My Graduate School Internship

My Graduate School Internship

Not at all what I expected as a student.
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Entering my second year as a part-time graduate student, I knew I would have a busy schedule. My second year at school is really the second half of my foundation year in the Masters of Social Work program. Starting in January, I began to process of applying to internships that would meet the requirements of the program. I was dead set on getting into a school system because my dream job is being a school-based clinician. However, it became very evident after one interview and being told it wasn't for me that I needed to look elsewhere. It also didn't help that my field placement instructor refused to look into other schools for me. I interviewed at several different placement options and either didn't think it was for me or was told I wasn't a fit for their company/organization. It was heartbreaking because without an internship I would have to defer for a year.

My final opportunity came to me through a position I was incredibly apprehensive about. It was in case management, it required me to have a MHRT certification(which thankfully I already did) and it was in Behavioral Health and Home services. At my interview, the women interviewing me were excited about my certifications and my qualifications. Within a week, I heard back that I was being offered the internship position. I graciously accepted and decided that I needed to be happy that I had gotten an internship rather than being disappointed it wasn't where I wanted to be.

My first day at my internship was August 29th at Catholic Charities Support and Recovery Services on State Street in Portland, Maine. I sat down with my supervisor who explained to me exactly what my internship would entail. She explained that after my training at the end of the month I would be given my own limited caseload of 6-7 clients. I would be responsible for scheduling my own meetings with them. I would be responsible for calling them to remind them of appointments. I would be responsible for doing their Plan of Care every ninety days. It felt like a lot of responsibility compared to my job, but I was ready for it. I was given my own desk which I could decorate however I pleased. I wasn't given a desk phone with my own extension number for clients to call if they needed me. I was given a brand new iPhone for work and I was given a laptop.

So far I've done four days at my internship. I haven't done much other than read through loads and loads of paperwork and other resources case managers use for their clients. I've shadowed coworkers. I had my first client interaction this past Friday. I attended a doctor's appointment with a client who has severe medical problems. It was exciting and also upsetting. The client was suffering greatly and there was not much my coworker and I could do to help.

Overall, I am ready to start my case management(or care coordination as Catholic Charities calls it) journey. I am ready to gain experience that I can use for the rest of my life.

Cover Image Credit: Catholic Charities

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An Open Letter To Those Not Graduating On Time

Graduating college in any number of years is an accomplishment to be proud of.
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To the person that isn't graduating on time,

It sucks, and I won't lie to you and tell you it doesn't. The day you walk out of Advising, head hanging down because you aren't going to finish in four years, makes you feel ashamed of yourself. You did well in high school; you were always told you were smart, expected to be smart, so why couldn't you make it out in four years like you were supposed to?

You know you're going to have to tell your family, so you begin preparing yourself for the worst reactions possible. And telling your friends you won't be graduating with them will only add to that sense of hopelessness.

Soon, you'll see photos and posts from people you left high school with, talking about graduation and the wonderful lives they are about to begin in their new careers. You'll wonder how they did it, and you'll feel like a failure.

But you're not.

Graduating from college is a huge deal. It really is. And it will be no less of an accomplishment in five, six, or 10 years.

"According to the Department of Education, fewer than 40 percent of students who enter college each year graduate within four years, while almost 60 percent of students graduate in six years. At public schools, less than a third of students graduate on time."

Things happen. You might change your major. You might have financial troubles. You may take a year off to figure out exactly what you want to do. That's okay. Take all the time you need. The real world and your career will still be there whenever you graduate.

Guess what else. Your family will still love you, and your friends will still support you. Give them some credit. Your loved ones want you to be happy and successful. Don't get me wrong, they may be upset at first, but give them a chance. Odds are, when the emotions settle, they will go right back to asking how classes are going. And when you do get the news that you'll be graduating, they will celebrate with you, and they will be there in the crowd, waiting for you to walk across that stage.

Graduation will happen. If you attend your class and study hard, it will happen. There is no reason to rush. Just do your best. Try your hardest. Take classes when you can. Just by doing that, you're doing more than so many others are able to do.

"Among 18 countries tracked by the OECD, the United States finished last (46 percent) for the percentage of students who completed college once they started it."

You'll get there. Take your time. Enjoy your classes. Find new interests. Study what you love. Embrace opportunities. Study abroad. Take that weird elective class. This is your time to take in everything the world has to offer. Take advantage of that. You'll graduate when you graduate, filled with pride and wisdom. And when they call your name, and you walk across that stage, hold your head up high, because you've earned every bit of your degree.

Graduating from college takes countless hours of studying, long hours in the library, and a tremendous amount of dedication. Don't add pressure to yourself by setting a timer. It is completely okay to graduate when you graduate, and it is still something to be proud of.

Best Wishes,
A woman who is finally graduating

Cover Image Credit: http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/dam/assets/120417041415-education-graduation-cap-story-top.jpg

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Crossroads

Trying to figure out what to do in life.

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I never saw the crossroad

Where I could cross n' roam

Under an arch or dome. [1]

I just kept on the road

That was laid out,

Told to hold out

Till it pays out. [2]

Now I think its too late

Been walking too long,

Classes are all wrong

But masses too strong. [3]

So I follow with my head down

And chest up, succeeding cause

I'm too scared to fuck it up. [4]

But I have a need to lead,

Top-down and gears up

Leaving nothing to the dust.

But if I drop out, I'm a fuck up. [5]

Is it better to live and rust

Or drive till it busts

With trust you can find the way? [6]


[1] - Play on roam/Rome. Starts the poem by expressing the feeling of being trapped in my path in life. I felt like I never got the chance to figure out what I wanted to do.

[2] - I think a lot of it was I was following what people told me I should be doing.

[3] - I have a feeling that it is too late to change my course of life. I'm in a college for business, taking classes about business, and everyone around me wants to do business.

[4] - This is saying that even though I am not passionate about what I am doing I am still trying to succeed only because I'm scared of failing or quitting.

[5] - I want to leave and lead myself, do something where I'm not following but I don't know how to do that. This part starts a car reference, idk I've been watching Formula 1 on Netflix and its dope.

[6] - This is the question I've been asking myself, wondering if I should continue on with my path or follow my passion.

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