Conflict Resolution & Peace Studies BDP student Madison Kirk worked as an intern for Lifeworks, where she learned strategies for mediating interpersonal conflict and practiced advocating for clients in order to promote self-sufficiency.
How did you find your internship?
I found Lifeworks through the Social Work program at UT. Part of the Social Work degree plan includes a 400-hour internship experience. I interviewed with Lifeworks’ Resolution Counseling Program and they welcomed me to the team for the semester.
Describe the work you did in your internship.
As an intern, I was able to conduct interviews with clients for appropriateness in domestic violence intervention and prevention groups. I also co-facilitated men’s and women’s groups of 10-15 on Intervention and Prevention program guidelines. These groups are skill-based and focus on violence intervention and prevention. We usually worked with people with criminal offenses related to domestic violence.
What was the most rewarding aspect of your Connecting Experience?
Learning how to meet people where they are in the change process has been invaluable to me. Seeing people take steps to improve their relationships and foster healthy and open habits has been incredible. Through creating relationships and seeing the worth and dignity of the person in front of me, I have been able to empathize and understand those whose lives differ from mine and I have been able to hear other’s perspectives and grow with them.
In what ways has this Connecting Experience shaped your plans for the future?
This internship solidified my desire to work in a helping profession with people every day. I have applied to The University of Texas’ graduate program in Social Work and am excited to see where that takes me. I want to continue to work with individuals and families to help them get and maintain the resources they need.
Discuss the relationship you had with your faculty mentor and how they helped you during this Connecting Experience.
Mary Mulvaney is one of the most compassionate instructors I have had at UT. She was willing to talk openly with me about my internship experience and helped foster a love for learning and going with the process. Little did I know that I was going to grow just as much as our clients were throughout the semester – and she helped make that growth possible by providing a safe space for me to talk about it.