Today is National Intern Day and we’re thrilled to highlight some of the amazing interns who have shared their time and talents with Gaudenzia through our internship program.
Sandra Watson joined us this past Spring Semester as an intern at Gaudenzia’s Sunbury Outpatient before graduating from Susquehanna University with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She now works as a Behavioral Health Technician in the field while pursuing a master’s degree in Social Work, and hopes to acquire her CADC. Sandra’s professional goals include providing essential treatment services to a diverse group of people who deal with substance use and co-occurring disorders.
We’re so grateful to Sandra for taking the time to answer our questions about her internship experience at Gaudenzia. We’re also thrilled to have our behavioral health internship program nominated for WayUp’s Top 100 Best Internship Programs of 2022. Please take a moment to vote for Gaudenzia here. Participants can vote until midnight tonight (July 28th).
Intern Spotlight: Sandra Watson
How Did You Get Involved with Gaudenzia’s Internship Program?
SW: I got involved with Gaudenzia’s internship because my undergraduate school was helping connect senior students to internships that immersed them into the field they wanted to work in, and I was paired up with Gaudenzia.
How Did Gaudenzia’s Internship Program Fit Into Your Education?
SW: I was a psychology major at the time and everything I was learning at Gaudenzia was either enhancing what I already knew from what I’ve learned or providing new insight about my education from my university. It fit into my education because I had the academic knowledge from my studies, and then was given the chance to practice and gain a deeper understanding of that knowledge at Gaudenzia.
What Were Your Main Responsibilities During Your Internship?
SW: My main responsibilities were to observe, analyze, and speak with as many of the
clinicians and clients as I could — and to learn.
Can You Describe Any Special Projects You Took on as Part of Your Internship?
SW: One of the special projects that I had taken on during my internship was running a group with the guidance of my supervisor. I came up with the topic and questions alike.
In What Ways Do You Feel Gaudenzia’s Internship Program Helped Prepare You For a Role in the Behavioral Healthcare Field?
SW: It helped prepare me by having me intern with a population I plan on working with and letting me gain knowledge and insight into the jobs I might be doing in a behavioral healthcare field. I was able to get an experience that many people in undergraduate may not be able to get. I was able to receive advice from both clients and clinicians about what the behavioral healthcare field has been and what it needs right now.
What Was Your Proudest Accomplishment During Your Internship?
SW: My biggest accomplishment during my internship was running my first group. I was very nervous about it but I was reassured by my supervisor and guided, but not micromanaged. I was able to form the topic of a group that was inspired by knowledge, but also was created by me and it felt like my own.
Was There Anything You Learned About the Field or About Yourself During Your Internship That Surprised You?
SW: I am a reserved person but when it came to the field and learning new things, I wanted to
ask as many questions as possible and be immersed in every possible way I could. I also
learned a long list of things about the field, but one is that this field is not for the meek.
It’s a lot of work, a lot of patience, and a lot of engagement, but even though it can be difficult,
this field can also be very fulfilling if you’re willing to go through the journey.
What Inspires You to Work in the SUD Treatment Field?
SW: Besides having personal connections with people who experienced SUD, what draws me is my passion to see this population thrive and have the best quality care serviced to them. I am drawn to this population because of the journeys they must go through to maintain sobriety and I want to be a part of those journeys.
What Advice Would You Give to Potential Interns Looking to Get the Most Out of Their Experience?
SW: Learn as much as you possibly can. Engage with as many people as possible, ask numerous
questions. Ask to be involved and challenge yourself. Be comfortable with being uncomfortable.