by Suzanne Bopp
Early on in his life, Navdeep Singh learned about overcoming obstacles, and the lesson stayed with him. When he was 10 years old, he moved from India to the United States and enrolled in middle school here. The experience was a surprise, he said.
“I experienced a lot of racism, maybe because of my appearance or my accent,” he said. “People tried to limit me. I had to get out of my bubble and evolve from that—I wouldn’t let anyone limit me.”
That idea has provided his motivation ever since. Now Singh is in his junior year at Adelphi University, studying nursing and working part time at one of Long Island’s largest healthcare providers, Northwell Health, formerly North Shore-LIJ Health System, thanks to an internship he found through Adelphi’s Center for Career Development.
“It wasn’t part of a plan,” he said. “One day I walked out of the library and I saw a banner for the Jaggar Community Fellows Program. That was the reason I first went to the career center. At that point, I needed to expand from my academics into more clinical practice and a hands-on internship which could expose me to more opportunities.”
The selection process for the nine available internship positions was very competitive.
“Initially I was placed on the waiting list,” he said. “I think more opportunities were given to juniors and seniors and, at the time, I was a sophomore. As time went on—I’m not sure how it happened, maybe other people withdrew—I was given the internship.”
“Though we were impressed with Navdeep’s answers during the vetting process, we were hesitant to select him because he was not fully prepared,” said Bernadine Waller, M.A. ’10, assistant director of experiential learning. “We were concerned. But he was provided with the same instructions as other alternates and continued to shine. When a position opened, I offered it to him with the provision that he represent Adelphi well. By midsummer, I learned that he exceeded everyone’s expectations.”
During the 10-week internship, he worked on a new health system initiative that aimed to hire more veterans at the facilities.
“I was reviewing résumés, interviewing veterans and making sure their résumé fit the job they’d applied for,” he said. “They sometimes struggle a lot coming to the civilian world.”
Near the end of his internship, he was offered a job while he continues pursuing his degree at Adelphi.
“I’m amazed that I’m already an employee at Northwell, through an internship that Adelphi offered,” Singh said. “It was meant to be. At first I was an alternate intern, then I was placed and it worked out perfectly for me. I loved my internship; it was an exceptional experience.”
For Singh, the entire experience has reinforced his belief in the value of persistence.
“Anyone can do anything they put their mind to,” he said. “That’s the quote I always admired when I felt that my progression and development as an aspiring individual, or even a human being, was being suppressed by either myself or the surrounding environment. That’s been going on since middle school—that always motivated me.”