out.

As most hospice centers need volunteers to aid patients’ well-being as well as contribute to the well-being of the center, applicants are more likely to be accepted than rejected. This was proven in a study by Vanderstichelen et al, where they surveyed 342 healthcare organizations in Belgium using a self-developed questionnaire. Their results showed that 80% of the organizations (only 254 responded) have volunteers who provide direct patient care. Some of the tasks of volunteers in healthcare organizations ranged from psychological to existential care tasks. They concluded that most organizations, like hospitals and clinics, emphasize the necessity of volunteer support and training, and organizational coordination of recruitment efforts (Vanderstichelen, S., Houttekier, D., Cohen, J., Wesemael, Y. V., Deliens, L., & Chambaere, K. (2018). Palliative care volunteerism across the healthcare system: A survey study. Palliative Medicine, 32(7), 1233-1245).

The next and final steps depend solely on the institution. A training session could be organized or not depending on the plan of the institution. Once all the requirements and documentation are completed and all the needed materials, along with supplementary ones have been received, determining your volunteer hours will be next. This step is optional and can be skipped if the service hours are known or determined already. One thing to consider is the location of the facility or institution and the means of getting there. Calculating the time spent on the road and in the vicinity is important when choosing a mode of transportation.

Dennis Boakye ’26 is a rising junior with a major in Neuroscience and a minor in Mathematics. He is also a co-president of the Neurolawrence Club and the Synthetic Biology Club and the treasurer for the American Medical Student Association (AMSA, Lawrence Chapter) and the Black Student Union (BSU). Dennis is the current career peer educator for the Health and Medicinal Professions (HMP) and the Physical and Natural Sciences (PHN) career communities at Lawrence University. Connect with Dennis on LinkedIn.

Smart Ways to Showcase Your Talents to Recruiters as a STEM Major

As a STEM major, you possess a wealth of knowledge and skills that are highly sought after by employers. However, in today’s competitive job market, it is essential to go beyond just having a degree and demonstrate your talents and abilities to recruiters effectively. In this article, we will explore smart ways to showcase your talents as a STEM major and increase your chances of landing your dream job.

Build an Impressive Portfolio:

One of the most effective ways to showcase your talents is by building an impressive portfolio. Include projects, research papers, coding samples, or any relevant work you have completed during your studies. A portfolio not only demonstrates your technical skills but also showcases your ability to apply your knowledge in practical scenarios. Ensure that your portfolio is well-organized, visually appealing, and highlights your key achievements

Participate in Hackathons and Competitions:

Participating in hackathons, coding competitions, or other STEM-related challenges is an excellent way to showcase your talents. These events provide opportunities to solve real-world problems, work in teams, and demonstrate your ability to think critically and creatively under pressure. Highlight your participation, awards, and the outcomes of these events on your resume and during interviews.

Contribute to Open-Source Projects:

Open-source projects offer an ideal platform to showcase your skills and interests while making a valuable contribution to the community. Find projects related to your field of interest, and actively participate by  proposing innovative solutions, ideas or subproject of your own. Not only will this demonstrate your technical competence, but it will also highlight your collaborative and teamwork skills.

Create an Online Presence:

In today’s digital age, having an online presence is crucial. Create a professional website or a personal blog to showcase your expertise and projects. Share your thoughts, experiences, and insights on topics related to your field of study. Engage with other professionals and contribute to online communities and forums to build your network and establish yourself as an active member of the STEM community.

Network Effectively:

Building a strong professional network is vital for any STEM major. Attend conferences, seminars, and workshops relevant to your field to meet industry professionals, recruiters, and potential mentors. Engage in meaningful conversations, ask thoughtful questions, and exchange contact information to establish lasting connections. Online platforms like LinkedIn provide an excellent opportunity to connect with professionals, join industry groups, and showcase your achievements.

Leverage Internships and Research Opportunities:

Internships and research experiences are invaluable for STEM majors. Seek out internships that align with your interests and career goals. These opportunities not only provide hands-on experience but also demonstrate your ability to apply theoretical knowledge in practical settings. Highlight the specific projects or research outcomes you worked on during these experiences, showcasing your problem-solving abilities and adaptability.

Develop Soft Skills:

While technical skills are essential, don’t overlook the importance of soft skills. Employers value candidates who possess excellent communication, teamwork, and leadership abilities. Engage in extracurricular activities, join student organizations, or take up leadership roles that allow you to develop and showcase these skills. Highlight these experiences on your resume and during interviews to set yourself apart from other candidates.

