[Photo Credit: Courtesy of Sofiia Ialysheva]

May 29, 2024

Seek God First

Growing up in Russia in a missionary family and as a daughter of a Seventh-day Adventist pastor, Sofiia Ialysheva always dreamed of attending an Adventist university.

After living in the Philippines for five years, that dream expanded to finding an Adventist university in the U.S. When the time came, she applied and was accepted to Andrews University to study business administration with an emphasis in finance.

Although she enjoyed her classes and the friendships she made, Ialysheva struggled to decide what she might do after graduation. Talking to friends who were upperclassmen, she heard about the AdventHealth internship program. “One of my friends had just completed an internship at AdventHealth in Chicago,” said Ialysheva. “Seeing her photos and hearing her experience, it seemed like she had the best time ever.” 

Propelled by the positive experience of her friends, she applied to the internship program when AdventHealth representatives came to visit. In hearing the representatives speak about the organization, Ialysheva felt a connection to what they shared. “My dad always encouraged me to put God first in everything,” she said. “So even if I decided to go into business, I should always have a mission mindset, always put God first, serve Him and find ways to help others. When AdventHealth came and they talked about their mission, their goals and how they operate it just seemed like a perfect fit. I really resonated with their mission.” 

Soon after applying, she was accepted as a finance intern at UChicago Medicine AdventHealth for the summer of 2023. When the program began, Ialysheva felt even more certain about her decision to pursue the internship when she saw that the organization’s mission was more than words — it was action. “Everyone actually lived the mission,” she said. “Shadowing different departments and interacting with executives, I realized they didn’t just say they have a mission. They live it and everything revolves around the mission of Extending the Healing Ministry of Christ.” 

Ialysheva was able to spend time in all four hospitals of UChicago Medicine AdventHealth, and at the end of the rotation she decided to apply for another internship for the summer of 2024 and was once again accepted to the program. As Ialysheva begins her second internship rotation this summer, she is looking forward to diving deeper into the financial and operational side of the organization. 

“In the span of those three months of my first internship, I learned and grew so much in all areas of my life — even spiritually,” she said. “I gained confidence in my skills, developed them further and learned how to add value to every space I work in. As an international student, it has been extremely beneficial to be able to identify my strengths, pinpoint areas for growth and recognize that I can be a leader.” 

Elizabeth Camps, senior stakeholder communications specialist at AdventHealth