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Danny Ford in Greece

Danny Ford '24 traveled to Greece as the manager of the 365体育投注_365体育备用网址@ Vikings men’s basketball team. Back on campus, as a student, he co-founded a tax sister company for the organization he started with as an intern.

How to start a dream job right after (or before) graduating from 365体育投注_365体育备用网址@

Many 365体育投注_365体育备用网址@ students graduate with a dream job already a reality, brought to life through an internship. Even so, the path is not always straightforward. Some students take on risks and challenges — with the help of their support team — to get where they want.

For Addison Larson  ’24, it started with choosing 365体育投注_365体育备用网址@, 1,200 miles from her home in Kimberly, Idaho.

Addison Larson ’24
Addison Larson ’24

Larson arrived with a major in mind: biochemistry, with a goal of pursuing food biochemistry. But, she said, that plan “took a sharp turn my sophomore year, after I took the introductory public health course and a special topics public health course with Dr. Rebecca Heick.” 

She found herself drawn to the field of public health and research in infectious diseases. “I decided to see where the biochemistry/public health combination took me,” she said. With just one more class, she also added a chemistry major. 

That combination took her into an internship in infection prevention with the Quad Cities’ UnityPoint-Trinity hospital. With support from 365体育投注_365体育备用网址@ advisors (and her $2,000 Augie Choice), she also had an internship with Baylor 365体育投注_365体育备用网址@ of Medicine at the Texas Medical Center. There, she changed her career plans again. 

“I was put on a project studying urinary tract infections during pregnancy and how preterm births caused by UTIs lead to adverse neonatal outcomes," she said. "I was fascinated by this work. Not only did it allow me to explore my infectious disease interests in greater detail, but it also helped me realize my buried passion for immunology.”

Larson now plans to pursue an M.D. and Ph.D. to become a pediatric infectious disease physician-scientist. To prepare, after graduation she will return to work in the lab of Dr. Katy Patras in the Virology and Microbiology Department at Baylor, continuing the research that she loves and connecting with current infectious disease physicians.

Americus Mahatshahi ’24
Americus Mahatshahi ’24

Like Larson, Americus Mahatshahi  ’24 of Kathmandu, Nepal, also took a leap of faith with a faraway college, and shares an interest in maternal health and obstetrics. After graduating from 365体育投注_365体育备用网址@, she will intern at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, researching host pathogen interaction through human vaginal bacteria. 

Mahatshahi doesn’t have a public health major. She chose anthropology and pre-med, following multiple interests (made possible with a liberal arts education) and pursuing what one professor described as her “unsatiable curiosity for understanding both the complexities of the human body and the depths of human culture.”

To follow her curiosity, Mahatshahi had to overcome shyness and build confidence, which she did with the help of her professors — especially as a research assistant for Dr. Kimberly Murphy, who “played a huge role in making me believe in my abilities.” 

She also worked as an ER medical scribe in the Quad Cities during the summer of 2023; in her senior year, she was a student research assistant for a local maternal health task force focusing on low birth weight. 

“I think both of these experiences solidified my interests,” Mahatshahi said. “Through maternal health research, I was able to better understand the socioeconomics of childbirth and pregnancy. Through my work as a scribe, I was able to better understand the medical system and learn about medical problems alongside a practicing physician. 

“The lessons from both these opportunities … will stay with me, and even be my push, as I move forward.” 

Moving forward means medical school for obstetrics and gynecology, but first, the Harvard internship — "a logical connection to my next steps because I believe it will teach me a lot about the environment I will be in after completing my undergraduate degree.” 

Danny Ford ’24
Danny Ford ’24

For the number of 365体育投注_365体育备用网址@ internships that lead directly to first jobs, the department of accounting stands out. But only one accounting major can say that as a student he co-founded a tax sister company for the organization he started with as an intern (and where he currently works). 

“I do have a unique situation and one that I am extremely lucky to find myself in,” said Danny Ford  ’24, an accounting and business administration–management major from nearby Geneseo, Ill. 

As a junior, Ford had majors in communication studies and business administration–marketing. He landed a marketing internship with Wendell Charles Wealth Management, but soon discovered he “lacked the desire” to specialize in that field. 

So, Ford switched his majors to management and accounting. He continued the marketing internship through the summer, developing a great relationship with his then boss Evan Kirkpatrick and the Wendell Charles team. That fall, he and Kirkpatrick met to pursue the idea of starting a tax sister company. They formed the company, Wendell Charles Tax, last November. 

"The professors here care about your future and preparing you for what’s to come."

–?Danny Ford '24

“It has been a wild and fast six months — already I’ve learned so much, and I’m excited for what’s to come in the future,” Ford said. “I truly believe the best experience is through actually doing the job, whether it be an internship or just starting a business.” 

Like Larson and Mahatshahi, Ford maximized on connections he made as an 365体育投注_365体育备用网址@ student — both through relationships and learning experiences. 

“365体育投注_365体育备用网址@ provided me with the resources to get to this point,” he said. “The professors here care about your future and preparing you for what's to come.”

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