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Psychology Success StoriesPsychology Success Stories

Psychology Success Stories - Placements

photo of Tiffany BudayTiffany Buday - Montgomery County Public Defender's Office

Major:  Psychology and Criminal Justice

Internship placement:  Montgomery County Public Defender's Office, Rockville, Maryland

Internship Title:  Investigative Intern

How did you find your internship?  Through the Washington Center.

What are your primary responsibilities/day-to-day activities?
• Assisted attorneys in investigating facts in cases and preparation for trial
• Located witnesses, conducted interviews, and obtained written witness statements
• Wrote and served subpoenas
• Attended pre-trials and bond hearings
• Conducted legal research, and testified in court
• Obtained pictures of crime scenes, and video surveillance from crime scenes

What is the best part of your internship?
The entire internship has been great, from all of the hands-on experience at my job to picking my own hours.  I enjoyed site-seeing in Washington D.C. every weekend, and I got to attend a speech given by the President of the United States to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.  I have also been invited to the White House to celebrate with the Superbowl Champion Indianapolis Colts on Monday April 23, 2007.

What are the top two things you have learned?
The two most useful things I've learned would probably be how to fill out and serve subpoenas and how to take a written statement from a witness.

Would you recommend this internship to someone else? Yes.

A quote regarding your internship experience? Anything is possible.

 

Bethany Newman - Masontown Elementary School

Internship Placement Name: Masontown Elementary School, Masontown, PA

Internship Title: Guidance Counselor Intern

How did you find your internship? 
I found my internship through my high school guidance counselor.  He was busy this semester, but suggested the elementary guidance counselor and she accepted me.

What are your primary responsibilities/day-to-day activities?
My primary responsibilities are daily counseling sessions, cafeteria duty, gifted screenings, special education observations, IEP meetings.

What is the best part of your internship? 
The best part of my internship is listening to the children’s problems, and trying to make their days a little bit better.  I know I can’t help their home life, but if I can help them while they are at school, I feel better.

What are the top two things you have learned?
The top two things I have learned are how to do a gifted screening and how to fill out an observation packet.

Would you recommend this internship to someone else?
I would recommend this internship to someone else, just not in the spring semester.  There were too many snow days at the school, and with the PSSA’s the amount of things I could was limited.

A quote regarding your internship experience?

 

 

Erin Berstler - Philhaven 

Internship placement:  Philhaven, Lancaster, PA

Your internship title:  After School Program Intern

How did you find your internship? The internet

What are your primary responsibilities/day-to-day activities?
Give one-on-one attention to the kids and to be an extra set of eyes and ears for the staff.

Tell me about the most fascinating person you have met during your internship.
I think the most interesting person I met at this internship was one of the children in the program who had been through a lot. I was able to read his chart and progress notes and see how his time in the program had improved his life and how far he had come. I enjoyed spending time getting to know him during my time at the program.

What is the best part of your internship? 
The best part of my internship was definitely getting to know the kids and being able to just spend time and have fun with them. Also, I really enjoyed being able to be exposed to the charts and background information for these kids and then observing them in real life.

What are the top two things you have learned? 
The top two things I have learned is to always be aware of what is going on in the environment, and also to be aware that people have been through things that we may have no idea about, and not to judge anyone based on superficial behaviors and appearance.

Would you recommend this internship to someone else? Absolutely.  I learned a lot and really enjoyed myself. 

A quote from you regarding your internship experience?

 

Janet Koposko - UPMC Mercy Child Development Center 

Internship placement:  UPMC Mercy Child Development Center, Pittsburgh, PA

Your internship title:  Vocational Instructor Intern for the Teacher’s Aide Training Program

How did you find your internship?  InternLink website

What are your primary responsibilities/day-to-day activities?
  • Assist classroom teachers with activities
  • Facilitate play among children
  • Helped in infant, toddler, pre-school, and school-aged children settings
  • Attended field trips and supervised children
  • Provided support to the trainees in the Teacher’s Aide Training Program
  • Researched current methods, qualifications, and requirements for the field of center-based child care

What one day at work really stands out?
I was invited to accompany the school-aged class on a field trip to the Carnegie Science Center. Riding the bus through Pittsburgh and supervising a group of elementary school children discovering science experiments was a bit chaotic, but also much fun!

What is the best part of your internship?
I got to play with kids, make silly putty, and go for walks to throw pennies in the fountain.

What are the top two things you have learned?
I really do have the inner motivation to wake up at 6AM on a regular basis!  My supervisor was a great example of a caring professional. Some specific traits are always being open to questions, allowing a good balance of guidance and self-directed learning, and treating others with respect.

Would you recommend this internship to someone else? Yes.

A quote from you regarding your internship experience?
I couldn’t believe how many concepts from child psychology I could draw on and remember throughout the course of my internship. It was a great way to connect learning with real-life, applied settings.
 

Jennifer Little - Bentworth Elementary School 

Internship placement Name:  Bentworth Elementary School, Bentleyville, PA

Your internship title:  School Psychology Intern

How did you find your internship? 
I found out about my internship through Professor Lonich, my academic adviser, Dr. Adair, my academic supervisor, and Toni Lozar from Intermediate Unit One.

