Clements Internship Awards Inspire Career Development

The Mark and Pearle Clements Internship Awards are now open for juniors, seniors and graduate students of any major who seek to further their career development through undertaking self-obtained unique internship opportunities. The award provides students with financial assistance to help in the pursuit of their unique professional goals.

The award typically provides students with $1,500-$6,000 to assist with internship-related travel, accommodations, required materials or living expenses.

Applying for the 2023-24 Mark and Pearle Clements Internship Award

This year’s application process closes on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024. In addition to being responsible for self-securing internships, students interested in applying are also required to secure a faculty or staff sponsor letter, complete a Handshake application, and complete the Clements Internship Award Qualtrics Survey by the application deadline. Visit the Syracuse University Career Services Clements Internship Awards webpage for complete details.

Alekhya Rajasekaran ’25 Puts Health Care Career Into Focus

A woman smiles while posing for a photo outside of the Aravind Eye Hospital.

Alekhya Rajasekaran

The Mark and Pearle Clements Internship Award cultivated an opportunity for Alekhya Rajasekaran ’25, a junior studying biotechnology in the College of Arts and Sciences, to immerse herself in a monthlong internship in India’s Puducherry Aravind Eye Hospital and the Tamil Naduc community.

“From the people to the language, the food and more, I gained a more worldly perspective on not just health care but on true culture. I understand my heritage on a deeper level now and made unforgettable memories during every moment of my internship,” Rajasekaran says. “Listening to patients’ concerns was eye-opening and taught me an incredible amount about how different each patient’s personal background and situation can be, especially in an area with great patient background diversity like Southern India.”

A woman administers an eye exam on another woman.

Rajasekaran (right) used the Mark and Pearle Clements Internship Award to immerse herself in a monthlong internship in India’s Aravind Eye Hospital.

Rajasekaran’s time was spent scaling foundational career experiences within routine ophthalmology care to surgeries, witnessing a high volume of patient care to strengthening one-on-one relationships. In support of underserved villages, Rajasekaran’s favorite memory was assisting in a rural eye camp, hosting about 400 free basic screenings daily. As needed and free of charge, patients received both busing back to the main hospital and surgery.

“Aravind’s commitment to rural health is inspiring and taught me the importance of efficiency, allocating resources, and delegation in the implementation of health care in areas without easy access,” Rajasekaran says.

A group of doctors and specialists pose for a photo.

Alekhya Rajasekaran (front center) helped with a hospital study evaluating glaucoma patients’ perceptions of telemedicine.

Rajasekaran also participated in a hospital study evaluating glaucoma patients’ perceptions of telemedicine and how the Aravind Eye Hospital vision centers utilized telemedicine. The team is working to publish its findings in the future.

“Witnessing the study come to life when seeing my questionnaire asked to patients, and even writing the paper, has been an unreal experience. This work can help the hospital better understand patients’ predispositions towards telemedicine so they can better improve vision centers and perhaps implement telemedicine in other areas of the hospital as well. In addition, telemedicine can help catch patients with glaucoma earlier on so that they can receive the treatment they need. The knowledge gained through this study can be used for a variety of reasons, but improving the patient experience to increase access to medicine is always at the core,” Rajasekaran says.

For questions, visit the Syracuse University Career Services Clements Internship Awards webpage, email Syracuse University Career Services or call 315.443.3616. Students are also encouraged to learn more about the 2024 Internship Funding Award, scheduled to open applications on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2023.

Story by Student Experience communications intern Chloe Langerman ’25, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications

By News Staff
News Staff