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Internship with Family Behavioral Resources
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Akanksha Mittal

Major: Psychology- Neuroscience
Hometown: State College

How did you learn about this opportunity?

After Googling different internship options with a psychology degree, I came across this company that has branches in State College and across the Western side of Pennsylvania. They told me that the State College branch was new so it had been a transition for them. I talked to a variety of people in HR, finally having an opportunity to talk to Cassi Group at the Centre County office.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I have had the opportunity to work both with the administrative side of running an office, as well as working directly with consumers in the field.

I've had a variety of experiences while I've been at FBR and I'll continue to do so after graduating in December. I have had the opportunity to work both with the administrative side of running an office, as well as working directly with consumers in the field. I've learned how to create trackers for managing billable utilization (make sure employees are providing the right amount of services that children are assigned through the insurance company), handle the ins and outs of scheduling evaluations and re-evaluations, attend trainings, and create meeting minutes. Then I've had the chance to observe actual psychological evaluations, as well as provide behavioral support - working on life skills in the community with adults. This has included helping clients gain access to services through different offices, including Social Security and Occupational and Vocational Rehabilitation, as well as attending support groups for those with Autism to allow people to gain a better understanding of social interaction.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Given I've chosen to study psychology, I've heard in class about psychological evaluations, support groups and IEPs (individualized education programs), but I haven't had an opportunity to experience those things until working with FBR. I've had chances to work with children with all types of mental health disorders, including autism, schizophrenia, and ADHD, which has given me firsthand experience working with a population that most people do not experience until after they have attained their Bachelor's degree. It's given me experiences to relate to classwork and share with other peers to give them a better understanding, too. Ultimately, it has enhanced my understanding of theoretical concepts by giving me real-world knowledge of the implementation of those concepts.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

I plan on working as a neuropsychologist working with children with ADHD and autism, as well as with adults that have suffered traumatic brain injuries. Working with FBR has not only solidified the population I want to work with, but it has also given me an invaluable experience being able to see actual psychological evaluations, conduct interviews of parents and children along with the director and psychologist, and given me a great place to start and learn more after I graduate from Penn State and before I start graduate school. I could not have asked for a better boss who has answered all of my curiosities and shown me how to run an office and manage employees and clientele. Victoria's fantastic! Additionally, this experience is great to put on a resume as well as on a graduate school application because it is so directly related to the career I hope to pursue working with the relationship between brain and behavior with children.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would absolutely recommend this experience to other students because it has given me real-world application of the theoretical concepts I learned about in class. It has allowed me the opportunity to explore different populations of people and ultimately decide which population I feel I can have the biggest impact working with. It has shown me both administrative and field work in a way that I can ask questions and make mistakes and learn from them before having to do it by myself. Not to mention, my boss has been a better resource and mentor than I could have ever dreamed of.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

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