Autumn Jewell

Major: Human Development and Family Studies
Company/Organization: Optimae LifeServices
Company/Organization website:
Destination: Eldora, Iowa
Timeframe: Summer 2023
Advisor/Coordinator Email:


I was tasked with working onsite at housing units that customers lived in. I administered their medications and checked for refills. I worked with the customers to work on their goals, whether that be hygiene, food goals, or bettering their mental health. I could also attend meetings and sit in on interviews with the higher-ups. They really wanted to know what *I* wanted to do so that I could make the best of my internship experience.


Getting to know all the customers in all five housing sites. It wasn't easy matching faces to names, but I'm confident now that I can say that I know all of the customers we work with. My greatest accomplishment is getting praise from the customers, who report that they enjoy their time more when I work with them.

Learning experience

I have learned that people are incredibly complex, and what may look bad on paper isn't nearly as bad as in person. We serve customers who have been in prisons and jails for some very questionable crimes, but when you meet them in person, they're just as kind as can be. We also work with people who suffer from withdrawals and drug abuse, and we can see that they don't want to seek out drugs to use; it's just a negative coping mechanism they have developed.

What advice would you give?

Please, please, please, reach out to companies you want to work with! Even if they don't outwardly post internship openings, email them! That's the only way I could secure my internship, by simply reaching out and working with the company, they were incredibly happy to accommodate my internship, and the team that I currently work with was ecstatic to have an intern! So please, if there's someplace you want to work at as an intern, do not hesitate to ask!

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