Career Connections

Elizabeth Hagan

Major: Family and Consumer Sciences Education and Studies

Year: Senior
Hometown/State: Bayard, IA

Type of experience: Internship
Company/Organization: The Child Development Laboratory School
Company/Organization website:
Title: Intern
Destination: Iowa State Campus
Timeframe: January 2015-May 2015

Advisor/Coordinator Email:

I was responsible for...
Assess children at lab school using assessments from years past and current assessment, compare results, work with children in classroom setting, interact with teachers While working there, I assessed children using standardized assessments. I also researched the old files, dating back to 1926 that were kept from when the Child Lab School's opened until now. I studied the assessments that were used in years past and then ran the same assessments on the children today. I compared the results and shared my results. I also interacted with the children in the classroom setting, as well as, attend teacher meeting and learn more about how a school and early child care center operates.

I accomplished...
Over the course of my internship, I accomplished a completed comparative assessment analysis. I ran seven different assessment on approximately 20 different children, aged birth to 6 years olds

My most valuable effort...
The comparative assessments were the most valuable experience I had. I thought it very much prepared to me for graduate school for school psychology. I was able to assess children and learn about how they have changed over the years. I also was able to see how responsibilities and teaching techniques have changed. It was great to see assess, but also compare.

I learned...
At the Child Lab School, my most valuable project I completed was definitely the comparative assessments analysis. I am going to graduate school in the fall for school psychology and was going through graduate school interviews at the time of my internship. Not only were my assessment findings great to talk about during my interviews, but running the assessments solidified my decision to be a school psychologist. I loved what I did and learned so much that will help me in the future!

I will never forget...
My most memorable experience at the lab school was probably just being able to read all of the old assessments, home studies, and reports from years past. Seeing how things have changed and remained the same was really interesting to me.

A surprising discovery...
I was surprised at how the fine motor skills differed over the generations, which I found through the comparative assessments. Honestly, I was surprised how much I struggled with time management. I had to complete 20 hours per week, but it was up to me when. I definitely procrastinated at first and that caused a lot of stress. Looking forward, I will try to manage my time more effectively and pre-plan.

Advice for others...
It is difficult to come by a paid internship in human services, but don't get discouraged. You can learn very valuable information from an unpaid internship that will help you achieve your goals. Asking questions and expressing interest will help you get the most out of your internship and tailor it to better prepare you for your future goals. In my Lab School internship, we changed the goals mid-internship. It wasn't until I discovered the archive room that I had the idea to do comparative assessments. If I hadn't asked my supervisor to learn more about it, I would have never completed the task that was very beneficial into getting me into graduate school and learning more about the field. It was also the most fun activity I completed, so always be open to possibilities! If you discover something you're passionate about or want to try something new in your internship, be sure to say something!

I first learned about this career-building experience from...
I completed my practicums at the Child Development Laboratory School for two of my classes. I emailed the supervisor to see if they did assessments and were interested in hosting an intern.

I landed this assignment by...
I sent my resume and email to the supervisor. I then was interviewed and was offered the position.

I wanted this experience because...
Because I will be attending grad school with plans of working as a school psychologist, I chose to work for the lab school because it allowed me to complete assessments and work in a school environment in early childhood. Lastly, considering I was taking classes at Iowa State while doing my internships, it was great that both of my internships were on campus and allowed for very flexible schedules.

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