Loyola University Chicago

Center for Experiential Learning


Madison Meder

Madison Meder

After volunteering at PAWS Chicago, one of only four no-kill no-cage animal shelters in the country, for about a year, I was thrilled when the company offered me an internship, which would allow me to augment the animal care knowledge I had acquired as a volunteer with knowledge on the management of a not-for-profit. Throughout my internship, much of which has been spent manning the Welcome Desk at PAWS, I have gained valuable communication skills by interacting with potential adopters that will be vital as I continue my education and eventually enter the workforce. Additionally, I have been able to play a role in ensuring that all of the PAWS dogs and cats find loving, forever homes; watching delighted families walk out the front door with their newest family member in tow to begin their life together could not be any more rewarding.

The internship course that I took through the Center for Experiential Learning to supplement my experience at PAWS provided me with valuable resources that I will be able to use in the future as I pursue a career in the medical field. For instance, I learned how to structure and organize my resume in order to best appeal to potential employers and how to utilize learning objectives to ensure that I am able to accomplish as much as possible and grow throughout experiences such as my internship. In addition, I plan to include the ePortfolio that I am currently working to create and perfect in the course as a part of my applications to medical schools, which will provide those in charge of admissions with a clearer picture of who I am, the experiences I have had, and the skills that I have acquired through these experiences that will aid me as I pursue the dream of becoming a successful, practicing doctor.

Following the conclusion of my internship in December, I plan to continue volunteering at PAWS, as I strongly believe in their life-saving mission and the work they do to ensure that the animals of Chicago find their forever homes with wonderful families. I hope to go through the Level 2 and Adoption Counselor trainings, which will allow me to interact with the animals who need a bit more special care and attention and guide the adoptive families as they embark on their adventure with their new pet.

At the end of next semester, I will be taking the MCAT exam and then beginning to apply to medical schools. Following medical school, I hope to become a pediatric oncologist in order to help children suffering from cancer to overcome their illness and lead the most fulfilling, healthy lives possible.