On the first day in a graduate student counseling internship with a local non-profit, I was given the requisite tour, asked to review appropriate paperwork for documenting interactions with clients, and then led to a portable unit and informed, “This will be your office space until construction on the main building is finished”, and was introduced to my three other intern office mates. By the end of the first week, I was signed up to co-facilitate counseling groups in the local correctional facility, to expand experiential therapy groups at the Boys and Girls Club and had met with representatives from CARDV, Jackson Street Youth Shelter and the Benton County Health Department. At the end of the first week, I had a person I’d never met before walk into my “office”, sit down, and burst into tears, and I knew I was in deep.

Over the next several years, I interned, case managed and counselor-ed my way through a rigorous, fun and, ultimately, extremely valuable experience in that same non-profit setting. I learned that the first day of my internship was extremely telling: I had been  introduced to a very accurate picture of non-profit social services work. It is driven by passion, concern, a lot of hard work, and often with space and resources that are ever-changing and new. I came to know that working with a non-profit is personal, and requires a level of engagement that is sometimes hard to navigate. I also learned that the experience is one that has set in place a very focused and strong foundation of my own career development and exploration.

Non-profit work is not for everyone. But it is for a lot of people. If you think you might be one of those, or just want to know more, please attend the Non-Profit and Volunteer Fair next week, Wednesday, February 5th, at the OSU Memorial Union Ballroom.

Get to know who’s addressing challenges head-on in the community and beyond.

 

Interested? Find all the information, including date/time and who will be attending here:

http://oregonstate.edu/cce/fair

 

posted by Malia Arenth, Career Counselor

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