Friday, June 22, 2012

Don’t Leave Empty-Handed

Intern: Brenna Gillis
Major and Year: Psychology, Senior
Hometown: Waukesha, WI
Status: Online
Internship details: Inpatient Behavioral Health Unit at St. Agnes Hospital in Fond du Lac, WI
Dates: May 7, 2012 - June 29, 2012

Spanning the nation and representing multiple academic disciplines, we are likely engaging in a wide variety of internship experiences. However, there is one thing that all of us have in common: We are in this to gain something. Of course, that is not the only reason we applied for internships through Regent University – and I am certainly not suggesting that our motivations for serving in an internship capacity are self-centered. But I think each of us could agree that we applied for our internships with the expectation that we would, in some way, benefit. So as Session E 2012 comes to an end, I must ask you – what have you gained?

To be perfectly honest, I had an incredibly difficult time securing an internship placement. My field of study is Psychology, and in the state of Wisconsin, there is very little I can do in the mental health field without credentials following my name. I was told by site after site, “Oh, I’m sorry…we only select interns from graduate programs. Be sure to call us when you’re in grad school!” Then finally, two weeks before the start of Session E, I found the internship opportunity that I had dreamed of: Serving in an inpatient behavioral health unit at a large, local hospital. I was thrilled. Pulling my “professional attire” to the front of my closet, and pondering whether or not to pack my lunches in a cute, patterned lunch bag, I thought about what the next eight weeks of my life would bring. Would this experience propel me toward a fulfilling career? Would I find that I love serving in the mental health field? Would I receive direction regarding graduate education? As it turns out, I gained all of this – but not necessarily in the ways that I had expected.

You see, when we receive something, it does not always come in a neat and pretty package. There are times when a learning opportunity appears by mere chance, or when a personal mistake lands us in a situation that we later consider one of our “defining moments”. Don’t overlook the subtle ways in which your internship site is preparing you for a career in your chosen field; even if you realize that the work you are currently doing is not what you’d like to do long-term, you have still gained valuable insight! For instance, my service in an inpatient behavioral health unit has shown me that I would much prefer outpatient work. I am grateful for being trained to work in an inpatient setting, and I will likely serve in this capacity at some point in my future training; but I value the long-term therapist-client relationships that an outpatient psychologist position affords. With this realization, my education and career goals have become a bit more focused.

Now, I certainly do not want to downplay the importance of Christ-like service and a humble attitude during our internship experiences. As God’s regents on this earth, we are called to bring relief to the oppressed and over-worked (Luke 4:18-19); to offer our bodies and talents as sacrifices to the Lord (Rom. 12:1); to use our diverse physical, intellectual, and spiritual gifts for the glory of God (Rom. 12:4-8); and most importantly, to serve wholeheartedly – as if for the Lord, and not for our earthly supervisors (Eph. 6:7). Indeed, with this sort of attitude, we reap the greatest reward of all: the blessing and favor of our Heavenly Father (Eph. 6:8). I believe that God may also reward our faithful service by planting goals and desires in our hearts that we may have never before realized – or even filling our minds with questions we must ask ourselves before engaging in the next phase of our education or careers. Watch for these tiny (or not so tiny) blessings, and claim them as God-given pieces of insight. (Even a head full of questions is better than a complete lack of direction!)

So I challenge you, regardless of whether this internship experience was everything you had hoped it would be, don’t leave your internship site next week empty-handed. Leave the site knowing that you served it well, but take with you the lessons that your internship experience has surely taught. No doubt, there are manly blessings to claim!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Hardest Lesson

Intern: Elizabeth Morrison
Major and year: Communications, Junior
Hometown: Hollywood, MD
Status: On campus
Internship details: Leadership Institute, Arlington, VA
Dates: Janurary 18 - April 20, 2012

I am a very driven person, which is inspired by Jeremiah 29:11. My passions revolve around love of country and having every incredible experience possible. I believe you should live life to its fullest and never underestimate what God will do with your life.

I have learned many things during my time at Regent University, such as how to write at a college level, how to research, and what will be expected of me in adulthood. However, one of the most important lessons I learned was not in the classroom but in the office. Internships will teach you many important skills that you will use for a very long time.

