Interning within the local youth shelter, I had several responsibilities. My basic responsibilities include ensuring the safety and supervision of our clients while assisting them with day-to-day activities. Interning in the office/managerial side of the shelter left me with several other responsibilities as well. Some of these included completing client intake and discharge, organizing files, and preparing for audits.
During my internship, one major accomplishment was learning to identify when an escalation or outburst may have a bigger underlying issue. People, especially children, often struggle to come up with words to express their emotions. We tend to bottle up these feelings, and eventually, even a minor inconvenience could make us explode. Being able to see past the misbehavior and figure out the true source of the outburst is a skill I will be able to use for the rest of my life.
One major lesson I learned throughout this experience was to start fresh each day. At the end of every workday, it is important to find a way to de-stress and let go of everything negative that may have occurred within the shift. Doing this will help you go into the next workday with a healthy open mindset. It eliminates the opportunity for hard feelings and allows you to come up with new solutions to tackle problems. Another important lesson I learned is that you cannot save everyone, but you can impact many. Not everyone you encounter may be ready to accept your help, and that is ok. Continue to do your job to the best of your ability because that’s all you can do.
What advice would you give?
The best advice I could give anyone entering the human services industry is to ensure your heart is in it. With every new individual and situation, you should do your best to make a positive difference in their life. In this field, it is important to be committed to helping others wholeheartedly. Stay true to your values and beliefs, and remember that your job is extremely important!