This the next in a series of posts by recipients of the Career Services Summer Funding Grant. We’ve asked funding recipients to reflect on their summer experiences and talk about the industries in which they’ve been spending their summer. You can read the entire series here.

This entry is by Shauntelle Woods, COL ’17

woods1This summer I was offered the priceless opportunity to intern at Thrive Alabama. From the moment I met the staff, I knew that I was going to not only be an intern, but a part of a family. I was welcomed with opened arms and the staff desired to teach me as much as possible. As an intern at Thrive Alabama I worked in the Den, an intensive outpatient program that strives to treat minority males that struggle with substance abuse issues and/or mental health issues.

During my summer internship I was able to learn a lot about the field of psychology. I was able to shadow multiple therapists and had many opportunities to sit in on both group therapy sessions and individual therapy sessions. I also attended mental health court on numerous occasions. When we attended mental health court, we had to give the judge updates on our clients’ progress. Seeing the excitement on the judge’s face when she heard that clients were progressing was invaluable. In addition, hearing from the judge how proud she was of the work we were doing was heartwarming. I gained invaluable experience that not only expanded my knowledge about the field of psychology, but also tremendously increased my passion for helping others. Seeing first-hand how much therapy and having a great support system positively affects clients was a blessing to witness.

During the course of my internship, I was invited to be a part of the staff for another program called the Green Dream Mentoring Program. This program provided group therapy sessions for ex-offenders and paired them with mentors to keep them on the right track. As a staff member for this program, I helped create group rules for the sessions, developed a list of helpful resources for clients, and co-facilitated the sessions. Being a part of this program allowed me to gain more experience regarding group therapy and surround myself with a different type of population.

This internship and the opportunities that came with it provided me with many hands on skills that I can use in my future career in psychology. Because I had to be around people from all walks of life, it taught me how to adapt to different populations. Also, this internship reinforced my understanding of the fact that different people need different types of treatment. Developing treatment plans for clients based on their needs and individual personality was a critical skill that I gained.

During this internship, I not only built relationships with the clients at Thrive Alabama, but I developed strong relationships with my fellow co-workers and superiors as well.

At the end of my internship, many of my superiors expressed that they would be available for me if I needed anything and that they would be excited to help me secure full time employment at any time. Working at Thrive Alabama was definitely a great experience and I am beyond thankful for Career Services for making it possible for me to have the opportunity to work there.

Author: Student Perspective

Views and opinions from current Penn students.

1 thought on “Thriving”

Comments are closed.