I worked in the housing shelter. I took crisis calls and facilitated intakes of new clients. I also worked directly with clients in house. I distributed essential products, interacted with them and ensured their needs were met, and kept the shelter clean and organized. I was responsible for handling "minor" issues in shelter and mediating between clients and full-time staff so that staff was able to be in the office tending to other business.
One of my greatest accomplishments would be learning to appreciate the little things. I was able to use my self-care techniques to improve the lives of the people in shelter. We encourage independence and utilize communal living with clients. That means that they are responsible for cleaning up after themselves. From day one I noticed a lack of cleaning and organization. Not everyone has the same standards of living/cleanliness and that was an obvious issue. I tend to stress clean and organize. I made it a goal of mine to keep the house relatively tidy. I believe a clean environment facilitates a positive outlook. Within my first week I had clients telling me how much more clean the house was when I was around, and how much they appreciated not having to live in other people's messes. My initial intention for an internship was to make my hours to have an impact and mean something bigger than myself. It gave me an easy outlet after particularly difficult crisis calls and made me feel like I was making a positive impact on these people and was able to alleviate some of their stress, no matter how small.
What advice would you give?
Do not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. While this internship is an opportunity for you to gain "relevant" experience to your future career, it is also an opportunity to grow and experience things you would have otherwise overlooked. Skills can be applied broadly, and accepting an internship outside of your desired career will allow you to grow and develop in ways you never thought possible.