August 05, 2022

What I Learned & My Top Tips for Future Interns: Social Work Internship on Ginny’s Planet

by | Aug 5, 2022 | Education, Empathy

Sambhavi's photo with other illustrations on internship and learning. Text says: my learning and top tips for social work interns- sambhavi's experience on Ginny's Planet

By: Sambhavi Sinha*

What is the first thing that comes into your mind when you hear: “I am a social work trainee from Delhi School of Social Work getting trained for the real world at Ginny’s Planet”? 

Some say that social work trainees are learning to be change agents, problem solvers, or facilitators working to empower people and society. Some probably wonder if we need to learn all this. Or is the good intention with strong will enough? Let me unfold this for you through my story. 

Who am I? 

I am a social work trainee from the Delhi School Of Social Work and an intern at Ginny’s Planet. The journey has been full of challenges, and it has been 2 semesters- and more than six months since I have been working as an intern here. Throughout the internship, I was part of various tasks like making a value proposition canvas, observing the work on the Educators Kit on Diversity, participating in workshops, drafting pitch proposals, connecting with schools, and many more. I also wrote scripts for What Ginny Reads and you can watch me here:
WATCH THE PLAYLIST: WHAT GINNY READS

What did I do as a Peer-Coordinator?

Recently I was tasked with the responsibility to work as a Peer Coordinator for the Summer Internship. This was the first time I had been entrusted with the responsibility to coordinate, manage and overlook something. The Summer Internship aimed to help interns learn the basic concepts of empathy, diversity, and inclusion. It also aimed to strengthen their communication skills and bring inclusion and empathy into practice in their daily lives.

What I did is as follows: 

Management: As a peer coordinator, some days were difficult for me because I never knew the kind of hard work that goes into organizing and managing tasks. My tasks were to coordinate with the interns, help them if they faced any difficulty, review the tasks done weekly, document the internship, and monitor how motivated the interns were.

Focus on learning outcomes: Every day brought new types of challenges and opportunities to learn. The most challenging part of the thinking was aligning the tasks with the learning outcomes. I realized the importance of being more protective of ourselves and what boundaries should be drawn in a professional environment. Building trust is crucial in any environment. When you are already a part of the environment, it is really important to make the place comfortable for those coming for the first time in that environment.   

Facilitation: I also played the role of a facilitator and learned new facilitation skills. This meant making sure that any meeting should be time-bound, align with the goals and the agenda of the day, and also ensure the safety of that particular space for all participants. It is also really important to be watchful of the processes being used. Other things to keep in mind while leading a team meeting or while facilitating are to see how enthusiastic people are feeling, take cues from them, and keep focusing on people if they are focusing or not.

Evolve with feedback & reflection: I tried to align my learnings from my internship these past six months with the feedback I received from my mentor. The Pandemic restricted me from interacting with people face to face, but now I had the opportunity to interact with so many new people of different personalities. Some of the interns required more help than others, and through the process, I learned how to be protective of my boundary. In the real world, we will interact with many people from different backgrounds; therefore, this experience as a peer coordinator gave me a glimpse of what to expect in the real world.

Important things that helped me grow

The training sessions and workshops at Ginny’s Planet provided us with a safe space to discuss our inhibitions and how to overcome them. We constantly challenged our stereotypes and misconceptions in these sessions. We challenged our personal definitions of specific things to free ourselves from certain stereotypes, prejudices, and expectations.

Disability discrimination

This opportunity for me has been a real-world experience. The experience has been really insightful and meaningful. More than focusing on the output, I tried to focus more on the learning processes which I employed in every task I was assigned.

One of the most important things was also to develop reflective practice. Recalling my day’s events and writing down the points helped me reflect and organize my learnings. As a social work intern, I should be able to facilitate, document, and have conversations on empathy, diversity, and disability, and enhance my communication skills. Therefore, this experience has allowed me to work on all of these.  

My Top 5 Tips For Social Work Trainees


1. Treat every opportunity as a learning process.

See every task assigned to you, whether you are successful or not, as a learning opportunity. It will teach you many things for future opportunities in any area.

2. Take feedback from your mentor.

The most important thing is to keep reviewing yourself, which helps you reflect on all your learnings. The feedback received from the mentor periodically gives a direction or a path for all the learnings.

3. Learn how to practice empathy in daily lives.

If we cannot understand other people, then as social workers, it would be really challenging to solve problems and help others. Making empathy a part of our daily lives will help us work better.

4. Be aware of the environment in which you are working.

Knowing the needs and challenges of the people in the environment is important. It helps to create an environment that could be accessible for everyone in that environment.

5. Keep on building your communication skills.

For instance, if you have been entrusted with any responsibility to overlook something, keep informed the team about all the updates. It is really important to overcome hesitation in communication.

 

Conclusion

For social workers, their many learnings happen in the field, giving them a chance to work with different kinds of people. My experience as a peer coordinator and trainee has taught me to embrace my problems and challenges and communicate in a way that does not violate anyone’s rights; it is okay to be me, and acceptance of diversity is really important in all settings.

Internship applications are now open on Ginny’s Planet. Apply for Mom Internship & Sparkle Internship Here. 

 

About Ginny’s Planet:

Ginny’s Planet is a social enterprise Co-founded by Dr. Shweta Verma in 2019. The brand runs on the core value of helping our teachers and parents to teach their children to become independent, smart, and better leaders by equipping them with a deep understanding of empathy, diversity, disability, and inclusion. Dr. Shweta and the team design events, workshops, and products to help guardians & schools to develop kids’ mindsets and evolve as adaptive and flexible human beings. They work with schools to organize workshops for children and teachers.

Check out Products

Check out Workshops 

*Sambhavi Sinha was a social work trainee in 2022 on Ginny’s Planet during her first and second semesters at the Department of Social Work, University of Delhi. She has participated in several workshops on empathy and diversity on Ginny’s Planet. 

 

 

 

Related Articles

Having a hard but important conversation with children

By: Dr. Shweta Verma* & Anushka Gupta**   Many parents and teachers find it hard to discuss important topics with their children, such as death, abuse, menstruation, sex, and so on. One of the key reasons for this is that they may not know what to say when...

read more

How To Help Children Bounce Back After The Pandemic?

, tha The year 2020 brought along with it a major change in lifestyle for people around the globe. Where we were once known as social beings, came the rise of the new norm: Social Distancing. These sudden shifts across society gave rise to new social rules and a...

read more

The Power of “I don’t know” And “I need help”

By: Dr. Shweta Verma* | First Published on 16 July 2020 by GurgaonMoms Are you someone, who often says, “I don’t need help, I can manage on my own”? Are you someone who tries to give all the ‘answers’ just because someone is asking a question? Whether you realize it...

read more

Want more updates on Empathy, Diversity and Inclusion? 

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.