Ben Sofie

Briefly describe your applied learning experience

I interned as a Big Buddy Case Manager with the Cape Fear Volunteer Center, which is a small local non profit. While I performed Case Manager duties, like matching and monitoring Big and Little Buddy relationships, I also worked with the program to create a new training manual for Case Managers and advocated to change some of the policies and procedures of the program.

How did you get involved in this applied learning experience and what did you hope to gain from it?

I started this internship to fulfill a Service Learning requirement for one of my classes, even though it was more than enough hours I would need. The main thing I wanted from the internship was experience in the field related to major. Volunteering for Big Buddy program is great, but interning with them provided me with so much more hands-on learning and opened my eyes to case management – which is a common job among social workers.

What did you gain from this experience? What was challenging? What did you learn?

I gained a lot of field experience from this internship, I cannot stress how much I learned simply through doing. It is challenging working for a small nonprofit that relies mainly on volunteers and has little funding, so I learned a lot about the reality for most grass roots nonprofits. I also learned about the populations I worked with (at risk youth). 

In what way will this experience make you a more viable candidate when you are seeking a job or applying for graduate study?

Having an internship will not only look good on my resume, but it makes me more confident in my skills as a social worker because I’ve had the opportunity to practice them. Having this internship also gave me a better idea of what types of jobs I enjoy working and would like to apply for, or what kind of graduate study I would like to be involved in.