An Internship works twofold – (1) it is an opportunity for someone to gain experience working in their desired field and (2) the organization benefits from an additional teammate who’s passionate and willing to learn and contribute new ideas. Since September, Linda Jeong, a graduate student at Boston College, has been interning in our programs department under the supervision of Lyndsey McMahan, Assistant Director of Programs. A little over halfway through her internship, Linda has become an invaluable member of our team.
As part of her Masters of Social Work program at BC, Linda is required to do a field practicum. “MSW students are able to get placed at any agency of their choice based on their experience and goals. Each student within the program learn[s] basic knowledge, skills, and values during their classes and appl[ies] it to the field,” Linda writes. For Linda, like many others in the field of Social Work, there is no such thing as a typical day at work; “Since October, I have been working with two different families who have different needs.” One of those families was recently placed in affordable housing in San Antonio, TX.
She continues, “Each day required different tasks, such as looking for apartments who accepted Section 8, contacting San Antonio Housing Authority for a voucher extension, and finding a way to actually get her there. Once we got a unit, we had to apply for HomeBASE, which is a household assistance programs that assists with moving…start-up costs, and household items. From there, I contacted many different vendors to ensure that my client was going to have everything she needed to move securely into permanent housing.” An internship with Hildebrand is very hands-on, working directly with clients, other case managers and members of various sectors of the organization, vendors, government agencies, and more; it’s never a dull moment here.
When asked about her favorite part of her internship, she writes, “After being at Hildebrand for about half a year, I think my favorite part … has been the opportunity to go out in the field to do intakes to meet families for the first time, who have either been transferred into our program or have entered shelter for the first time. So far, I’ve been on about 5 intakes and each time has been an amazing learning experience. I’ve been able to hear their stories, assess their needs and strengths, and introduce them to our services. I think that first impressions are very significant to the start of a wonderful client-program relationship. I hope that clients not only feel welcomed and valuable but also empowered to make a difference in their lives with the help and support from Hildebrand.”
Gamu Bere, currently a case manager and soon to be residential manager at a new congregate living program in Dorchester after its completion, said of Linda, “[she’s] been helpful with assisting case managers by with carrying some of our caseloads.” Gamu commends Linda for her work in successfully moving her client to Texas, saying “To be able to successfully accomplish this, I believe Linda was able to utilize excellent organizational skills which include networking, communication and team work.” Mike Short, Program Coordinator, adds, “Linda has been a huge asset to Hildebrand over the past months. She is the first one to volunteer to help out with our donation room, birthday wishes and intakes. Linda's strong background in Social Work has helped her move on a long stayer client who had been with us since 2014.”
Additionally, Raychelle Burwell, one of our case managers who is studying for her Master's in Psychology at Cambridge College, is interning under Joy Gallon, LICSW. As part of her internship she is becoming a facilitator for the Nurturing Fathers program and will co-facilitate a group for fathers beginning in April. A new intern, Patille Bingham, starts tomorrow (2/26/2016). She is studying for her Master's degree in Social Work at Boston University. She’ll be working with a Case Manager with one of the families they provide services to, and will have her work with several Stabilization families. Both Patille and Raychelle will be assisting with the creation and facilitation of therapeutic play workshops for the children. It’s great to see our programs expand through these internship opportunities!
On her advice to incoming interns, Linda says, “Don’t feel nervous, afraid, or embarrassed to ask for help. You are surrounded by very experienced and knowledgeable co-workers who are more than happy to assist you with any questions you may have about your cases, housing or life in general!”