Name: Brooke Smith
Hometown: Evergreen, Colorado
Year: Class of 2021
Internship: Smith served as the musculoskeletal research center intern for Children’s Hospital Colorado, working alongside orthopedic surgeons to conduct clinical research and write a scientific manuscript.
How HPU helped you get there: “HPU offers so many opportunities to its students and is a constant support system. The university has not only prepared me to stand out academically, but also honed my life skills through all of the experiences offered. I began undergraduate research as a freshman and have had hands-on experience working in a lab setting with other participants. This set me apart from other applicants, but also gave me the confidence I needed to conduct research and begin succeeding in the lab on my first day. When I was applying for this internship, I went to the Office of Career and Professional Development for help every step of the way, from reviewing my resume and application, to practicing my interview skills. I was nervous for the final interview with Children’s Hospital Colorado, but after meeting with my career advisor, Kellie McLeod, and conducting a mock interview, I felt very confident. I walked into the interview knowing that I was the right person for the position. When I got the position, Kellie was one of the first people I thanked because I could not have done it without her support and guidance.”
Most impactful mentor at HPU: “Dr. Yum Nguyen has been my research advisor since he welcomed me into the Human Biomechanics & Physiology Lab at HPU. He has mentored me over the past two years, and his level of trust helped me to become confident and independent not only in presenting information and conducting research, but in every aspect of my life.”
What has your internship experience been like, and how is it preparing you for your future?: “At Children’s Hospital Colorado, I worked to gather data and wrote a manuscript looking at patellar advancement and distal femoral extension osteotomy as a treatment for crouch gait in cerebral palsy. I worked under the mentorship of an orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Rhodes, and his research assistant, Alex Tagawa. Through this experience, I have had the opportunity to learn so much about cerebral palsy. I also learned how to achieve my future goal of becoming an orthopedic surgeon. I even had the opportunity to shadow Dr. Rhodes in the operating room, and it has solidified my career goals.”