CCD: Tell us about your internship experience. What were your responsibilities?
Lidiya: I worked with the individuals in the program, primarily on their communication goals. I found my favorite goals to be the practical ones such as a card sort to sort pictures of people into strangers, friends, and community helpers, or the physical therapy goals with the treadmill and weights I was sometimes asked to assist with. The goals were all created by the speech pathologist, occupational therapist, and physical therapist in the program, and I was responsible for implementing them. When I wasn’t working on goals I was responsible for creating and implementing activities for the individuals which aligned with my interests of art and piano.
CCD: What is one challenge you encountered during your summer experience and how did you manage it?
Lidiya: One challenge I encountered was working with people who had varied abilities and having them all complete a project together. To manage this challenge, I created some modified tools, such as stamps for finger painting activities for those that didn’t want to get their hands dirty, so most people could participate.
CCD: How has this experience changed your future plans?
Lidiya: I think this experience has strengthened my desire to help and understand those who have communication difficulties. There are many ways to communicate other than with words, such as with pictures or sign language, and everyone has something to share, even if it is not through spoken words.
CCD: What advice would you give to another student about making the most of an internship?
Lidiya: To make the most of an internship, I would suggest trying to write a journal entry every day so you can remember what you did, and make sure all of your hard work doesn’t become forgotten. It might seem tedious, but I think it is worth it in the end. You will be surprised by all that you will accomplish. I would also suggest asking questions when you have them. You are at your internship to learn and experience. It is okay that you don’t know how to do everything. Lastly, don’t be afraid to push your boundaries; you will be surprised by what you can do. Sometimes, you don’t try things because you assume you wouldn’t be good at it, but you never know unless you try, and you can always learn and get better.