As a STEM major, you possess a unique set of talents and skills that are highly valued by recruiters. By following these smart strategies to showcase your abilities effectively, you can increase your chances of securing your dream job. Remember to build an impressive portfolio, participate in competitions, contribute to open-source projects, create an online presence, network effectively, leverage internships, and develop your soft skills. With the right approach, you can stand out among your peers and embark on a successful career.

Personal Project Ideas for a Productive Summer 

Summer is a wonderful time to relax and recharge, but it’s also a great opportunity to work on personal projects that can enhance your career prospects and personal growth. Whether you’re a student, a recent graduate, or a working professional, there are many ways to use your summer break to work on personal projects that can help you achieve your goals. Here are some ideas to help you get started: 

Update Your Resume and LinkedIn Profile: 


Updating your resume and LinkedIn profile is an essential project that can have a significant impact on your career growth and success. These two tools are often the first impression potential employers or professional connections have of you, so it’s essential to ensure they accurately reflect your skills, experience, and achievements.

To start, review your current resume and LinkedIn profile and make any necessary updates. This includes adding new experiences, skills, certifications, and job responsibilities. Make sure your headline, summary, and job descriptions accurately reflect your unique value proposition and what sets you apart from others in your field.

It’s also important to tailor your resume and LinkedIn profile to the specific job or industry you’re interested in. Use relevant keywords and highlight the skills and experiences that align with the job description. This can increase your chances of being noticed by recruiters or hiring managers and increase your likelihood of landing an interview.

The career center’s page on Lawrence’s website is an excellent resource for learning how to write effective resumes and build a strong LinkedIn profile. We offer samples, templates, and guidance on how to highlight your strengths and make a lasting impression on potential employers or connections.

Build Your Personal Website:


Building a personal website is a valuable asset in today’s digital world, regardless of your field of study or profession. It’s a powerful tool that allows you to showcase your skills, experience, and accomplishments to the world. With the rise of online job applications and remote work, having a professional-looking website can help you stand out and make a lasting impression on potential clients, customers, or employers.

Creating a personal website has become easier than ever before, thanks to website builders like Wix, Squarespace, and WordPress. These platforms offer user-friendly interfaces and customizable templates, making it easy to design a website that suits your unique needs and style.

Your personal website should include relevant information such as your resume, portfolio, projects, and any other achievements that demonstrate your expertise and value. It’s an opportunity to showcase your work and highlight your unique selling points to potential clients, customers, or employers. Including a blog, section can also help you establish your authority in your field and attract a wider audience.

In addition to showcasing your skills and experience, a personal website can also help you connect with like-minded professionals in your field. You can use your website to create a network of contacts and share your work with others. This can lead to new opportunities and collaborations that can help you grow professionally.

While building a personal website may not be a common practice in STEM fields, it certainly has its benefits. It offers a platform to showcase your work, connect with others, and establish your authority in your field. It can also demonstrate your proficiency in web development, design, and communication skills, which are highly valued in today’s job market.


Write Research Papers on Topics of Interest:

In today’s fast-paced world, staying up-to-date with the latest academic trends and honing one’s skills has become more critical than ever but staying engaged in academics is a vital aspect of your professional and personal growth. One effective way to stay engaged and work on your own time during the summer is to write research papers on topics of interest.

Writing a research paper is an excellent way to explore a topic in-depth, gain new skills, and showcase your abilities. The best part is that you don’t need any prior research experience or access to data to get started. A review paper can be an excellent place to begin, as it enables you to synthesize and evaluate existing research on a given topic.

To get started, you can identify a topic that piques your interest or that you’ve always wanted to explore. Then, use online databases like the Library, JSTOR, or Google Scholar to find scholarly articles and research papers related to your subject. Once you’ve gathered sufficient information, start synthesizing it into a unique paper that adds value to the existing conversation on the topic.

While writing your research paper, you’ll develop critical thinking, research methodology, writing, and communication skills. You’ll learn to analyze and synthesize complex information and gain valuable insights into the topic you’re exploring. This newfound knowledge and skill set will prove beneficial in your future academic and professional endeavors.

In addition to the personal and professional growth opportunities that come with writing a research paper, it also offers a chance to contribute to the academic community by adding new ideas to the existing discourse. Your paper can open up new avenues of exploration for future researchers, sparking new debates and ideas.

