When I decided to intern virtually in Paris through CEA Study Abroad, I was unsure of where this experience would take me. The potential outcomes were endless, but what I did know for sure was that my future aspirations would become clearer. Ever since I could remember, I have been curious about the ways in which people think and behave. I always finding myself asking the question of “Why?” Why do people act/think this way? This curiosity persuaded me to declare a psychology major. Prior to this internship experience, I had practically no work experience within the realm of psychology. Admittedly, I had plenty of volunteer and social work experience, but there is so much more to the field to explore. This virtual internship opportunity allowed for me to put my psychological passion to the test.
I am placed at a meditation and self-care practice in Paris. I could not enjoy my internship experience more than I have so far. I have worked on various projects thus far, and I have enjoyed every one of them. I must admit that I was not particularly looking forward to the work and workload. There is a stereotype that has evolved that work cannot be enjoyable. This is not true. You can find joy in the work you do if you are open and adventurous!
My first day on the job was as daunting as they come. This was my first time interning, and on top of that, I was interning in a different country! I expected to feel intimidated and stressed, but my sentiments that day were far from it. For my first day, I met with my supervisor for about an hour to discuss my expectations and prospective assignments over the eight weeks. Contrary to my expectations, I felt welcomed and appreciated immediately. I felt a bond with my supervisor right away, and I knew I was placed with the right company.
My advice to those who are nervous about applying or enrolling in the virtual internship program: do not be afraid! CEA offers so many great resources that make you feel appreciated and welcomed. There is always someone available to talk, and most importantly, CEA molds your internship to fit your wants and desires. Take advantage of CEA’s advice and guidance!
Even though I have only completed about three weeks of my internship thus far, I have learned so much about the field of psychology. I have learned several meditation and relaxation techniques that will be of great use in the future, no matter which sector of psychology life leads me to. Psychology is such a wide field with numerous disciplines, but the skills I am gathering will be significant no matter which one I choose. Even so, the skills I have acquired thus far and will adopt later in the internship will be beneficial to me beyond my future career. I have developed so many important life skills, and I know that I will learn so many more. I have learned how to focus on the present moment and take a step back and process. I have unlocked the capacity to think in a new way. I am eager to see where the next five weeks take me.
Dennis Cogan is the Spring 2021 CEA MOJO Blogger in Paris, France, and is currently studying at Fordham University.