Reflection on My Vocational Rehabilitation Experience – Internship Essay
My overall experience at Vocational Rehabilitation has been one of the best experiences I have gone through with all of my working experiences. For my internship at Vocational Rehabilitation my job duties include the following. I gave information regarding the agency the first two weeks by working at the front desk meeting and greeting clients and answering the phones. While sitting upfront I also took referrals and set appointments for possible new consumers. I also have assisted in the intake process many of times assisting possible consumers filling out applications.
I have also assisted many consumers in searching for jobs, creating and revising resumes and job applications. I have also sat in on a few counseling sessions with follow ups and Individual Employment Plans.
During my many experiences at Vocational Rehabilitation the employees there have been the friendliest kindest people I have ever worked with. If I ever have any questions they always answer me with a smile. If I need something to do they always have work for me to complete that just is not “busy work.” I appreciate the work they give me knowing that it will help me understand the agency, and the human services field and my future career. Also, this will enhance my employment opportunities after graduation. Three employees from VR have had life changes so far during my internship and this means that positions have became available. Many employees have asked me to apply but because of my school load this semester I feel that I would not be able to handle them both. I appreciate the Unit Manager talking with me going back to school after graduation to get my masters degree so I am able to become a counselor in my life time.
Within Vocational Rehabilitation structure of the staff is as follows:
• Unit Manager who is over all the employees.
• Two head counselors who over see the counselors.
• Counselors in the General unit (General being people with disabilities that are now adults and have not received services in the past.)
• Counselors in the Substance Abuse Unit.
• Case technician who helps with the clerical duties of the counselors.
All the relationships within the agency are casual and very personal. Everyone who works within VR has a very good relationship with one another and a very personal as well as professional manner. As long as you are doing your job you just have the best time possible at work, whether it’s singing, listening to music, or just laughing with one another. Which make it a more productive environment.
During my internship, I have helped the agency achieve their mission by assisting people with a mental or physical impairment that enables them to work in some form or fashion. I have done so by helping our community understands what Vocational Rehabilitation does and helping them decide if they are truly in need of our services or if they even qualify. I have also helped by helping them apply for services by getting them to write down there strengths and weaknesses before coming to the intake process which this allows them to already know what they need help with while finding employment with counselors in the end. I have assisted many people in find employment opportunities and assisting them in the process of what they must do after sending in a resume or application by following up with the employer.
After I have told you all the wonderful experiences that I have had at my internship I do have some concerns/problems. The first being the biggest in my mind that when counselors have consumers that are in need of an interpreter for whatever reason language barrier or sign language the counselors do not look at the consumer they spend the whole time looking at the interpreter. This manner is covered on their Ten Commandments of communicating with people with disabilities but I have witnessed this many times while observing counseling sessions. This goes against my personal code of ethics with people in general and it also goes against everything I have ever learned. I have also seen this in many other professional settings with people with disabilities which really bother me because these are the people who are professionals to help people with disabilities and they aren’t even communicating with them in the correct manner.
The final concern is something that I had a problem with at my last place of employment and it is that not all people are people who want to do things the right way. For instance during the referral process they have made it so easy to take a referral but there still always a problem with people taking referrals. They don’t ask the questions that are located on the cheat sheet. It only takes about 5 minutes to complete a referral so you might as well do it right the first time and save the agency sometime and money by answering the correct questions.
I feel that I am learning, enhancing and achieving my overall career goal while working at Vocational Rehabilitation by assisting people with disabilities improve their lives to own goals in which they have. By doing this I am able to work with two age groups within society which are the young adults graduating high school and the older adults who already been employed and have had some live changes. This allows me to work with variety of different both disabilities and populations. My internship has allowed me to improve my communication skills as well as my skill of being straighter forward with people about what services we provide. I have also been able to improve my skill of problem solving immensely.
I am really enjoying my experience at Vocational Rehabilitation and I hope to be employed by them in the future after or before graduation. All the staff there is wonderful and helping people with disabilities find places of employment is the best feeling in the world.