Two weeks in — an eye opening experience

Michael Harvey is an online Human Services Leadership student half way through his junior year. Originally from Appleton Wis., he moved around the country after two years of college as a way to help him determine what he wanted to do with his life. Those experiences lead him to want to help those less fortunate, which is why he chose to major in human services leadership.

Harvey is enrolled in the online degree program, and is managing school, a family, working full time and now his initial human services internship. Follow along as he shares his experience throughout his internship.

It has been two weeks since I started my internship at COTS — already it has been an eye opening experience. Every day is a new experience, filled with new programs, new responsibilities and new people. I am amazed by the number of partnerships that have been built between the different organizations and how well they work together to accomplish a common goal.

It has been busy getting the new facility ready for the residents to move into. As the date for the program approaches, it is a race to get all preparations ready. My part in this process has been to go over a list and take the first hours of my day and chip away at it. A few of my projects have been reviewing the program book to see what is relevant and what can be discarded. I’ve come up with a list that outlines what each resident needs to be working on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. I’ve also done a layout of the place to determine the fire escape and tornado plan.

When not working on my various projects, I am observing and participating in one-on-one meetings between caseworkers and clients. I am also helping conducting weekly meetings that help the residence get ready for financial and independent living including Rent Smart and Financial Peace University.  Rent Smart is a program developed by UW-Extension that gives those who attend the class knowledge on how to be smart and responsible renters. Financial Peace University is a series of videos that help inform viewers how to save money and be financially independent.

In the coming weeks my roll will be changing slightly. Once the program kicks off, I will be more involved in directly helping those enrolled in the Young Adult Program. Furthermore I have been asked to take on the responsibilities of doing all intake interviews, where I will be talking to prospective clients to see if they are eligible to be apart of the program. Then I will be sitting down and interviewing them to see if it is a good fit for them.

I am so thrilled to be apart of this program and it is giving me such a good experience. It has really solidified my notion that Human Services is the right major for me.

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