How DSU Internships Can Help You Prepare for Your Career


Aaron Payne working on resumes at his internship at Career Services.

Brittany Smart is in her last semester of the Social Work Program at Delta State, which involves a required internship. The Delta Statement asked Smart some questions about how Delta State has helped her prepare for her internship as well as for after graduation.

Smart is currently interning under a social worker at an elementary school in the Delta. She works with children in grades Pre-K through sixth grade. When asked to describe what a day in her internship looks like, she explained no day is the same or even predictable for that matter.

“Things will happen, “ Smart said, “and you have to use your best instinct to determine the best possible solution to the problem. There is no day that is the same at my internship. Some days, I provide children with a change of clothes from our clothes closet. Some days, I work with a student who needs behavior management accountability. Other days, I speak to classrooms that are not respecting themselves or their teachers.”

This internship is designed to last for the entire semester. Smart told the Delta Statement she is required to have 440 hours with her internship in order to graduate. This means she has to be at the school Tuesday-Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. On Mondays, she goes to a seminar class here at DSU.

The Delta Statement asked Smart why she thought her program made this internship a requirement for graduation. She explained that it was required because it is a necessity and definitely an asset to her career experience. Smart had completed many volunteer hours with each class she has taken from the Social Work department. The purpose of these volunteer hours is to help each student gain an understanding of the different fields and opportunities that are available to them for social work.

Smart went on to say, “Although you obtain a large amount of experience, you are only there for one or two days a week. The internship allows you to be introduced to a specific field, understand the duties of a social worker in that area, learn from your mistakes, and even implement a project to make you have a bigger and broader understanding of what social workers actually do.”

According to Smart, Delta State has done a great job preparing her for her internship. Role-playing in class, although one of her least favorite activities, turned out to be so vital in helping handle situations in her internship.

“I have learned through the social work department and role-playing just how important it is to speak up and have a voice for the clients we serve daily,” Smart stated.

Smart added this internship is preparing her for the future. She has been accepted into a graduate program, thanks to the help from the classes and teachers she has taken at Delta State.

But more than that, Smart explained this internship is helping her gain real life experience that can’t be taught in a classroom. Smart said if she had not been given the opportunity to do this internship, she would not know as much about her field as she does now, and knows that will be carried on into graduate school and, one day, her career.