Thank You Note to the Atlanta Jewish Community
One of the most important lessons I was taught growing up was the importance of a thank you note, so I wanted to write one to the members of my community. When it came time each spring to start the summer internship search, I always found myself stumped. I was not like my friends in business who could apply to any job that had the word “finance” in the title and I was not a pre-med student looking for clinical hours. I could never find a job description that spoke to me and could help me demonstrate my interest in becoming a genetic counselor, so I turned to the Atlanta Jewish community.
I was at the computer staring at a job board when I remembered a guest speaker from when I worked at In the City Camps, when a representative from JScreen, a Jewish genetic screening test based in Atlanta, I was instantly intrigued after receiving a T-shirt that read “You’re My Genotype” – a clever genetics pun.
After getting in touch with JScreen, I was able to have a surprisingly productive summer [in] 2020, where I learned more about Jewish genetics and worked as an outreach intern. There, I was able to confirm my interest in genetics. This internship gave me the push I needed to keep learning about the field and how it was so much bigger than genetic testing kits, and how it affects real people in our community.
When starting to look for internships for this summer, I had remembered that the CEO and founder of the Jewish Fertility Foundation, Elana Frank, had worked at The Weber School in Atlanta at the same time I was a student there. I used that to bridge a connection and cold email Mrs. Frank and ask her to hop on a call with me.
Before I knew it, we were discussing how my interests in genetics could fit at JFF, where I was able to create my own internship for the summer that has allowed me to demonstrate my passion for genetics education, by most recently going “live” on social media with a JScreen genetic counselor. In addition, I now better understand how medical infertility affects people in our community, allowing me to get more acquainted with the counseling side of my interest.
My favorite part about being a part of the Atlanta Jewish community is how willing each individual is to help. Every time I describe my interests and passions, there is someone that is able to bridge a connection for me. Even on social media in the Jewish Women of Atlanta Facebook group I have been able to successfully meet professionals who are willing to help and build connections. So, thank you to all of the members of the Atlanta Jewish community who have selflessly helped me over the years, and I am looking forward to paying it forward in the future.
Jenna Grossman, Atlanta