As a student at East Carolina University, we are assigned our internships as part of the Bachelor of Social Work program.
After being assigned to work at Catholic Charities, I began researching what they did and was very excited to see all of the services offered to the community. The interview process was very refreshing; from the very beginning I could tell that principles and ethics were important. The office has many clients visit each day, with each client having a unique story and a specific need. What I found exclusive to Catholic Charities is the willingness to actively listen even if we know there is nothing we can do.
A particular client experience I have had since working at Catholic Charities involves an older gentlemen who had been laid off. He was seeking financial assistance, but was willing to participate in any services that were offered to help him gain employment. The meeting consisted of listening to his story and accessing community resources available to best serve his needs. I referred him to the Literacy Volunteers, Pitt Community College, and the Salvation Army. The client left happy and was on a mission. A week later the client called to thank me for all of the time we had spent together. He went on to tell me that everywhere he had went before this he had gotten a negative response or there was a fee associated for the service he needed, until he came to Catholic Charities.
Interning at Catholic Charities has shaped my idea of what a great organization should look like. The mission statement and the 8 guiding principles are more than just some words on a paper. It is awesome to have been part of an agency that actually embodies the mission statement. It will forever be important to me to work for an agency where ethics and values are a key part of the working atmosphere. It is my hope to carry these values with me in my future places of employment.