Conduct your passion project:

If you’ve ever had an idea for a personal project or passion project, this summer is the perfect time to turn that idea into a reality. Whether it’s becoming an advocate for a cause you’re passionate about or creating a project to empower a specific group, pursuing your interests can not only bring personal fulfillment but also have a positive impact on your community.

Lawrence University has a history of supporting students in pursuing their personal projects, and many Lawrentians have already turned their ideas into successful ventures. For instance, some students have launched initiatives to promote sustainability, while others have developed programs to support mental health and wellness.

In addition to the support of the Lawrence community, the Career Centre offers Experiential Funding to help students finance their personal projects. These funds can be used to cover project expenses and support your research, development, and implementation.

When choosing a project, consider selecting one that is aligned with your field of study or intended career path. This can help you gain valuable experience and skills that will be relevant to your future career goals. Furthermore, pursuing a project can help you build your resume and make you a more competitive candidate in the job market.

Three simple ways to grow professionally in your field this summer: 

As a college student, summer break can be a great time to focus on growing professionally in your field. Whether you are preparing for your future career or just looking to gain some valuable experience, there are several simple steps you can take to make the most of your time off.

  1. Organize your life and map your goals

    Organizational skills are essential in any career development process. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to advance in your career, keeping track of your progress is essential. One of the most effective ways to do this is by journaling, making lists, and tracking your goals. To begin with, your own organizational process, start with your dream list of what you want to accomplish the next year or during your summer job. Once the goals are established make a list of things you’ve already achieved and as you construct this list think about things you can add to strengthen your accomplishments and reach that dream list. Once you know what you have to work on it’s easier to plan out how to reach them.
  2. Craft and refine professional documents

    Professional documents include your resume, cover letter, personal statements, etc. Summer break might just be the best time to catch a breath and work on these. Regardless of which document it might be, a solid professional statement has three parts: professional intention, reflection, and connection. A professional intention does not have to fit into a niche but needs to paint a bigger picture of what you want to do, for example, your passion is to solve problems through research. A reflection would include articulating how your experiences or understandings have shaped you towards the path you’re trying to take and the connection is connecting your intent to your reflections.
  3. Talk to people in the field you’re interested in

    In addition to journaling, making lists, and tracking your goals, another great way to grow professionally in your field is to talk to people who are already in it. There is a wealth of knowledge and insights that you can gain from experienced professionals, and they can provide valuable advice on how to excel in your chosen field.
    One way to connect with professionals is through resources like Viking Connect. This platform allows you to connect with Lawrence alumni who work in a variety of fields, and they can provide valuable insights into what it takes to succeed in your chosen career. You can reach out to them directly and ask for advice, guidance, and even potential job opportunities. Another way to connect with professionals is to attend career fairs and networking events (check on Handshake!). These events provide an opportunity to meet and talk to professionals in your field, ask questions, and make valuable connections. You can learn about different companies, industries, and career paths, and even get feedback on your resume or job search strategies.

 Creating your summer To Do List:

Summer’s almost here!

After two or three terms of reading assignments, essays, study sessions, group projects, all-nighters, and exams, it’s time for a well-deserved break – a lengthy one. Working, reading, traveling, or exploring new hobbies? No matter what your goal is your summer break is the perfect opportunity to gain valuable experience and enhance your skills. Stepping away from school work, now is the time you can actually take some time out and do stuff that you’ve wanted to but never had the time for. But most importantly, this is the time you can plan your next year and prepare for it:

Check out a few ideas to help you plan your summer goals:

Internships: Look for internships at local companies or organizations in your field of interest. Many companies offer summer internships specifically for college students, giving you a chance to gain hands-on experience and learn from industry professionals. Take what you learned in the classroom and apply it to the real world. A summer internship is a great way to learn more about a business or industry and gain practical work experience to add to your résumé. (This is also a great way to build valuable connections and help determine whether a career is right for you.)

Resources to help you plan:

  • Pathways to Science
  • Handshake

Research: Universities often offer summer research programs for undergraduate students. These programs allow you to work on research projects with professors or graduate students, gaining exposure to advanced research methods and techniques while gaining new career path colleagues and professional connections.
Resources to help you plan:

– Pathways to Science

  • LURF
  • Handshake

Volunteer: Look for volunteer opportunities with organizations related to your field of study. For example, if you are studying environmental science, look for opportunities to volunteer with local conservation groups or parks. Volunteer roles are often available through research programs and organizations in need of your help, including charities, festivals, local non-profits, events, and community groups.

