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Internship Opportunity Strengthens Kent's Focus on Career in Social Work

Ferris State University students gain valuable work experience through internships. Internships also can confirm or redirect career decision-making, provide marketability, develop people skills and enhance classroom learning. Many academic programs require one, but the experience is encouraged regardless to provide students with a better understanding of what will be expected of them in the workplace.

Many students are participating in myriad internships this summer. Meet: Angelica Kent

Angelica Kent

She is: A senior from Lansing, Mich., majoring in Social Work

Internship: Child and Family Charities’ Teen Court, a diversion program for young people who have committed a minor legal offense and are sentenced by a jury of their peers to community service, letters of apology, restitution or counseling. The hearings are presided over by an Ingham County judicial official or Cooley Law School professor. Angelica’s internship is unpaid.

What she’s learning: Angelica is responsible for attending and helping at intake sessions, and file development for her mentees as well as other students in the program. She also constructs juries for hearings and ensures the judge’s files are ready, a clerk/baliff is arranged and provides jury training for those who need it. She also does casework, completes media information and performs clerical duties.

“This internship has definitely helped confirm what I want to do in my future career,” Angelica said. “I am looking to be involved in substance abuse counseling, and I’m getting a chance to see how drugs affect the lives of the students as well as families. Although I am not directly counseling them, I am through my work in the program.”

Favorite experience: “I have really enjoyed my experience with my mentees. I carry three cases, and I am absolutely loving the progress that each one is making,” she said. “I work very hard to ensure that each one has all the necessary responsibilities taken care of as well as help them achieve their personal goals and build better relationships.”

Core value: Each one of Ferris’ core values, from collaboration to diversity, is emulated in her work for the Teen Court program, she said.

“The students who choose to take this wonderful opportunity really do change and are showing how they support and make the decision to become a part of Teen Court’s ethical community as well as the learning experience we provide for them,” she said. “We demand excellence from our students, which is exactly what they give us. They prove to us that they have learned and have a desire to change their destructive behaviors to positive behaviors.”

On campus: Angelica is a captain on the Bulldogs’ volleyball team, which has strengthened her leadership skills and taught her to be more open-minded and flexible in her approach to problem-solving. That experience has complemented her coursework, she said.

“The Social Work program has prepared me for this internship,” she said. “I’ve learned patience as well as an empathetic view of each situation the students are going through. This experience has taught me life lessons, especially in the areas of conflict resolution and crisis management.”

Her plan: After she graduates in December, Angelica plans to attend graduate school.

“I’m open to what happens next,” she said. “I’ll go where my life takes me.”