STUDENT NAME: Summer Lardy
CLASS OF (GRADUATION YEAR): 2018
NAME/ LOCATION OF INTERN SITE: Northwest Passage – Webster WI
MAJOR RESPONSIBILITIES: I got the wonderful opportunity of working with adolescents struggling with mental illness and behavioral problems last summer. One major responsibility of mine was to organize days to take the residents out to do some underwater photography in the surrounding lakes and rivers. I also helped back at the facility with meals by helping dish out food along with supervision. During class time, I wandered around the classroom making sure that the residents stayed on task and answered questions. I also kept track of where the residents were and what time they had therapy, appointments and visits. I got to participate in awesome programming that included group dialectic behavioral therapy, art therapy and horse therapy.
HOW DID YOU FIND OUT ABOUT THIS INTERNSHIP?: By attending the MN Private Colleges Job and Internship Fair in Minneapolis, I was able to land an interview with the organization, which led to an internship!
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR MOST FAVORITE PART OF THE INTERNSHIP: My favorite part of my internship was being able to do underwater photography with the residents. The smiles that I witnessed were worth a thousand words. It was great being able to see how excited the residents got when they saw fish or a snail crawling. When they looked at their pictures, they found out how talented they were. You never really realize what is under the surface until you explore it. It was truly amazing to see the wonders of what the water could do on a therapeutic level!
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR MOST CHALLENGING PART OF THE INTERNSHIP: The most challenging part of my internship was the unpredictability that each resident brought. One minute they could be fully engaged and the next minute they were getting themselves into trouble. It kept me on my toes as I had to be vigilant at all times.
WHAT’S BEEN THE BIGGEST LESSON(S): The biggest lesson that I learned through my internship is that it is okay to continue to ask questions throughout the whole internship process. There were often times where I was unsure if I can let a resident do something, so I always asked another staff member before I responded.
ADVICE TO OTHER STUDENTS PREPARING FOR AN INTERNSHIP: Pay attention during your training week! My training helped me a ton with being able to understand my expectations for the summer along with the organization as a whole. I learned a lot of valuable information during this time that later helped me throughout the summer.