As a Gladney intern with the Next Steps program I came in wanting to know about all things Gladney as soon as I could learn. There are so many facets to Gladney that I quickly realized this would take time. I started this process by attending whatever trainings I was allowed. This included Domestic Orientation, Pathway’s, New Hire Orientation, and legal training. After attending these trainings I was able to put a lot more of the pieces together of the puzzle that is Gladney. While still many pieces were missing in the “1000” piece puzzle, I was determined to turn over all the pieces and see where they go. When I created my learning contract at the beginning of the semester I took risks to make myself branch out, because if it is part of the contract, I have to complete it, right? As a high functioning introvert I knew it would take this to make me try new things and meet new people. Since I had to meet certain criteria on my contract, I began networking with people in different departments to shadow them for a time. This was fantastic. While it was a little anxiety producing, it brought out so much information about so many topics that I didn’t even realize. With Gladney being so large you may wonder how I did this.
This is where I am going to tell you how to maximize your time at Gladney. It is simple. Eat lunch in the Commons. How easy is that! You can bring your lunch or grab something and come back. I recommend getting there around 12. This is when the largest number of people tend to eat their lunch. Why is this so great you might ask? When in the lunchroom you meet people from all departments. Meal times are always times of fellowship with families, and this is no different. You not only hear about jobs, but also about families, hobbies, and what people are binge watching too. Building these relationships at meal time makes it much easier to ask questions about specific jobs, or favors for shadowing opportunities. It is relaxing; everyone is on the same ground. It is hard to not feel intimidated at Gladney because I almost never hear negative things about people or the work being done, which makes it difficult to ask for things (at least for me), but in the lunch room I have always felt welcomed and there is always a place at the table and a warm inviting smile.
MSW Intern for Next Steps & Post Adoption