As you may have read in previous posts from myself or others, many of the first year students have begun, and hopefully finished, their search for Concentration Year internships. Right after Field Fair emails began flying through cyber space, phone calls were made and interviews were scheduled. A few students I know were even contacted the very night of Field Fair and had interviews before the end of that week.
The stress level at GSSW rose considerably during the weeks following Field Fair. Students were not only working their internships but searching for and interviewing for next year’s placement while managing their course workload, and for some,even a job. Students were often visibly irritated when they had yet to find a placement and another student announced that they had accepted a placement. Competition for certain placements was steep; for example, seven students interviewed for 2 coveted positions at Children’s Hospital in the Inpatient Eating Disorder Unit or a multitude of students for a stipend program at the VA Hospital.
The search for next year’s placement really begins with a decision. Students must decide which track of study they will pursue and find an internship that fits those needs as well as their own personal interests. We must also consider what Certificates we intend to earn as our host site must be able to accommodate that training. For many students who aren’t sure what they want to do or what career path they’ll take after graduation, this can be a very stressful time.
I’ve finally accepted a placement and will be working in the Heart and Lung Transplant Unit at the University of Colorado Hospital. Although it wasn’t my top choice, it allows me the Medical Social Work experience that I desire and is with a large, well-respected institution that may have opportunities for me as a professional after graduation.