Psychology with a minor in Art
Name/location of intern site:
Opportunity Services in Olmsted and Dodge County
I provide direct care for adults with disabilities as a part of a day program. I engage with clients every day in an effort to help them reach their goals and redirect behavior. I support them in community engagement and integration. I am responsible for caring for the clients’ health and safety while at the day program. I am also working on creating person-centered plans for a number of clients in the program.
How did you find out about this internship:
I found out about it at the Minnesota Private Colleges Job and Internship Fair in Minneapolis this winter. They had a booth at the fair and after chatting with them and introducing myself, I exchanged info and followed up by applying!
My favorite part has definitely been getting to know the clients and learning about them as individuals! They all have such big personalities, and it is so fun interacting with them.
Most challenging part:
I think the most challenging part was probably learning how each client communicates. Some clients are verbal, some are nonverbal and there is a whole range of abilities in between. Each client has their own way of communicating–there own “language”–and it takes a while to learn it all. It was really overwhelming when I first started because I wanted to be able to understand all the individuals and support them the best I could. Now that I’ve spent more time with each of them, I can understand and communicate with them much more effectively.
I’ve learned a lot about the challenges and limitations that people with disabilities may face that I wasn’t even aware of. I think this has really helped to show me how much I have to be grateful for that I may have taken for granted.
Advice to other students preparing for an internship:
You’ll learn the most if you get out of your comfort zone.
And don’t be afraid to make phone calls! That personal touch, compared to an email, can make a huge difference when you’re trying to stick out to employers.