I began my internship at Leadership Institute in Arlington, Virginia in January. I decided to leave school for the semester and have some real world experience. My internship was unique because not only did they provide the interns housing (there were 12 of us), but they also gave us a monthly stipend. In addition to this, every Thursday we would have dinner with important leaders from around the country. We also had the privilege to go on field trips to historical landmarks and on a fun weekend away at our president’s mountain home.

Believe it or not, there was work mixed in there as well. We worked Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 5:30pm. During those times I learned more than I ever thought I would. One of the first things that an internship will teach you is how much time you will someday have to devote to a full time job. This was hard to learn. I hated sitting at a desk for that long. I quickly learned that this is pretty much how most jobs are.

The second thing I learned that, perhaps, is the most important lesson one can ever learn is how to work hard. Our culture is developing a sense of entitlement, forgetting that if you want something, you will have to work for it.  In my case, I wanted respect from my supervisors and to impress them. It doesn’t come easily. My internship lasted 3 months, and by the end of it I was exhausted. On my last day our office had a party; however, I still had a project to finish. Instead of joining the fun, I stayed at my desk and completed my tasks. When I finally got to the party it was almost over, and my boss asked me where I had been. She was impressed when I told her that I had been finishing work. I then found out that the extra stuff she had asked me to do earlier that day was a test to see if I would actually do it or try to get out of it. I had officially earned her respect, something I had been chasing after my entire internship.

Respect and hard work go hand-in-hand. No one owes you respect; you work for it. This was the most valuable experience I had during my time at Leadership Institute. Internships are a great way to learn how the real world works. They will push you and put you to the test but the results are worth it.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

A New Beginning - Summer 2012

Internships—they’re all the rage. Many majors require them, many others soon will, and the rest might as well. The idea of leaving Regent’s cozy undergraduate bubble and venturing forth into a new, challenging workplace can be daunting enough without adding the pressure to start establishing your professional career before you’ve even graduated. Yet, that’s where today’s society has us.
We can’t deny that it might be a little scary, but here at Career Services, we can equip you with the right tools and give you the encouragement and confidence that, we hope, will diminish the fear factor. We can aid you in each step of the way, from assisting in researching opportunities and going through the application process, to prepping you for interviews and helping you to do your best once you start your internship.
Here, you will primarily get to hear firsthand from current Regent interns about what it’s really like out there. They will be posting on a variety of subjects, taking us along with them as they delve into God’s purpose for their lives, His lessons for their days, and the challenges that inevitably come to shape us into His children. As they share, I’ll add in relevant articles and other helpful information. If you are thinking about doing an internship in the future, you won't want to miss this! 
Come back soon!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Step of Faith

Well here it goes.. My very first official blog post. Hmm, I always figured I would never be one to write one of these but here I am now so I guess what they say is true: "Never say never." They also said a 5'7.5 (the .5 is my half inch, almost 5'8!) would never play college basketball. Shout out to mom and dad! I did it!

Before I write about the internship I think I should start off with a little about myself. My name is Aizaiah (pronounced like Isaiah in the Bible) and I am half Chinese/half Mexican. (Yes that's right, I can officially tear apart my enchiladas with chopsticks!) I am 20 years old and living currently in Eastern Washington interning at an Assemblies of God Church.

I am a Senior (graduating in December 2011, Hallelujah!) here at Regent University and am a student in their online program majoring in Organizational Leadership and Management.

I started this internship in September 2010 and so far, it has been everything I hoped an internship would be and more. I have had the privilege of real first hand experience of what it means to be involved in ministry and church leadership. My responsibilities include leading a high school student leadership team, a college ministry (life group), and help as a small group leader during the Sunday night HS youth service. Oh and vacuuming the whole church on Sundays. (JK, although I do believe the janitor is one of the most important jobs in the church) Overall, I am expected to be at the church at 9:30AM sunday mornings and most days leave no later than 12:30PM. I then arrive at 4:30PM for student leadership Sunday afternoon and usually leave by 8:30PM. During the week I am at the church 1-4PM Monday-Wednesdays.

Now to the real question: Why Am I choosing to write this blog?

Seems like a simple question right? Well the truth is.. it is.

I am writing this blog to hopefully give students a look at what an internship through Regent University really looks like. The ups. the downs. the victories. The struggles. (And knowing me you will probably get a whole lot of stories too)

Hopefully after reading you all (students) can decide if an internship is something that you feel God has called you to. One thing is for sure. Internships require faith and faith always grows us. Who knows the next step in the place God has you might just be the place you least expected..Was for me anyways...

