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Undergrad internships?

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by danzgymn86, May 14, 2007.

  1. danzgymn86

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    Did any of you do an internship (paid or unpaid) during undergrad--either in the summer or 1 day per week during the semesters? If so, what type of facility was it at and what were your responsibilities??

    Basically, the place I have been working at for summers and vacations, etc during the past 2 years wants me to work there again this summer but this time they want it to be more worthwile to both them and me so they are calling it an "intership." Thing is, it's not a research institution or anything. It's a Social Service Agency. Now, if I was going into Social Work, Sociology, or Clinical Psych even, I think I could spin this in my favor, but I am going into Social Psych--research--namely stigma and mental illness.
    This is what they want me responsibilities to be:
    - Prepare the annual report
    - maintain the website (I designed it using html and put it up in the first place)
    - design and give out a survey to clients (I don't know what about)
    - Work with the executive director and the Director of Planning and Development and 2 outside people (I think with PhDs) to prepare the "Greater (City) Symposium on Poverty." (However, I don't think that this is a "real" symposium...the other sponsors are a community college, United Way of (state), a ministry association, and a local foundation.)
    - anddd I forget what else. I think I want to ask the Director of Planning to teach me some grant writing because that is what she does all day. BUT I don't know if even that would be useful because it's all grants for Social Service agency type stuff--asking for money to buy stuff--not really research.

    I mean, I am going to do it anyway because I have nothing else to do. But she asked me to find out ways that I could spin this to be useful to me and so I could put it on a resume/CV.
    Opinions?
     
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  3. Quynh2007

    Quynh2007 the oracle of destiny
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    that's cool. I interned at local mental health clinic at my school for about 6 hrs a wk for over a year and it was very worthwhile. I interacted w/kids who came to get counseling and dealt with their files (so I learned about confidentiality). It was one of my "clinical" experience for my PhD clinical psych
     
  4. JockNerd

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    Wow. That sounds like an AWESOME opportunity. You can use every one of those things you listed on your CV for grad school.

    Knowledge of HTML can be a big asset in applications, especially if profs you want to work with have or want to conduct online data collection. That's really catching on, and it can eliminate the endless hours spent in front of a screen copying data into SPSS.

    The others things to me seen to speak to an ability to stay organized and manage responsibilities well. It's always a plus to have those abilities really solidly demonstrated (everyone will say in personal statements that they're organized and responsible; putting on a conference and authoring an annual report demonstrate and prove it).

    Opportunities like this are really hard to come by in undergrad. I know people who have swung things like that after they were done their BA, but none who did it during. I think this experience will put you at a significant advantage over some of the other applicants to your program, all else being equal.

    Good luck getting into Social!
     
  5. danzgymn86

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    I think the reason I am so skeptical about it helping me or not is because I told my advisor that I work in a Social Service agency and she didn't seem impressed. She said something to the effect of..."well, you already know that's not what you want to go into" and made it sound pointless. Granted, I didn't tell her exactly *what* I did. Because last year, I also worked on the annual report for part of the year and data entry and stuff. I guess I just feel like an office job (what I am doing) isn't hard and it confuses me that it would actually help an application for grad school. Eh, it makes sense in my head anyway.

    But yeah, so this could be spun to work for me even though I'm not working at a research institution, not working with Psychologists, and not producing in APA style or anything??

    There was an intern last year but I'm not really sure what her responsibilities were--and I do know that she was a grad student in the school of Social Work so I don't know...I guess I have this idea that it was more relevant for her?
     
  6. Ollie123

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    You can spin anything to work in your favor, I wouldn't worry about it too much. It may not be EXACTLY in psychology, but its closer than say...an IT company.

    If you do want something that might be a serious boost, find out some details about that survey being given to clients. See if there is a way you can tack your own psychology-oriented measure onto it to turn it into an honor's project/poster. Do that and you're golden.
     
  7. danzgymn86

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    The survey I think is completely up to me and designed by me, as far as I understand it.
    I am doing an independent study next year on stigma and mental illness. I will be writing my IRB proposal this summer and submitting it when I return to school in September.
    So I suppose I could add some measure of that in there, however...I'm not sure I can be giving this survey to people over the summer and then include it in my paper next year. Because it wouldn't have ever been approved by the IRB. ...does that make sense?
     
  8. Ollie123

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    Just to be sure I understand - you can't include it as a part of your honor's thesis because it won't have gone through the schools IRB til next year?

    If so, makes perfect sense. Still might be worth trying to incorporate psych into it somehow though, even if it just turns into a poster at a local conference or something, every little bit helps in this super-competitive admissions process:)

    Anyways, I'd still see if its possible/ethical to run something through your job as a separate institution. You probably couldn't get much help from it through the school if its not IRB approved but if you do it on your own or there are people at work who can help you with it, then it may still help.

    If not, just the experience of being able to say you designed and put together a survey is a great resume-builder.
     
  9. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty
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    Hey!!!

    That's where I did mine!

    :(

    I was a double major, and I already had plenty of research, crisis and intervention experience. The unintended consequence was the pay-scale and eventual first career, navigating the itubes and whatnot of the internet! :laugh: It was actually invaluable experience, and allowed me to broaden my skill sets and relational skills. CV padding is nice, but I did it for the connections.

    -t
     
  10. spyspy

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    I did two internships...one during the year (and I ended up staying for 3 years), and one during the summer. I actually got my summer camp job to count as an internship. My responsibilities were related to what I'd like to be doing later on, but not exactly spot-on. Close enough, though. I sought out experiences that were relevant within the internship time span.
     
  11. Ollie123

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    LOL, nothing WRONG with doing one at an IT firm. Its just not as likely to get you involved with clinical psych folks!

    I think the lesson to be taken from this is that if t4chge was able to make an IT company work to his advantage, I'm SURE you can find a way to make this internship work for you.
     

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