What are your primary responsibilities/day-to-day activities?
  • Observe children at the Elementary, Middle, and High School to understand student’s growth and development socially, behaviorally, and academically;
  • Sit in on occasional meetings to obtain a better understand of the relationships and responsibilities a school psychologist has with other members in the field of education;
  • Observe the implementation of standardized test (I.Q. and Achievement) to obtain a more profound understanding of school psychologists and students professional relationships and interactions;
  • Review psychological reports and case histories of the students evaluated to assist in future facilitation.

What is the best part of your internship?
Indisputably, the best part of my internship takes place every time I walk into the classroom.  Every day is not a walk in the park, but after observing the atmosphere, the inquisitive nature, and the interactions I had with the students, it was all worthwhile.    

What are the top two things you have learned?
It’s difficult to summarize all that I’ve learned into two points.  With that said, I would have to say the two most noteworthy things I’ve learned from this experience are the vital roles in which a school psychologist can impact a child’s life and the personal reassurance that I feel I am best fit for this occupation.

Would you recommend this internship to someone else?  In a heartbeat.                                                          

A quote from you regarding your internship experience?

 

Jessike Boyle - New Directions

Internship placement:  New Directions, Uniontown, PA

Your internship title:  Adolescent Unit Therapist Intern

How did you find your internship?
Dr. Adair, my adviser in the Psychology department talked with me about potential interests and suggested that I contact New Directions.

What are your primary responsibilities/day-to-day activities?
Co-facilitating or facilitating group therapy and individual therapy sessions, as well as participating in family therapy meetings. I also completed paperwork and filing each day for these sessions.

What one day at work really stands out?
There was a day that I did an individual session with a male who, after some coaxing, self disclosed information about his home life and was willing to be helped with strategies to make his situation better for himself. It was wonderful for me because I was able to see immediate firsthand experience that I can make a difference in a person’s life even though I am not even through Graduate School yet.

What is the best part of your internship?
Being able to discuss with my adviser and with people in the field the pros and cons of the jobs. I wanted this internship to help me decide where I want to go with my degree, and I think it has, though I have not yet made a final decision.

What are the top two things you have learned?
Listening and letting people know that you genuinely care about them and want them to succeed will give better results than being authoritative in many situations.  Also, I learned that I am capable of going into a foreign situation and excelling even if I am nervosa to begin with.

Would you recommend this internship to someone else?
Yes. I believe that internships are a learning experience that no college graduate should go without.  

A quote from you regarding your internship experience?

 

Lauren Ostapowicz - Washington Drug and Alcohol Commission

Internship placement Name:  Washington Drug and Alcohol Commission, Inc., Washington, PA

Your internship title:  Administrative Case Management Intern

How did you find your internship? Dr. Adair picked out a few different places for me to try.

What are your primary responsibilities/day-to-day activities?
I screen new clients before scheduling them an appointment or referring them somewhere else. I observe assessments, help the case managers, and before the end of my internship I will be doing assessments on my own.

What is the best part of your internship?
Interacting with clients, seeing what it's like in the workforce, and gaining experience in different areas of my field.

What are the top two things you have learned?
I've learned not to get attached to a case, and how to determine what level of treatment a client needs.

Would you recommend this internship to someone else? Yes.

A quote from you regarding your internship experience?
"Don't sweat the small stuff."

Megan Little - Centerville Clinics Inc. Blended Case Management

Your internship title:  Intern in Blended Case Management

How did you find your internship?  Online resources/ Talking to my professors

What are your primary responsibilities/day-to-day activities?
-Compiling a spreadsheet of local and state resources that Blended Case Managers can refer their consumers to
-Learn about research and benefits for mental health clients
-Participate with lead groups of adult mental health clients
-Learn about various types and phases of mental health treatment for intake, S.A.P.,therapy, psychiatric, and psychological evaluations

What is the best part of your internship? 
The best part of my internship is working with the California staff and gaining experience and insight into a field in clinical psychology.

What are the top two things you have learned? 
The top two things I have learned through my internship are (1) there are  state and local resources available for people with low incomes, children, and or diagnosed with a mental illness; and (2) the steps necessary to complete paper work and case studies involving a mental illness diagnosis.

Would you recommend this internship to someone else?
Absolutely, the staff is very friendly and helpful.  This is a great experience.

A quote from you regarding your internship experience?

 

 Samantha Wetter - Crime Victim/Witness Assistance Program

Internship Placement Name:  Crime Victim/Witness Assistance Program, Washington, PA

Your internship title: Office Intern

How did you find your internship?
Michelle Lipchik, a victim’s advocate in the office, was at an internship fair at CAL. I attended the fair and talked to her about a possible internship in the office. A few weeks later she contacted me for an interview, and around Thanksgiving I was notified that I was accepted and would start in the Spring 2010 semester.

What are your primary responsibilities/day-to-day activities?
I file paperwork in the office and in the District Attorney’s office. I accompany the victim’s advocate to court to meet with victims, sit with them through the hearing, and provide any help that is necessary.

