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Grad Success

Profiles of Florida State's Best and Brightest

Jessica Wente

Jessica Wente

College of Human Sciences

  • Bachelor of Science in Family & Child Sciences, 2008

Child Life Specialist, Florida Hospital for Children in Orlando, Florida

Q&A with a Family & Child Sciences Graduate

How has FSU helped contribute to your success?

FSU has incredible faculty who took the time to get to know me. I loved how my adviser and other professors poured into me in so many ways—including the conversation that helped me discover what it is that I want to do. Furthermore, FSU has excellent practicum opportunities with organizations in town, hence my hands-on experience at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. That experience helped solidify my career decision.

What is your day like at Florida Hospital for Children?

My favorite thing about working in the surgery center is that no two days look alike!

One day there was a 7-year-old who came to the surgery center. He was very nervous. My goal with him was to encourage coping. We ended up playing throughout the hallways with a Nerf gun—targeting anyone we could! Luckily, we have a very playful staff. He went from quiet and scared to playful and laughing.

In addition to patient care in the clinical setting, I supervise the volunteers in the surgery center, advocate for new strategies to help children cope, maintain and order our supplies for children in the surgery center, and serve on various committees that represent our department. Providing procedural preparation and support for patients and families is a high priority. I love helping patients through that experience.

What moment in your career are you most proud of so far?

Earning the respect of the health care team members I collaborate with. That’s something that drives me as an individual—connecting with others. It takes time to learn how to work best with your team. The surgery center at Florida Hospital for Children is one of the most supportive and receptive teams I could imagine working with, and I look forward to collaborating with them every day.

How do you feel about earning a Thirty Under 30 Award?

The “Thirty Under 30” award was such an honor. Being able to sit in the same room as the other recipients was so humbling! It was one of the most incredible experiences I’ve ever had. The award reflects the work I have done. It looked at my contributions as a leader at FSU to everything I’ve done as a professional in the field. My grandfather, a professor at University of Illinois for 30+ years, would have been so proud. I wish I could have shared that moment with him.

What’s your advice to other students?

The people you meet in your time at FSU will be some of the most influential people in your life. It’s where I met my best friends and my future bridesmaids. It’s where I met mentors who I still keep in touch with today. It’s where I learned from some of the best professionals in my field, and where I gained the clinical experience that ultimately led me to what I’m doing now. I’d encourage others to invest in other people during their time at FSU. These relationships can be an incredible support for the rest of your life!


The people you meet in your time at FSU will be some of the most influential people in your life. It’s where I met my best friends and my future bridesmaids. It’s where I met mentors who I still keep in touch with today. It’s where I learned from some of the best professionals in my field, and where I gained the clinical experience that ultimately led me to what I’m doing now. I’d encourage others to invest in other people during their time at FSU. These relationships can be an incredible support for the rest of your life!