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Internship Solidifies Student's Career Plans

Mar 02, 2016

Robert-Redenz-1Randolph-Macon College student Robert Redenz '17 sank his teeth into his January Term (J-term) internship. The biology major and chemistry minor interned at Ashland Family Dentistry in Ashland, Virginia. Under the guidance of Dr. Louis Korpics, D.D.S., Redenz observed clinical procedures, attended meetings, and kept a daily journal.

Falling in Love with the Sciences
"I've long been interested in the sciences and always knew I wanted a career in the medical field," says Redenz. "However, I didn't fall in love with the sciences until I came to R-MC. Since freshman year I've taken many classes that have sparked my interest in biology and chemistry, and my internship solidified my desire to become a dentist."

Staff from The Edge, R-MC's four-year career program, helped Redenz secure his internship. Josh Quinn, associate director of professional development and medical careers in The Edge, contacted Korpics and set up a meeting to confirm the details of the internship.

Mentorship
Korpics, who has practiced in Ashland since 1992, helped give Redenz an understanding of the dental practice, from patient contact to community service opportunities.

"I also provided Robert an opportunity to observe dental students in action, and I suggested he visit the office of the Dean of Admissions at VCU," says Korpics. "He spoke to members of the admissions committee and receive pointers about the graduate school admissions process. I believe that Robert's internship taught him strategies for admission to dental school, and it gave him an understanding of what it takes to run a successful private practice. Robert is now an 'alumnus' of Ashland Family Dentistry!"

Shaping the Future
Redenz says his internship gave him insight into his future career.

"I find dentistry so interesting," he says. "Some people consider it an unusual profession, but I believe it is rewarding to help people relieve pain, or to feel more confident with a healthy, beautiful smile. Shadowing Dr. Korpics made me realize how passionately I feel about making dentistry my career." Redenz, who is currently applying to dental schools, plans to become a general dentist and possibly specialize in orthodontics or cosmetic dentistry.

In the Swim of Things
On campus, Redenz is a member of the Yellow Jacket varsity swim team.

"Our swimming season goes from September to mid-February, so I only have three months during each school year to do other things, such as preparing for dental school," says Redenz. "In between swimming and my science labs, I also volunteer at the St. James the Less Free Clinic in Ashland." The clinic provide patients with professional dental care including exams, extractions and dentures. At the clinic, Redenz shadows Thomas Hubbard, M.D., D.D.S. ’75, who also serves as physician liaison for The Edge.

R-MC Internships
J-term internships offer a real-world setting for connecting academic learning with the workplace. R-MC's Edge Career Center and dedicated faculty assist students in finding the perfect internship opportunity.

The Edge is an intensive four-year program that prepares students for life after college. Located within The Edge Career Center, it gives students a competitive advantage in the job market or graduate-school admissions process. Workshops, internships, one-on one advising, a career and networking Boot Camp, and a host of other resources ensure that students who graduate from R-MC are lifelong learners who can think critically and adapt to new situations.

More than 130 students participated in J-term 2016 internships, shadowing professionals and gaining experience at a wide variety of businesses and non-profits, including: Genworth Financial, Bon Secours Richmond Health Systems, Goodwill of Central Virginia, and McGuireWoods. R-MC's Bassett Internship program offers academic credit and connects students with tailor-made internships to explore a wide range of career fields in various locations. Students can also choose from a variety of paid or volunteer internship opportunities.