Students in international internship find ways to work
past language barriers
From the Abilene
June 17, 1999
By ANNA L. DEROCHER
Staff Writer, Abilene-Reporter
Translating policies into Spanish isn't necessarily the
easiest thing to do even if you are fluent in two
Carlos Leal discovered "pro-rated merit increase" and
"cardiac catheterization" don't have Spanish
But Leal, a Universidad Autonoma de la Laguna student,
and Brittney Binder, an Abilene Christian University
student, have developed a system to translate English into
The two are involved in an international internship
program and were placed in Hendrick Medical Center's human
When Leal stumbles across a word in English he can't
translate, Binder's job is to give him a substitute word
with the same meaning he can translate.
"I explain in English," said Binder quickly, admitting
her Spanish wasn't quite as good as Leal's English.
The two, along with ACU's Brett Roberson and UAL's Karla
Pina, have a little different situation than that of the
other internship participants.
Besides Leal's and Binder's occasional partnership, the
four work individually.
Leal, a marketing student, is responsible for updating
the hospital's Web page. He finds and researches information
to put on Hendrick's Web site.
"For me, this internship is to learn a lot of things from
another country and how things are run in a big
organization," Leal said.
Binder is working on redesigning Hendrick's employee
handbook to make it more reader-friendly.
Roberson is at Lee Medical Supply researching a way to
implement a new cost system.
Pina, a marketing student, has been busy in the community
promoting the hospital at events like Children's Miracle
"It is a good experience to participate in the Children's
Medical Network and see how other people join to help
children," Pina said. "I work in a different department
every day. I go where they tell me. It helps me to learn
important things about each department."
Hendrick's Terri Bloodgood and Kathy Galinak said that by
splitting them up, they are able to do more in their area of
And because Hendrick's size, the students are able to
branch out to many different departments.
For Roberson and Binder, both international business
students, matching them with an exact job wasn't easy. But
they are both happy to be learning a little different side
"The classroom experience can't compare to the experience
we are getting here," Binder said.
But because this is a first-year program, the students
think there are some kinks that could be worked out to make
the experience better.
Each student is working without pay, and they all would
like the experience to be longer than one month in Abilene
and one month in Mexico at businesses.
"It takes us two weeks to a month to train a person in
one position," Bloodgood said. "It's hard (for the students)
to get the whole picture in a month."
For the most part, the program is running smoothly. First
National Bank, Abilene Regional Medical Center and the Small
Business Development Center are playing host to the rest of
The program has not only been a learning experience for
the students but also for the host companies.
"It's nice to have fresh faces," Bloodgood said. "We've
been in it so long ... this gives new ideas. What people
learn in school nowadays is much different than when I was
For Galinak, this program is teaching her how to deal
with different personalities and cultures.
"You learn patience, and it's important everyone has a
sense of humor," Galinak said. "I have lived overseas for
two years. I know what Karla and Carlos are going through.
You learn tolerance and patience, but that's what Abilene is
Early next month, Leal and Roberson will be on their way
to Mexico to intern at Hospital Los Angeles, while Binder
and Pina will get their work experience at the RCA plant in
Roberson thinks the best part of this exchange is
learning about and interacting with other cultures.
"The most important thing is the cultural exchange," he
said. "It is important to learn about such a close neighbor
Next Thursday, Business Journal will look
at First National Bank's interns, Jason Groves and Begona
Salas. Anna L. Derocher may be reached at (915) 676-6786 or
If you are a member of the media who would like more
information about this release, please contact Tom Craig,
director of media and community relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org
or call 915-674-2692.
- Last update: June 17, 1999
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