My name is Jesse Sykes and I am a senior Psychology major at UNC Chapel Hill. With that said, I have been exposed to a variety of opportunities that have shaped my time at Carolina. One of the best experiences that I have had so far is being an intern in the Karen M. Gil Internship in Psychology Program. It is truly a wonderful program that works to bridge the gap between classroom knowledge and real-world experience. However, as with most new experiences there was a sense of nervousness/anxiety about starting my new job, simply because I did not know what to expect.
However, being nervous is not a bad thing. One thing that being a Gil Intern has taught me is that is how to overcome that nervousness. If you are faced with a new situation or task that you are not sure of, ask questions!! There is nothing wrong with seeking help, and more than likely the person you ask for help will be more than willing to provide the help you need. For example, I work at UNC’s Nicotine Dependence Program in the Department of Family Medicine, and one of my first duties was to make follow-up phone calls to patients. I was so worried that I would not do it correctly, so I asked my supervisor if she would mind letting me watch her make some first. She did, and so when I did my first call, I was able to finish the conversation and schedule an appointment afterwards. I am now able to do them with ease, and I know I have done a good job. This might not have been the case had I not asked for help.
The Gil Internship has taught me many things, and this is just one example. I encourage any Psychology major to apply because of the amazing opportunity it offers. If you’re nervous about applying…that’s okay, I was too. However, this whole experience has taught me to be comfortable with being uncomfortable which I find is a quality of being a leader. Lessons on how to be a leader is one thing that this program offers in addition to the awesome experience of working in a Psychology related field as a whole.