BY: SOPHIA CONNORS
Where are you interning/did you intern?
I am currently an intern at Mid-Atlantic Behavioral Health, an outpatient behavioral health organization offering individual and group therapy, medication management, psychological testing, and other services.
What are/were your responsibilities as an intern?
Since providers of mental health services usually require professional licensure to practice, most of my work as an intern takes place at the administrative office just down the road from campus. However, doing behind-the-scenes work is just as gratifying and important. Learning about the daily operations of a business/organization can foster a deeper understanding of your future career.
Describe a typical day at your internship.
My main responsibility is to provide an extra pair of hands to anyone who needs it, whether it be the practice owners, providers, or administrative staff. I perform clerical work, like answering phones, sorting mail, organizing and processing payments, and doing data entry. I’ve also been engaged in the credentialing process, which allows our clinical staff to enroll in insurance companies’ preferred provider networks.
What is/was your favorite thing about your internship?
My favorite component of the internship is definitely the clinical observation. With provider and patient permission, I’ve been able to sit in on intake appointments, medication management visits, group therapy, psychological assessments, and a myriad of other services. Seeing professionals in their element has further confirmed my decision to enter the field of mental healthcare. It is fascinating to see how scholarship in psychology and neuroscience is translated into practical use.
What is/was the most valuable skill you developed in this internship that you can use in your future career?
My internship has given me insight into my field that I wouldn’t have gained otherwise. It taught me that to be an effective provider, I need more than just good clinical skills; great healthcare professionals are constantly engaged, both in the application of cutting-edge empirical research and keeping themselves (and their clients) updated with policy/legislative changes that shape their professions.
What advice or words of wisdom can you share for other students who may be interested in pursuing this internship, or a similar one?
I would advise students from all majors to participate in an internship or other opportunities that allows them to be immersed in their fields! It’s a great way to apply knowledge from the classroom to a meaningful setting. But, what is arguably more important is that you inadvertently discover the things you do and don’t enjoy. This self-knowledge is invaluable when you begin to make decisions about your future. My internship helped me get in touch with the things that excite me- and rule out the things that don’t.
Sophia Connors is a Psychology major with minors in Human Development & Family Sciences and Medical Social Services. She is expected to graduate in 2019.