High School Students Experience Laboratory Professional Careers

Last month in Rochester, the Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences (MCSHS) welcomed 40 Minnesota high school juniors and seniors to tour various areas of the Mayo Clinic campus as part of this year’s Career Immersion Program.

The students, many of whom are from underrepresented backgrounds, had the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in areas they may have never heard of in the health care industry. During the week-long program, the students observed a variety of health science careers, including roles in cytotechnology, histology, medical laboratory sciences, pathology, phlebotomy, and genetic counseling.

The group also had the opportunity to tour the Mayo Medical Laboratories facility at the Superior Drive Support Center to learn how clinical specimens are received at the facility, routed to the appropriate clinical laboratory for testing, and resulted by one of many types of positions necessary to complete the process.

Students met with Operations Managers Sue Cloutier, Tom Griffin, and Jeff Wills before taking a tour through Mayo Medical Laboratories.

Program Leads to Career Choice
Of the 18 high school seniors who completed the 2016 Career Immersion Program, 3 have been accepted into MCSHS programs, and 5 plan to attend the University of Minnesota–Rochester in the fall.

David Guthertz, a participant in the 2016 Career Immersion Program, began the 10-week phlebotomy program at Mayo Clinic in August.

“The program influenced my career decision by showing me how important and easy it is to get my foot in the door of the medical world,” Guthertz says. “For example, I learned that gaining experience with patients through a paramedic certification will give me an advantage in other competitive health care tracks and offer more opportunities in the long run.”

The pre- and post-program awareness surveys calculate that students have increased their knowledge of health science careers by more than 23%.

Stacey Rizza, M.D., Associate Dean, Student and Faculty Affairs, MCSHS, says,

“The program is already having a positive effect, and we will continue to track the 76 students who have now completed the Career Immersion Program to measure the long-term impact.”

Apply for 2018 Program
The next Career Immersion Program will be held June 24–29, 2018. The online application process will open in the fall to Minnesota high school students who are sophomores and juniors in the 2017–2018 academic year. The application deadline will be February 1, 2018.

Students are selected based on academic achievements, an essay, a letter of recommendation from a teacher or counselor, and an interview. Students selected for the 2018 program will be notified in the spring.

The program is free for accepted students.

For more information about the various programs within the Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences, visit the MCSHS website.

April Josselyn

April Josselyn is a Marketing Channel Manager at Mayo Clinic Laboratories. She has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2012. Outside of work, April enjoys the outdoors and being "hockey mom" for her two sports-crazed boys.