March 9, 2012 • Podcasts
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Oh my god, there would be so many challenges if you were a single parents or, you know, something that that you don’t get any funding for and you’re trying to do this because you know you have to do it to get a job, and then…but you need to have money at the same time or just I guess had other really huge financial responsibilities that, you know, you couldn’t deal with. Ultimately, your learning experience would be hugely compromised if you had to take on another job or something.
I think that a lot of the reason why there’s no paid internships in dietetics versus work terms in engineering is that it’s female-dominated and that, I don’t know, we haven’t been around for that long and nobody really fights, you know, for the people that come after them and it’s more of a rite of passage sometimes and once you’re done you’re just like ‘Oh, I’m so glad that’s over’ but then you don’t really give it a second thought, so it’s hard to ever move forward from that.
Emily: So, my name’s Emily Marx I’m a third year Social Work student studying in Etobicoke but I live in Thornhill, Ontario. The first internship I did was a three month placement at a mental health organization and there I was involved in support group facilitation for different people with a variety of mental health issues, and I also helped with a mentorship program through that organization, and currently I’m doing a full year placement at a hospice in Etobicoke where I’m working with the Coordinator of Bereavement Care.
At my first internship at the Mental Health Association I was doing a lot of behind the scenes work through the mentorship program. So, I was working on revising their documents and being in touch with some of the people who were involved with the program, and then periodically I would sit in, shadowing the facilitators of the support groups—some of those were during the day and some were during the evenings.
I really enjoyed my internships. I think they were a great way to combine what I was learning in the classroom while gaining experience in the field. I found it helpful because I received a lot of one-on-one support from people who are doing the work I aspire to and I made a lot of good connections and have really been able to practice and improve on the skills that I started my program with.
I found them to be more positive on my end because I’ve been given really interesting tasks. I’ve been involved with great training in terms of training before I started my placement as well as training throughout to improve my skills and help me do some of the work that I’m doing. That was for support group facilitation; I’ve had some great training there. And I’ve also just had the opportunity to be involved with a variety of things. So none of it was very static or boring, it was really interesting and there was a variety of work.
I’m okay with interning for free. I of course would rather be paid for the work I do, but I feel that I do get a sufficient amount of experience from it and something that I feel I benefit from, though I do look forward to eventually transitioning to the paid workforce. I think there are people who would choose to not be in this program because there is a significant component that involves unpaid work but of the majority of my classmates and myself, they do find a way to do this unpaid work, be a full-time student, and many do have jobs on the side.