"So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you." -Luke 17:6

Friday, July 23, 2010

To Change the World

Regent University prides itself on being a global university at the forefront of Christian thought and practice. Its noble mission of preparing “Christian leaders to change the world” invites Regent students into an incredible calling. As “regents” we are called to represent the King, Jesus Christ, through His Spirit on earth and seek to further His kingdom while we wait for His return. However, one may ask, how are we going to do this? What does changing the world for Christ look like? Is it even possible, or is it merely a flowery, lofty ambition that we say in theory but know nothing about in practice?

Dr. James Hunter, professor at UVA, addresses some of these issues in his recent book, To Change the World: the Irony, Tragedy, and Possibility of Christianity in the Late Modern World. I was fortunate enough to listen to him speak at a conference at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research in DC on Monday night. Dr. Hunter briefly spoke about his book and how it relates to the Millennial Christian’s possibility of changing the world. According to Dr. Hunter, Christians have historically taken three positions in engaging the world: “defensive against, relevant to, and the Anabaptist view.” In reality none of these have been that effective, and Hunter calls us to consider a fourth option, “faithful presence.” 

In order to change the world we must have a presence in key positions of leadership in the world. Hunter believes that culture changes from the top-down rather than the bottom up, as a rule. He emphasizes the importance of institutions and networking in implementing sustainable change in society. This puts Christians in a challenging position. Today, Christianity in America is fragmented and weak. The institution of the Church as a whole is broken and divided, and Christians are nearly completely absent from the cultural institutions that matter the most. As Mark Noll describes in The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, evangelical Christians have largely ignored higher level thinking and have practically made themselves irrelevant in larger discussions about the nature of science, art, law, politics, culture, and society. Today, if we are going to change the world we must reevaluate how we view the world, the Bible, and the Church. Christian intellectuals need to develop distinctly Christian narratives and systems for engaging all areas of society. We must find unity in the body of Christ and be well grounded in sound doctrine. Today we must have a distinctly Christian voice in all areas of society. We cannot merely buy into the relativism of the world or solely criticize the “evils of world.”  I encourage the Regent community to join me in reading this book and critically evaluating what real “world changing” looks like. Too much is at stake to do nothing.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Lighting a Fire

After almost five weeks of studying abroad, I have come to realize just how much I have to learn. Of all my experiences here in the UK, this one has probably had the biggest impact on me. While I have always agreed that learning is a life-long journey, it was not until I came to Oxford and studied under men and women who have accumulated an extraordinary amount of knowledge that I realized how true this is. Although the revelation that I will never know it all could be discouraging, I think it is actually a very positive thing to realize and acknowledge. It is exciting to think of spending a life time pursuing my interests and studying, both formally and informally, my favorite subjects. Here at Oxford, I have focused on studying history and theology. It has been such a privilege to be able to glean from the knowledge of my tutors and professors. Their enthusiasm for their areas of expertise has inspired me to wholeheartedly pursue lifelong learning no matter what I end up doing in life, and their encouragement to do so has made a tremendous impact on me.
"Education is not filling a bucket, but lighting a fire" - William Butler Yeats

Friday, July 16, 2010

Value and Impact

I hope my work at IGE is of value and impacts the organization. In a small staff, I am involved in a lot of the work that goes on. Last week, I led devotionals and prayer for all the staff members on the security and identity offered through Christ in II Corinthians 5:17-21. Last Spring, I wrote a research paper on this passage. This was a great opportunity to share with my colleagues the knowledge I acquired through my class at Regent on the background and meaning of this text. Also at IGE, I am involved in preparing research for focus countries, assisting in travel preparation for international conferences, performing administrative duties, and writing reports and summaries. The work I do is vital to the function of the organization and enables the senior staff members to better perform their duties. Within any organization not all the work is glamorous, which most of mine is not, but it is all important. It is a great feeling to be part of IGE’s meaningful work worldwide in promoting religious freedom and peace. Knowing that my work plays even a small role in the overall impact of IGE worldwide is a tremendous feeling. It gives me a sense of purpose and meaning. Working at IGE allows me to pursue my passions and calling; nothing is more rewarding in life. However, it is also extremely humbling to know that I am just a tiny part of a larger story in which God is writing, as He continues to share and spread His love throughout human history. It is incredible that God calls all Christians to be His hands and feet on this earth. God can truly use anyone if they are willing to follow His lead.