Hello everyone, my name is Jessica V. Rodriguez and I am an undergrad intern at Olive Branch Counseling Associates. I wanted to share a bit about what a typical week looks like being an intern here at Olive Branch; as well as share with you some of my favorite memories and activities.
My internship-filled activities usually start on Wednesday mornings with an hour-long supervision with Louella and two other interns (mind you I am the only undergrad so I am surrounded by smart, ambitious grad students as well as counselors). Supervision consists of sharing problems or discussing any questions that may arise while we work with clients or with children at a day care. Although being the only undergrad may seem a bit intimidating, I love it because I get to listen to great questions and stories while learning and appreciating counseling even more. I have never left supervision without learning something new. After supervision, I usually spend the rest of the afternoon at Olive Branch helping Louella with any office work and projects she may need help with. During my time here I also get to engage in conversation with Louella or other counselors which is always a highlight as it allows me to get to know my fellow “co-workers” as well as learn from them.
Thursdays and (some) Fridays I spend at a day care. During my time at the day care, I get to be around 10-15 kids (ages 3 and 4) and get to help them with any skills they may need help with and encourage them when they accomplish something new or when they take on a new challenge. I have noticed that encouraging kids provides them with confidence and it truly makes me happy how a simple encouragement can change their attitude or make them smile. For example, the day care recently received a new child (age 3) and the teachers informed me he spent most of his days crying on and off as well as refusing to engage in activities. Thus, I began smiling at him and saying “hello” as well as trying to ask him fun questions regarding some “favorites” (favorite ice cream, super hero, movie, etc.,). Surely every week I saw him he would smile back more often or answer my questions. Just last week he finally agreed to do a puzzle with me and although he was having trouble, I helped him, and encouraged him throughout the process of building the puzzle. Then, he would smile and say “let’s do another puzzle!”. Now, when I see him, he will not only initiate a conversation with me (instead of the other way around) but he will say “can we do a puzzle?” and it makes me so happy! He is also getting better at puzzles and once he is done he says “look!” and I respond with a “yay! You did it! Great job!” *sigh* I love those kids.