The internship I undertook in a private hospital provided me with a valuable hands-on experience in the real work environment at the finance department. The internship lasted for 40 hours and provided me with an opportunity to work alongside and interact with the management, administrators, employees in the payroll and others in different department, and clients of the hospital as well. As such, this report focuses on the training I received during the internship period, the challenges I face and the solutions I employed to overcome them, the advantages and disadvantages of being immersed in a workplace situation, the contributions I made to the healthcare organization, and the lessons I learnt during by internship stint at the private hospital.
I received training in various aspects related to the workplace environment and services related to general payroll management, particularly under my supervisor, who was the payroll administrator and thus the head of the payroll section at the hospital. Specifically, I was trained on entering payroll information in the financial management system, which provided me with information technology skill such as data entry, scanning, printing, sending and receiving e-mails and other internal communications. I received training on how to post different figures to their different accounts in the system. The different entries included those related to individual wages and salaries, creation of new payroll accounts for newly hired employees, updating payroll records with figures related to tax exemptions, personal income taxes, leave allowances, and statutory deductions such as social security contributions and healthcare insurance payments. In addition, I was trained on how to notice discrepancies in information contain in the financial management system and how to report these to the system administrator. Further, I was trained on how to perform and understand financial calculations using Microsoft excel and the calculator embedded in the financial management system. I was also trained on how to compile and prepare daily, weekly and monthly financial summaries and make reports related to these summaries. In this aspect, I was also trained on how to make presentations in front of the departmental team using Microsoft PowerPoint, an exercise that was performed every Monday morning before engaging with the normal duties of the day. Indeed, this exercise helped hone my presentation skills such as public speaking, speaking audibly and coherently, engaging the audience and responding to queries related to my presentation, and my computer skills. Furthermore, I was trained in the hospital’s policy related to employee relationships and conflict resolution at the workplace, ethical conduct at the workplace, protection of personal and confidential information, and ethical use of the information technology systems at the workplace. There was particular emphasis on fraud, and I was taught what to do with the knowledge of fraud suspicion and even how to act as a whistleblower according the antifraud policies of the hospital.
Problems Faces and their Resolution
While I experienced few problems during the internship, the few I encountered were resolved and thus did not affect my internship experience adversely but rather they enriched my experience instead. The first challenge I encountered was related to the working culture at the hospital and at the finance department which was characterized by seriousness and commitment to duty yet accompanied by a sense of warmth and frequent smiles. The routine was highly structured, which contrasted with the experience I had had at the university. Idle conversation was uncommon and I had to get used to planning my conversations and carrying then out only during the breaks or during instructions by my supervisor. However, I found that being respectful to everyone enable me to converse freely. This also helped me get free advice regarding the organizational culture at the hospital and the work ethic therein. In addition, the financial management system was challenging to use at first because it was unfamiliar to me. This unfamiliarity slowed me down when posting and retrieving data to and from it. However, my supervisor was very helpful as she not only took me through it at the onset, but also was also ready to advice on any challenge I came across. In this aspect, the other staff at the financial department were also willing to offer a helping hand any time they found me struggling.
I received frequent feedback from the payroll administrator, who was my supervisor during the internship. The feedback came formally during the briefing session every Monday morning and during any other time when we interacted directly. Specifically, she was concerned by I appeared meek and reserved, and did not appear to talk much. She advised that I should not be intimidate by the serious atmosphere that was exuded at the finance department and the hospital generally as it was simply an indicator of how seriously the employees took their work. Therefore, she advised me to take time to go to other department sin the hospital and observe how different and warm the atmosphere there was, particularly when the staff interacted with patients. However, on the positive side, the supervisor noted my speediness of learning new things and my positive attitude towards instruction and criticism. She observed that such an attitude was instrument to the growth of my career and upward progression in any institution I would work in later.
I learned interpersonal skills such as negotiation, collaboration, working in a team and communication skills. I also learned information technology skills such as working with an integrated financial management system. I also learned workplace ethics and with these, conflict management skills. These skills are considered soft skills and help make the workplace harmonious, targeted, effective, and free from conflict.
Advantages and disadvantages of the work environment experience
The workplace experience presented some advantages include enabling the development of working relationships with different people from different departments and from diverse cultures as well. This helps develop emotional intelligence and cultural intelligence as well, which are pertinent for a harmonious workplace. In addition, the workplace environment provides an opportunity for working teams, which makes the performance of tasks interesting while providing a learning atmosphere as well. Therefore, the workplace experience endears the spirit of collective pursuit of goals and coherence of effort. Further, the workplace experience provides an opportunity to build professional relationships and created networks that become useful after graduation from college.
However, the workplace environment may present delivery pressures that can be stressful to the individual worker if not managed well and in a timely manner. The intern is considered as part of the workforce and is often expected to perform like any other worker in the organization. In addition, the internship period is often short and is thus not able to expose the intern to all aspects of a workplace. As such, many lessons regarding different workplaces may be skipped particularly when one interns in only one department or one organization.
My Contribution to the Organization
The hospital and particularly the payroll department gained from my presence as an intern because it injected freshness and youthful vigor into the routines at the department and organization at large. Indeed, the colleagues I worked alongside confided that they were excited by working with a young perform, which gave them an opportunity to learn about the advancements in financial practices that are taught at the university and even endeared them to pursue professional development as well.
Benefits of the Internship
The internship training enabled me to translate theory into practice while allowed me to experience how such theory influenced contemporary practice in the healthcare institution. This helped me appreciate the value of education and training that I was receiving at the university and thus encouraged me to learn more about my profession and made me to look forward to employment after completion of my studies.
The internship period, albeit short provided me with a firsthand experience of the workplace environment and the utility of what I was learning in the university. Working under a professional supervisor, who was the head of the payroll department provided me with valuable mentorship that helped me create realistic expectations of work after graduating from college.
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