There are few tasks that I dislike more that writing "personal statements" or "statements of interest."
"What is your interest in doing a practicum at our site? Include sufficient detail so we may come to know you better and your understanding of how a practicum at our site fits into your future goals. Please limit your response to two pages."
Buh . . . I want to be a better counselor. I need the direct client contact hours to complete this program. Your site is really close, and I'd save money on gas. Most of the other sites aren't taking practicum students until the fall, so you made the short list. Derr . . . crap, that's not two pages yet! Can't I just send you my vita, and we can talk about it at the interview? Better yet, skip the interview, let's just go have coffee and you tell me about what I'll be doing at your practicum site. I'll buy the coffee, k
Yeah, writing these kinds of things really make me want to bang my head against the keyboard and hope something intelligible comes out. Hopefully it's not too bloody. After spending a year at our program's community based counseling center, I'm being set loose to spread my wings and go find my own field practicum site for the spring. Unfortunately, many of the sites that I'd like to apply at are not taking on new students until the fall. So, I'm applying at two sites, and hoping and praying that one of them will take me on as a practicum student. There's the one that I'm completing this application for, and they'll be interviewing people next weekend. Honestly, it's my second choice right now, but given the limited options, I'd gladly take it!
I do have an interview with my first choice practicum site tomorrow afternoon. It was a fairly easy process, I just called the director, she invited me to email my vita and scheduled an interview. I'm pretty excited about the opportunity to interview, but I'm one of three students interviewing for one spot that will be open in the spring. This makes me nervous.
So, brothers and sisters, I'd greatly appreciate your prayers for me during this interview tomorrow, and especially over this whole process. I know that there's a site for me in the spring, and I hope that it's my first choice, but I also trust that God has a plan for me and I've often witnessed that the things that actually play out in my life are often better opportunities that I even imagined.
Our church is currently teaching a series called "Hope and Mission," which is a sufficiently vague enough title for me to avoid attempting to summarize the teaching. It's hard to summarize, because it's touching on so many valuable things, the nature of the gospel, salvation, what we're hoping for, and what our mission in the world should be in light of that. Something that I'm getting from this teaching is remembering that Christ has conquered death, and with that, the only that thing poses any real threat to me (death) has been eliminated, and I am free. There is nothing left to fear, for even death has no lasting sting. Last night, as I heard this message again and sang songs praising God for his salvation and power, I felt a confidence that I should have no fear in this application situation, or in any of the situations that currently frighten me. I can face these things because of who is beside me. I felt a sense of peace, and realized that the worst thing that could happen to me (short of losing a loved one or bodily harm) could happen and I would be ok. This "worst thing" is me somehow losing this program, failing out, being kicked out, etc. That could happen, I could lose this opportunity completely, and I feel peace that even that would be ok because God is here and He loves me.
So, I turn in this application today, I interview tomorrow, and hopefully will have another interview soon. I could flop at these interviews, and not get these placements that I desire, and that would be ok. This spring will hold many new opportunities for me and I embrace them, whatever they may be.
BTW, I say things like "practicum site" and expect everyone to know what I mean. If you're not in the field or not very familiar with my program, practicums are where we get practical, clinical experience assessing and treating clients. Practicums can be completed at a variety of sites, at university counseling centers, in hospitals, in private clinics, wherever you find someone to supervise you and work to do.