Internships are required for students pursuing both a bachelor's degree in social work (BSW) as well as a master's in social work (MSW). Internships can take place in a variety of settings, depending on the student's chosen concentration. Interns can work in schools, hospitals, health clinics, community centers, nursing homes or homeless shelters.
Because of the intensely people-oriented nature of social work, the successful social work intern will be at ease when speaking and confident in presentation and mannerisms. He will demonstrate attentiveness and good listening skills in social situations.
Compassionate and Nonjudgmental
Social workers often work directly with the most marginalized and underprivileged members of society -- the addicted, mentally ill, homeless, formerly incarcerated, and victims and perpetrators of domestic violence. For this reason it is essential for a social work intern to demonstrate a high degree being nonjudgmental and compassionate.
While the main objective of an internship is to provide a student with hands-on job experience, workplaces can also benefit from the innovative and outside-the-box ideas contributed by their yearly interns. The ideal social work intern offers a fresh perspective and contributes new ideas that enhance operations or increase productivity.
Time Management Skills
Social work interns are often also full-time students. This means that they must be excellent at managing their time. Interns must balance their internship with coursework if they are to successfully comply with all program requirements. Professors may not be more relaxed about deadlines and quantity of homework because a student is interning. Likewise, the internship site will not expect less of an intern who is saddled with too much classwork.
Parker Janney is a web developer and writer based in Philadelphia. With a Master of Arts in international politics, she has been ghostwriting for several underground publications since the late 2000s, with works featured in "Virtuoso," the "Philadelphia Anthropology Journal" and "Clutter" magazine.