What is the best part of your internship?
I love going to court to watch plea hearings, non-jury trials, and jury trials. I think it is the most interesting part because I am a Psychology major and do not know much about the criminal justice system. I also enjoy meeting the victims and listening to their experiences.

What are the top two things you have learned?
I have learned some aspects of the criminal justice system, and I have learned what it takes to be a victim advocate.

Would you recommend this internship to someone else?
I feel this internship was the best experience of my life.  Even though I did not major in criminal justice, it gave me the opportunity to see another field. I would recommend this internship to anyone, from criminal justice majors, to other social service majors.

A quote from you regarding your internship experience?
This has been such a great and rewarding experience; I wish it would never end!” 

 

Amber Preston - Western PA Behavioral Health Resources

Internship Placement Name:  Western PA Behavioral Health Resources

How did you find your internship?
I needed something close to home so I could easily commute from classes, work, and home. My mother was a client at Western PA Behavioral Health Resources at the time I was looking, and she passed my name and information along to her therapist who in turned passed the information along to Human Resources. She called me over the summer, and we set up a meeting to go over a possible internship.

What are your primary responsibilities/day-to-day activities?
I file paperwork, therapy notes, letters, and other paperwork into client files. I also began observing one-on-one therapy sessions, then I began learning how to properly fill out the note for these sessions. I also helped with group therapy sessions by recording what the clients’ said, how they interacted, the dynamics of the groups, how the clients felt, any observations, and anything else that went on during the session. I also covered the phone, answering questions about appointments or taking messages. 

What is the best part of your internship?:
My favorite part of the internship was working with the therapist during the group therapy sessions. I had the most hands-on part during this time by recording the notes. I also learned more about the clients and how learning something in class and seeing it face to face are two different things.

What are the top two things you have learned?:
The amount of paperwork each client’s file contains is unbelievable. The detailed notes of sessions, a psycho-social intake, agreements, privacy notices, treatment contracts, and a plethora of other things make up each file. Every session, every prescription, every notation, and every interaction the patient had with the doctor, therapist, or office staff was recorded.
The concept of paperwork does not come up in classroom lecture very often. The classes I took prepared me for the theories behind the practice, but having the actual experience to see a real world career was also another thing I learned. For example, it was one thing to learn about DSM-IV diagnoses such as depression, but to see someone who is clinically diagnosed is another. Classroom theories, concept, and learning will only take you so far, but you have to have the experience to truly understand what is learned in class.

Would you recommend this internship to someone else? Yes

A quote from you regarding your internship experience?

 

 Ashley Gill - Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union (PSECU)

Internship Placement Name: Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union (PSECU)

Internship Title: e-Center Management Intern

How did you find your internship?  
There was a posting in the Announcements sent to our Calu email for the position, so I did some research on the credit union and then applied.

What are your primary responsibilities/day to day activities?
As an e-Center Management Intern, my primary responsibilities include assisting the Management Business advisor with daily operations, provide direction and support to the e-Center staff, open and closing the e-Center, monitor ATM use and ensure availability to members, ensure all applications and forms are processed and forwarded to the main office in a timely manner as determined by PSECU, organize and present group presentations, direct membership to home banking or phone bank for financial transactions and inquiries, cross sell credit union membership services, and meet established monthly membership and service goals.  

What is the best part of your internship?
The best part of my internship…is everything! I work with a great supervisor and staff that support each other through our duties, responsibilities and to achieve our e-Center goals. The experience has been an amazing opportunity and the transferable skills I have attained through this experience are priceless.

What are the top two things you have learned?
The top two things that I have learned from this internship are that job-related experience is absolutely necessary before graduation, and how to be a leader in an environment where my co-workers are also my peers.

Would you recommend this internship to someone else?
Absolutely. I think that anyone who wants a leadership and sales experience that is also paid, this would be the way to go.

A quote from you regarding your internship experience?

 

 Kelsey Craig - Mon Valley Juvenile After School Program

Internship Placement Name: Mon Valley Juvenile After School Program

Your internship title: Assistant Counselor

How did you find your internship? I found it through InternLink.

What are your primary responsibilities/day-to-day activities?
I help plan the group discussions and team building activities, and assist the students with their homework. I am also required to use the behavioral theory of punishment with the children when they misbehave.

What is the best part of your internship?
I really enjoy knowing that I've helped these kids out with whatever problems they may be facing that day or week. If they walk in the door with an angry attitude, it's a little discouraging, but after a minute of talking to them about what's wrong, they normally lighten up and calm down. Knowing that I've helped calm them down or given them ideas on how to handle a situation, is one of the best feelings in the world.

What are the top two things you have learned?
 When I first started my internship, I thought my observation skills were up to par but I quickly realized that I had no idea what I was doing. In theory, I knew how to observe, but my actual application was off. This internship has really helped improve those skills.
  I've also learned how to lead discussion groups and apply the behavioral theory to real life situations. It's easy to learn about rewards and punishments but actually rewarding and punishing people you don't know is a completely different experience.

Would you recommend this internship to someone else?
I would definitely recommend this internship to someone else, especially someone who is interested in becoming a Juvenile Probation Officer.

A quote from you regarding your internship experience?