Learning the Ropes
Erin Hildreth was always close to her grandfather and loved spending time with him. She didn’t realize that was something she could make a career out of, until she came across a gerontology club while she was a student at K-State. The club helped open her eyes to various career options in the field.
“I realized this is what I want to do with my life—help, be with and care for older people. I love being surrounded by healthcare without being in a medical field,” she said.
After crafting a major in public relations and gerontology with an emphasis in long-term care, Erin had to fulfill a requirement to do an Administrator in Training internship. Students can get placed anywhere as part of the state requirement, but Erin had heard such great things about Meadowlark, she reached out to complete her AIT here.
“The stereotype of nursing homes is that they’re institutional, sterile environments. That’s what my perception was,” she said. “Then I came to Meadowlark and there is a warmth here. Their person-first model makes residents feel like people, not patients. The outcome is amazing. I love coming to work every day.”
As part of her AIT internship, Erin was exposed to all different aspects of the business, from human resources and finance to environmental services and maintenance. One of the highlights was helping out in the maintenance department, mulching and handling laundry for the residents. It was tough work, but proved to be an invaluable experience.
“I got to see how everything works. Everyone was so great explaining everything and they’ve all been invested in me and my career,” she said.
Erin was hired at Meadowlark straight from the AIT program.
“I learned from different people and got different perspectives. That was really valuable for me—learning from the greatest people ever who are here to help,” she said. “I can’t recommend it enough.”