Bag of Tricks

Bag of Tricks for Later, or Now

When Dr. Paige came for a site visit, it really challenged me to put into words my skills and things I attribute as strengths. It was exhausting trying to put them into words then & quite frankly, I hate the “personal strengths” question in general. But there is something to be said about owning your skills & their uniqueness. I’ll try to put it into words here to hopefully practice some vulnerability and presenting it in a humble way that helps the reader (skills others can strive for or realize they actually have too). I really appreciate people who model certain skills and then I’ll try to learn them too. So, maybe this will help somebody? Thanks for listening.

Organization:     I have a place for everything and past information is either stored away or organized for interns in the future. As the first Social Work intern for Parents for Public Schools and co-intern for United Way’s Early Literacy Coalition, certain things are set in place for interns in the future. Throughout this semester, I have filed away documents, presentations, and contacts for each event, presentation, and distribution in a notebook to be passed on in the future.

Relationships:     Asking questions and being open about misunderstandings hopefully can be a gracious moment for teambuilding and a strong “therapeutic alliance.” Bitterness is pretty quick to sprout so just making sure to always communicate in a gracious way. The other would probably appreciate your honesty.  Something else that helps me with relationships is the “10 second rule” that I am not where close to being good at but it is something to strive for. Many times, an original plan is not what actually happens. Staying frustrated about it for a long period of time is not good for relationships or accomplishes anything. An old co-worker would give me 10 seconds to be mad about it and then encouraged me to give it up and move on. AKA, emotion is valid but so is a flexible attitude.

Creativity:      Creativity can show itself in way that may help in problem solving or decision-making. Thinking outside of the box when you are in a time-crunch can help everyone involved. Bouncing off these ideas with your supervisor can either be helpful for them or they can steer you in even better ideas. Creativity is hard because there might not be a lot of time to bring all of your ideas to the table but if one or two seem to be really good ideas to help the organization, they may be valid and end up being a good moment to show your unique ideas that helps everyone! Creativity also takes a dose of humility because as interns we may not see the whole picture. So, being gracious when the idea is not used it is good to keep in mind too.

What skills have you acquired that you would want to encourage others to try too?

  • I’ve tried nurturing my patience…teens are almost always trying to push limits. Also, ironically, I’ve had to work on my boundary setting. In the workplace I try not to create waves, but I should try and make my needs known. Lastly, routine. Routine! Routine! Routine! With weekly journals, check-ins, sign-offs, papers, case notes, etc. It was crucial for me to stay on top of my organization this semester.


  • I have learned to give myself time to grow. I admit I have struggled some this semester and often beat myself up about it. I have to remind myself we are CONSTANTLY learning and will make mistakes often. I have reminded myself to let myself learn from my mistakes. 

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