Ready for the future one prosthetic at a time
Sarah Carvo’s Cornell Fellowship provided countless opportunities and experiences, but it especially helped her to realize one big thing–she was right on track with her career goals.
The Cornell College junior from Broomfield, Colorado, traveled to Silverdale, Washington, to spend eight weeks as an intern with Maughan Prosthetics & Orthotics. She discovered the clinic while on a family vacation the previous summer and quickly fell in love with the work she was doing each day.
“I have more confidence in my abilities, in my career choice, and who I am as a person,” she said in her Fellowship blog.
The Cornell Fellowship Program provides high-level internships and professional mentoring during eight-week placements across the U.S. and abroad.
“I learned more this summer than I ever imagined I would,” Carvo said. “I learned about graduate school programs and how to make myself a competitive applicant, technical skills that will help me in graduate school and the workforce, and how to interact professionally and effectively with patients.”
Carvo helped create prosthetic and orthotic devices of all kinds from start to finish and took part in patient appointments. She worked on anything she could get her hands on to build her knowledge base. A couple of those projects included creating an ankle-foot orthotic that would help a patient with stability and fixing straps on an above-knee prosthetic for another patient.
The double major in kinesiology and psychology: behavioral neuroscience says her background of taking One Course At A Time for 18 days on the block plan helped her to flourish during her Fellowship because she knew how to work quickly and effectively.
“Cornell has taught me to be a fast learner and this allowed me to quickly advance my progress throughout the experience,” Carvo said. “The more I advanced myself and learned, the more I was able to help with all of the projects passing through the office, and we were able to finish things faster and more effectively. I am proud of how quickly and successfully I learned to sew straps for braces, make pads, and assist with organization and timing.”
Carvo especially appreciated every meeting with the patients. She said she grows as a person with each patient she meets and especially remembers one man who cried tears of joy when receiving his new, and much more comfortable, prosthetic leg.
“This was one of the most powerful moments I have experienced, and I will never forget it,” Carvo wrote in her blog. “I can recognize that this is a defining moment in my academic and professional journey. Any doubt I had about wanting to pursue a career in prosthetics and orthotics instantly melted away.”
This Fellowship has given Carvo almost 300 hours of experience in the field of prosthetics and orthotics. Now she’s ready to finish her final two years at Cornell College and go on to pursue the career of her dreams.
“I cannot express enough how much more confident I feel now looking at master’s programs,” Carvo said. “I now have a better understanding of what the coursework includes, words that were foreign to me eight weeks ago now feel like a natural part of my vocabulary.”
Carvo was the Jon & Jean Reynolds Fellow in Prosthetics & Orthotics. She is grateful for every experience this Fellowship has created and especially thanks Jon Reynolds ’58 for contributing to the Fellows program to make all of it possible.
Carvo plans to stay connected with Maughan Prosthetics & Orthotics as she goes through graduate school and hopes to complete her residency there.