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Penn State Hershey Center for the Protection of Children at The Transforming the Lives of Children (TLC) Clinic
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Marcella Holfelder

Liberal Arts Major(s): Psychology
Minor: Child Maltreatment and Advocacy Studies
Hometown: Butler, Pennsylvania

What was the best part of your experience?

The staff I had the pleasure of working with were my favorite part of my internship experience. Every week I got to participate in staff meetings where I learned about current patients and course of treatment. As time progressed, I grew more and more comfortable with the clinicians and really felt like I belonged at the clinic. Every week they allowed me to ask my own questions and offer input which I am so grateful for; I felt valued both as a young professional hoping to enter the field and as a friend.

Every day I was at the clinic I was able to connect my classroom knowledge with the real world exposure in the field I’m passionate about

How did this experience impact you academically?

I went into this internship after taking various courses in Child Maltreatment and Advocacy Studies, learning about trauma and its lasting effects, and being trained to recognize physical and behavioral signs of child abuse. My first day as an intern put me in my place, but not in a bad way. It’s one thing to discuss trauma in a classroom setting, but another to hear real cases from real families. Every day I was at the clinic I was able to connect my classroom knowledge with the real world exposure in the field I’m passionate about.

How will this experience impact your career goals?

After graduation I intend to earn my PhD in Child Clinical Psychology and wish to practice as a Psychologist while also conducting research. I hope to serve the maltreated population through research and development of treatment programs. This internship provided me with introductory experience observing and learning more about the type of work I plan on doing as a career. Going into this internship, I hoped to get a better vision of myself as a clinician and get a glimpse of where my career may take me. My internship allowed me the inside look I was seeking and affirmed my current career plans.

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