Resources to help you plan:

-CCE

Take a course: Consider taking a summer course to get ahead on your coursework or explore a new subject. Many universities offer online courses during the summer, allowing you to study from anywhere. You might be able to transfer credits from these courses to apply to your Lawrence course credits. Studying abroad helps develop skills that a classroom cannot provide, forcing you to take risks, become more independent, expand your worldview, push your boundaries, and make friends around the world.
In addition to courses relates to your field, you can also take a class or join a group to help cultivate transferable skills that might need work through the practice, exercises, and helpful feedback like public speaking, programming, etc.

Study abroad: If you have the opportunity, consider studying abroad during the summer. This is a great way to experience different cultures and gain a global perspective on your field of study. Studying abroad helps develop skills that a classroom cannot provide, forcing you to take risks, become more independent, expand your worldview, push your boundaries, and make friends around the world.

Resources to help you plan:

-Off of Off-Campus Programs

Attend conferences: Look for conferences or seminars related to your field of study. These events often offer networking opportunities and the chance to learn from experts in your field. You will be investing in yourself and expanding your network. Some conferences might offer a student discount as well!

Work on personal projects: Use your summer break to work on personal projects related to your field of study. For example you could work to write a research paper, make your website, etc

Grow Professionally: Summer is perfect to grow professionally. You can refine and polish your resume, write sample/skeleton cover letters, and college essays, and even build your professional network online.

Resources to help you get started:

  • Resume
  • Linkedin

Conduct your own individual project. Employers love a self-starter! Take matters into your own hands by creating a short film, building websites and contributing to GitHub, or writing guest blogs. Personal projects not only demonstrate your initiative and dedication, but also help you explore and develop skills needed in your career and are a great, practical way to beef up your resume.
Resources to help you :

-Experiential Learning Funds

Career Spotlight: Podiatrist

Do you want to be one step ahead in the medical field, and be able to make puns about your work? Consider becoming a podiatrist! Jokes aside, foot health is vital to the health of the whole body, especially because some serious conditions first present through symptoms in the lower extremities. Podiatrists serve a valuable role in medicine by specializing in this important area of the body. Read on to explore the field of podiatry and how you can get there! 

What do podiatrists do? 

In the same way that dentists specialize in mouths, podiatrists specialize in feet. Specifically, a podiatrist’s work includes preventing, diagnosing, and treating foot-related issues. They work with both injuries and diseases, and may also specialize in a subset of these issues or in a type of treatment. A common treatment specialty is surgery. Additionally, since no part of the body functions in isolation, podiatrists frequently work with ankles and other nearby leg structures. 

What is their work environment like? 

Podiatrists can work in a diversity of settings. These include medical centers such as hospitals, trauma centers, private practices, group practices, and surgical centers. They also include interdisciplinary practice settings like professional sports teams, long-term care facilities, and the armed forces. Podiatrists may also perform academic, educational, and research work in universities and schools of podiatry. This variety allows for a lot of flexibility in work hours, patients, and medical conditions. 

Who do they work with? 

This flexibility in work environment goes hand in hand with a flexibility in both patients and coworkers. These factors depend largely on a podiatrist’s work setting. For example, a podiatrist working on a sports team may see athlete patients who have primarily injury and repetitive stress-related issues, and may work closely with physical therapists. A podiatrist working in a surgical center, however, may see a variety of clients with serious conditions, and may collaborate with other hospital staff. 

What is the job outlook for podiatry? 

The job outlook for doctors of podiatric medicine is excellent. Thea average salary is $190,675, and podiatrists typically work between 30 and 60 hours per week. 

How do I become a podiatrist? 

Podiatrists are doctors, and complete medical school programs tailored to the study of podiatry. These typically take place at accredited podiatric medical colleges. There are currently nine accredited colleges of podiatric medicine in the United States, as well as over 200 podiatry programs at hospitals and other organizations. Browse a list of programs here. Programs take around four years to complete. The first two years include coursework and laboratory experience, and the last two years focus on clinical sciences and patient care. The four-year program is followed by a 36-month residency. 

In the Know: Professional organizations and resources 

There are several professional pediatric organizations, and all have helpful resources in the field of podiatry, the educational, residency, and licensing processes, and scholarships. Here are some of these organizations: 

Wherever your career journey leads you, thank you for dipping your toes into the world of podiatry!