Hi, my name is Vivion! I am a third year Psychology student at the University of Georgia. In addition to majoring in Psychology, I am also pursuing a minor in Criminal Justice studies. I have experience working alongside non-governmental organizations and non-profit organizations that serve to assist individuals living in poverty, both in the United States and internationally.
I chose this Child & Youth Mental Health internship, as I’m looking to grow my leadership skills and continue my career development. The flexibility of this remote internship was important to me, as I have been traveling quite a bit. Having the opportunity to access this “digital workspace” enabled me to reap the benefits of an internship, while still being able to attend to my other commitments and priorities.
Tell us about your Psychology internship! What were you involved in?
I interned for a youth developmental clinic, which is based out of Jamaica. This organization specifically exists to serve the students and teachers of the schools with which we worked. The general population of children were between two and six years old, and the teachers demonstrated a desperate need for assistance with navigating education for children in a post-COVID19 world.
My role primarily included researching violence prevention through conflict resolution and creating strategies for conflict resolution inside and outside the classroom. I was involved in the production of resources for school teachers. I researched relevant psychological theory, determined the best method of classroom application, and created tangible resources that can aid teachers and students in understanding conflict resolution and violence prevention.
Once I began, I realized that the internship experience is more individualized than I had imagined. I really loved the flexibility and adaptability! One piece of advice that I would give to an individual coming into this culturally diverse, online internship position, is to be flexible, keep an open mind, and ask clarifying questions when necessary.
How did this organization support your virtual participation and ensure it was meaningful?
At the start, I had an online orientation meeting with my supervisor and another fellow intern, where we established a plan for completing conflict resolution and violence prevention resources.
The organization fosters adequate opportunity for collaboration with the local community through the use of video conferencing. This allows remote interns to hear directly from the school teachers, and subsequently improves our understanding of issues, along with our ability to produce solutions.
Jade, my supervisor during the program, worked with me directly from the ground in Jamaica. She contributed so much to building the organization that is in place today. She was available to me via WhatsApp, email and group video conferences.
One time I missed a meeting and had to let Jade know. However, she outlined the minutes of the meeting for me, explained the next steps, scheduled our next meeting, and mentioned her appreciation of my proactive communication.
I really admire her dedication to the students, teachers, interns, and her commitment to the cause!
How was this internship relevant to your career goals?
This internship role prepared me for my long-term career goal of working with disadvantaged youth, from a psychological standpoint. I learned skills that will benefit me in the future, such as communication, organization, and time management, and I further developed my skills as a researcher.
Going forward, it also taught me to prepare for any obstacles caused by cultural differences by keeping an open mind and avoiding making assumptions in general. Instead of assuming, I can ask clarifying questions.
What have been the highlights of your internship experience?
Some successes have been realizations that I’ve made from research and analysis. These realizations have strung together to create the culmination of the work I’ve done and the ideas I’ve proposed.
The internship experience has also shown me that the operation of an organization is much more complex and convoluted than I previously thought. There are several levels of communication and collaboration required from all parties in order to run efficiently.
My overall greatest takeaway was to always remain conscious and considerate of the varying backgrounds and diverse lifestyles that may be present within a group or among individuals of interest.
I feel more empowered to be successful in the field of psychology because I now have a greater understanding of environmental influences on psychological development.
I also believe that increased conversation and acceptance surrounding mental health is benefiting the future of psychology. As people begin to understand more about mental health and the brain, stigma begins to decrease. This makes me hopeful for a bright future that recognizes and protects mental health and wellbeing!
How can I get started?
Our step-by-step guide on how it works provides you with more information on how to get started. The process is user friendly and there are two options you can take to get the ball rolling.
If you’re unsure of which internship program is right for you, you can simply check availability to submit an enquiry which will help us to point you in the right direction. If you want to chat over the phone, you can also find our full contact information here.
If you already have an idea of what you want to do, and when you want to do it, you can submit your application. It doesn’t cost anything and won’t take more than 5 minutes. However, your formal expression of interest provides the foundation for us to help you take the next steps.