A few months back, I had begun describing the clinical placement process. As a first-year Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling MA student, I am required to take part in both a practicum and internship experience during the second year of the program. Having the opportunity to work in two separate settings will give me the chance to apply all of the skills that I have been developing in my grad program. However, before I can take part in an internship or a practicum, I must first go through the clinical placement process, which began in early November for me.
First, I met with Jessica Young, who is our clinical placement advisor, and discussed potential sites at which I would be interested to work. Luckily the city of Chicago widely supports the practice of DMT, so there were many options and opportunities for me to consider when choosing potential practicum and internship sites. Jessica e-mailed me several options for both my practicum and internship at which I would be able to interview. At this point, it was my responsibility to inform these sites of my interest in their programs and ask for an interview to be considered for their potential openings.
The fact that I have arranged interviews myself for different practicum and internship sites has been something I have found to be extremely advantageous about Columbia’s program. Through the process of being able to represent myself at each one of these interviews I have learned volumes about how to present and carry myself when I am eventually looking for a job. Having the opportunity to interview has helped me to further develop skills for selling not only myself but also the profession of DMT. I gained a strong understanding of what types of questions I may be asked in future interviews, as well. Having interviewed at a wide variety of sites, I have walked away with a number of questions I will keep in mind when prepping for future interviews.
I have also learned the importance of asking the right questions. Prior to this experience, I would have never thought to inquire about the different approaches that a facility may use or what their overall goals would entail. Now I have realized how important it is to consider whether or not the approaches that I would be interested in learning about will be implemented at the programs at which I am considering interning. It has shown me that the process of finding an internship or a job is not solely about getting the position; it is also about making a decision is to whether or not I would be working in an environment that embodies my beliefs as a therapist.