Name: Alicia Sibila
Hometown: Miami, FL
Major: Master of Social Work (MSW)
Where did you intern?
I interned at His House Children’s Home, where I was able to shadow clinical therapists in two departments: residential foster care and with unaccompanied alien children. I am very grateful to have been able to experience working with youth in the foster care system from beginning to end because I now have a broader understanding of the child welfare process and its effects on individuals and families. Due to COVID-19, the second half of my internship at His House was done remotely; and I was later transferred to PsychSolutions, Inc. by the school to ensure that I was able to have more clients and really apply the clinical skills I was learning in class during my final semester.
What did you do at PsychSolutions?
I facilitated a social skills group for school-aged children and worked with individual clients on their specific needs. I created treatment plans, conducted assessments and learned how to write progress notes. I was also given the opportunity to attend different virtual trainings to improve my ability to engage with clients and help improve the quality of their lives.
What advice do you have for those beginning the internship process?
Be open to work in setting and with populations that may not necessarily be your top choice. Equally important is networking. Go out and make those connections with coworkers and people you meet in the field because they're the ones who you will be working alongside with once you graduate.
How did your internship connect back to your coursework?
I was able to apply the clinical, group work and interviewing skills I have learned the entire time I have been in the graduate program. I have had to engage with clients, monitor their progress, diagnose and research evidence-based practices that best fit my clients and their needs.
What was the coolest thing about your internship?
The coolest thing that happened during my internship was that I was offered a position upon graduation!
What did you like most about your experience?
What I liked most about my internship at PsychSolutions, Inc. was that I was able to work independently with clients. I was given the opportunity to decide what I thought was the best course of treatment and figure out my own style of conducting therapeutic sessions. I wasn’t babied, given “easy” clients or given the bare minimum amount of work; I was treated like a real employee and assigned an array of clients, all with different needs.
What did you learn about yourself?
Interning during a pandemic, I learned that I am adaptable. I had to adjust to conducting sessions via Teleheath, quickly adapt to a new job, and do a lot of research to broaden the therapeutic interventions, all while establishing a new normal with my four-year-old at home.
How did the position increase your professional confidence?
The feedback I have received from my supervisors, my teachers and my clients has proven to me that I chose the right profession for myself. I've heard most people say “you don’t feel ready to be on your own when you graduate,” and, while it is a scary thought to not have the same support of my classmates and professors, I am leaving FIU with a ton of applicable knowledge and the ability to do my own research for the information I do not have.