My Internship and the Dreaded Job Search

by Heather
Originally posted April 19, 2010

I was lucky enough to get the field placement I wanted and was extremely excited about. In August I was placed at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Not only is it a great hospital to be a part of, with many great social workers, but I learned more than I ever could have imagined. I can actually see myself as a professional clinical social worker. I gained counseling skills and am able to assist individuals and families in need of resources. I can’t believe I just said I have improved my counseling skills! When I first started the program I asked a fellow student why she was in the social work profession to do counseling. I had no clue! This internship has changed my outlook and perception of what social work encompasses.

Oh and did I mention that I graduate in May? I am so excited to graduate and become a social worker. (I’m also ready to finish school.) So what is next for me after graduation? I’ve asked myself that same question many times – and the answer is the dreaded job search. I’ve been told not to expect my dream job and that I may end up working with a different population than I had planned. I started looking on the GCSW Job Board and “Googled” social work jobs in Houston. Right now I am just anticipating passing the social work licensure exam, graduating, and interviewing for jobs. At this point and time, there is not much I can do except focus on school and get through the rest of the semester.

So I mentioned the licensure exam . . . I am petrified to take it. I have test anxiety so I am not looking forward to it. Although I try to study, it’s hard when I have school work, internship, and volunteer activities that take up all of my time. One skill important to being a student at the GCSW is finding balance. I’ve learned how to manage 10 different things at a time while staying somewhat sane. When I first started the program I was told that for some grad students, the experience has ended relationships. Luckily that hasn’t happened to me, but it has been difficult giving everything in my life equal time and commitment.

To the current students, incoming students, and future students: stay focused on what you want your career as a social worker to be. Learn to prioritize your time between your personal life, your internship, and school. Take time to join committees and student groups at the GCSW and get involved. For most of us, this will be the end of our life as a student. Take advantage of it!

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