Jenny recently posted this comment/question: " Hi Sarah! My professor gave this link to your blog because I am considering the Chicago Semester. I am just wondering how you decided what placement you wanted to do? I am filling out my application for next spring and I am a little stumped. Thanks - Jenny"
Thanks for your question. I’m glad you are following my blog!
The process of finding an internship for me was easy. I just let Nancy Fox, the social work liaison; know what areas of social work I was interested in. From there, she made some calls to agencies that deal with the populations I wanted to work with. In fact, the agency I am working at, The Lawndale Christian Health Center, was an agency I already knew I wanted to work for. I asked Nancy Fox if she would see if there were any internships available. She was able to find one for me in the Maternal and Child Health Department of LCHC. I did my interview over the phone, and then I was all set. My case was an exception. All the other CSers who are in social work program were set up with some interviews to a few different social work agencies. They came to Chicago to do the interviews, and after they were able to pick which agency fit them best. There are MANY to choose from. I am confident you would be able to find a great one. Don’t be nervous! The Chicago Semester staff is SO extremely helpful. Everything from orientation to the city, housing, and internships sites, they welcome any and all questions!
In addition to your question, I thought I’d might as well give you some additional information as to what we do for the social work class (practicum). We meet with a group of 4-5 social work majors and a liaison to discuss things that have happened throughout the week. This has been a great time to connect the things we have learned in the classroom to things we are learning at our placements. We write papers about ethical dilemmas we have faced, present cases we are working on, get feedback and insight from our peers, and as always we go to the Jane Adams Hull House as a field trip. It is a great ‘circle of friends’ to let out pent-up thoughts and feelings about our clients, sites, homework, life, etc. (with respect to confidentiality, of course!) We talk about current issues, watch documentaries, and this semester we had a great speaker come speak to us about community development.
This has been a full and rich experience. Every detail has been covered to make your time here enjoyable, productive, and a life-lasting experience. But if there ever were concerns the staff would be on the ball to accommodate your needs. The social work need in Chicago is extensive, but at the same time there are so many EXCELLENT agencies that are great models for social change. It is great to be a part of it!