As Palak Rajauria completes her final semester of the master’s program in Health Informatics and preparing to graduate in December 2022, she is reflecting on her internship at the Indiana Management Performance Hub (MPH), where she is a Data Science Intern. MPH is a State of Indiana agency that provides analytics solutions tailored to address complex management and policy questions enabling improved outcomes for Hoosiers and empowers their partners to leverage data in innovative ways, facilitating data-driven decision making and data-informed policy making.
Rajauria’s work as a data scientist includes testing and evaluating data solutions as it relates to upgrades to existing software. She mines and analyzes data from state databases to drive insights into problems and efficiencies in processes while maintaining the standards of organizational excellence and engages with business stakeholders on projects and initiatives to understand their analytical and operational challenges and translate these needs into data solutions. As an intern, Rajauria spends at least 50 percent of her time on predetermined projects that enhance college-level skills and abilities.
“This internship provided me the opportunity to participate in cohort activities on a weekly basis designed to enable professional growth and preparedness for the workforce upon graduation, exposure to many facets of state government, and networking and camaraderie development among the cohort,” she says.
Rajauria chose the health informatics program at the School of Informatics and Computing (SoIC) because it offers a wide-ranging set of courses along with the flexibility to cement a robust technical foundation. What’s more, she says, SoIC boasts a perfect academic atmosphere courtesy of its expert faculty and modern infrastructure. “With a multi-ethnic student community, SoIC provides a global outlook for developing my overall personality. The courses and the electives that I chose helped in successfully accomplishing my summer internship at the State of Indiana,” she says.
She applied to various internship positions on LinkedIn, Glassdoor and Indeed and got this internship on the workforindiana.gov website where they released several governor summer intern positions. She thinks she was lucky that she applied to this position on the second day of release, although, she heard back in around a month with a screening followed by the interview.
After graduating, Rajauria would like to work full-time as a Healthcare Data Scientist/ Data Analyst in a non-profit organization. As an intern, she realized the vital role that state employees plays in addressing pressing issues of the state and improving the lives of the population through their work.
Her advice to other students is that the process of applying for an internship will be strenuous and exhausting especially when waking up to rejections every morning. But the key is to always stay positive, believe in yourself and be consistent in applying to your dream internships.
“I’d like to thank my professors from S0IC especially Professor Gary Schwebach who has always motivated me throughout this process,” Rajauria says. “I’d also like to thank the State Personnel Department for presenting me the ‘Intern of the Week’ title for my work at MPH and providing all interns the opportunity to interact with other state agencies. This internship is special to me as I had the chance to meet the Governor, Eric Holcomb, and interact with him for a few minutes.”