An Unexpected Beginning | #1

My work situation this summer turned out the complete opposite that I thought it would. Winter semester I was studying abroad in Madrid, Spain. Being abroad made looking for summer internships and jobs more difficult because of being so far from home, being on a different time zone, and being so caught up in the busy lifestyle of abroad (no complaints). I wanted to leave for Spain having my foot in the door regarding internships or summer opportunities. I knew I was going to have to be home because of financial reasons so I started my search in Los Angeles. I  realized I was interested in seeing what social work in a hospital is like. I met with the manager of the Social Work Department at a big hospital in Los Angeles. After speaking with her, I realized how fitting that position was. I was determined to find a position in a hospital’s social work department for the summer. This was a difficult job to seek out because Social Work departments typically only hire MSW students for internships. Fortunately, my aunt works at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and sent my resume and cover letter over to the manager of the social work department there. The manager of the social work department said they would be able to find a position for me in the department. I was thrilled to have this opportunity. I left for abroad happy that I had found something. Long story short, communication from the hospital was very slow and I started to get concerned that it would not work out and I would come home at the end of May without a job for the summer. I looked for other internships just in case and found an opportunity at the Red Cross. They have a formal internship program. I applied, interviewed, and received the application. In that time, I still had not secured anything with the hospital. I was then faced with a decision of do I take the Red Cross internship that I know is an official program or do I go with the hospital and risk not having a good experience. I had to choose one as they are both unpaid and needed to also find a paying job. I worked for a nonprofit last summer and decided that the best way to move forward with my future was to work in the hospital since it would be new experience. I turned down the Red Cross and moved forward with the hospital. After visiting the hospital for my “volunteer” orientation, I realized that it would take awhile before I could get into the hospital to actually work because of different health screenings, an interview process, and coordinating with the Social Work manager. After speaking with my parents, I decided to see if the position at the Red Cross was still available. Fortunately, they still had the position open and I was able to take it.


I have now been at the Red Cross for 5 weeks and have still not been able to get into the hospital. I am thankful that the Red Cross was still an option for me because this summer would have been very different if it hadn’t. I am hoping that by the end of the summer, I will at least get to experience a few days at the hospital as I am very interested in Social Work and want to learn more.

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