My name is Aidyl Sanchez. Currently, I am a second year Undergraduate Psychology Student who is studying in Ireland. Let me start by saying how well structured the European Federation of Psychology Student’s Association (EFPSA) is and how they have given students, like myself the opportunity of a lifetime through their “Study and Travel Abroad” service. How I found myself working with the Willingness team in the Willingness Clinic all started form just a click of a button. Although the process was not as simple as pressing a button online and applying, I went through a number of stages to get to where I was, and I am more than grateful that the EFPSA Study and Abroad co-ordinators as well as Matthew Bartolo, founder of Willingness, believed enough in me to be given a slot in the internship.
In this blog I will touch on two aspects of the Internship which all in all highlights my overall experience.
- Advantages of doing an internship abroad
There’s so much to say about my internship in Willingness Clinic. First and foremost, the mere fact that I was to be interning outside of my country put me in a state of fear. But that certainly didn’t last long as eventually I found it to be such a positively eye-opening experience. The Willingness team had welcomed the other interns and I with such joy and warmth that we found ourselves to be really enthusiastic from the very beginning, of what the rest of our internship had entailed for us. Doing this internship gave me the opportunity to work with the locals of the country. As one who is keen on learning about other countries and travelling I found that this was very beneficial as it gave me a hands on, genuine insight into their culture and into their own unique ways of life, which was truly fascinating! This also allowed me to grow in regards to different aspects of my life, living away from home for the first time for example and learning how to live with others, forced me to take on more and bigger responsibilities. These are just some of the key developmental challenges that I went through during this internship experience in which I will always be appreciative of.
- Working in my field of study
Unlike other study and travel abroad opportunities that are also available out there, this opportunity was even more special, simply because I got to work in my field of study, Psychology. In Ireland, the opportunities for a student to avail an experience in this field is scarce. As an intern, I felt very privileged to have worked with specialists in psychology, who were all very well known in the country and who all have very good reputations. They were perfect examples of professionals to look up to and to learn from! I’m certain of this because of the experience I had while attending their weekly team meetings. I observed how well they worked as a team, treated each professional with great respect and also never failed to support each other professionally and even outside of the workplace. Not only that they were very original and always put their 100% in work. They called this the “Willingness Way” and it sure was something else. Because of this, my standards in such a workplace are very high now that I’ve been exposed to such expertise. As well as that, Willingness had organised for us plenty of trips to non-profited organisations (i.e YMCA) and Appogg, the national agency for children, families and the community that safeguards and promotes the well-being of these persons through development and provision of psycho-social welfare services. All of these trips were of great help as it created a bigger picture of what Psychology had to offer in the “real world”. Lastly, what I enjoyed and learned from the most was meeting professionals from Willingness Clinic individually and hearing about their own journey and how they got into Psychology.
To conclude, I was surrounded by the best of the best and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. All thanks to EFPSA and Willingness Clinic for giving me such an amazing and unforgettable opportunity!