Name: Elizabeth Harrison
Majors: Psychology and Hispanic Studies
Current Position and Brief Description:
I work as the Clinical Research Intern at CentraCare Child & Adolescent Behavioral Health Clinic in St. Cloud. My primary duty is to expand the clinic's database of patients that have received psychological assessment services through the clinic.
How did you find out about the internship and what was the application process like?
I found out about this opportunity from my advisor. To apply, I had to submit a resume and cover letter and interview with my faculty moderator. Soon after, I paid my first visit to the clinic with the previous intern!
What were some of the internship highlights?
It is just exciting in general to be around the clinic, as it is an environment I would like to someday work in. I have learned to score various psychological tests, and I have also gotten the opportunity to take and administer others. A few weeks ago, I got to take the WAIS-IV, which is the adult intelligence test. It was really beneficial to experience it first-hand versus simply read about it. I have also gotten the opportunity to observe testing; I was able to observe the administration of the ADOS which is a test used to help diagnose autism.
What was a typical day like? What are some of your major responsibilities?
I generally go to the clinic in the afternoons. My main job is to work on expanding an SPSS (statistical analysis software) database of patients that have received psychological assessments in the clinic. I am responsible for accessing scans of tests they have taken and transcribing their scores into SPSS. This is quite a long process that requires great attention to detail. I have entered 150 patients so far, and I hope to enter about that many more before I graduate in May. I am also responsible for helping the clinic psychometrist score various tests. I am now familiar with a wide variety of assessment tools.
What were some of the challenges of your internship?
I had some technical difficulties in the beginning of the internship, which made it really difficult to work on the database. Luckily, I was able to use this time to learn other skills in the clinic, like scoring new tests.
What did you learn?
I have learned so much about the process of psychological assessment as well as various psychological disorders. Apart from that, I feel like I am more able to work independently, communicate my ideas effectively with others, and manage my time efficiently. I have learned how to trouble-shoot quite well and independently find solutions to issues that present themselves.
What advice would you give other students interested in internships?
I would definitely encourage students to do an internship. Internships give you the chance to apply in-class material in a relevant way. I was regularly able to utilize the information I learned in my Psychology classes (especially Abnormal Psychology) throughout my internship, and I gained knowledge during the internship that I was able to bring back to my classes. It is an excellent opportunity to explore your interests and form valuable connections with people in the community and more specifically, your field of interest.