Brianna Wills: Gaining Confidence through Experience

by User Not Found | Feb 20, 2015
Original: Edward Drogos July 10, 2014

"It helped me become an initiator; to push forward on things when I'm not sure if they will be accepted or not."

Brianna WillsApplied Psychology Major, Intern at the UIC Office of International Services

Brianna Wills wanted to become a criminal behavior analyst. To help her gain experience in the field, she enrolled in the UIC College of Liberal Arts and Science’s psychology internship program. “Internships help you figure out what you truly want to do,” stated Brianna. “How else are you going to know if you're going to like something unless you try it?"

Applied psychology students take pre-internship classes – like interviewing (PSYCH 381), interventions (PSCH 382) and counseling (PSYCH 386 and 387) – to learn and prepare for the professional world. "The classes have given me the confidence to share ideas, suggestions, and project proposals," Brianna said. "It helped me become an initiator; to push forward on things when I'm not sure if they will be accepted or not." After taking these preparatory classes, students take the semester-long, six credit hour internship course (PSYCH 385).

Brianna gained professional experience at the UIC Office of International Services. "In the internship, I surveyed various international students to collect data on what parts of our services are working for them," Brianna stated. "With this information, we can work to understand the effectiveness of the program.

"I feel that students should view internships as a beneficial experience” concluded Brianna. “When you finish, you can say you’ve worked in a particular field, and you have experience.”