Q&A for #NationalInternDay

Happy National Intern Day!

Interns are an essential part of the team at GOSO. During the academic year and through the summer, we welcome aboard a new cohort of students (both undergrad and graduate) who are interested in pursuing careers in social work, mental health counseling, criminal justice reform or other allied fields.

As an organization with a modest number of full-time staff, we rely on our interns to provide the support necessary to serve the large number of clients that GOSO takes on. Interns wear many hats during their time here, helping with everything from job-readiness workshops and group therapy to special events, like our annual fundraising gala. Even during their short tenure, GOSO interns leave a lasting impression not only on staff but our clients, too. The impact interns have is truly amazing!

For summer 2018, our intern team is seven strong. We borrowed a few moments each with four of the interns — Anna, Wilmarie, Alyssa, and Michelle — to hear how their experience with GOSO has been.


Photos: Top, intern Michelle Chen checks out a newsclip with a client at a breakfast workshop; Bottom, from left to right, interns Hannah Ahn, Alyssa Sargent, Michelle Chen and Gianna Bianchi.


Anna Kalm
Rising senior at Barnard College
Guggenheim Fellow and Summer Intern

  • Q: What does your day-to-day at GOSO look like?
  • A: I run a few of the job-readiness workshops in our curriculum, help to coordinate vocational trainings, and assist with corporate volunteer programs.
  • Q: What’s been your favorite part of interning with GOSO?
  • A: Getting to know the guys, really. I enjoy hanging out with them in the computer area because it’s an opportunity to hear more about what’s going on in their lives while we work on job searches.
  • Q: What is something you’ve learned while interning?
  • A: My experience here has solidified the fact that I want to become a social worker. Getting to work with the staff and other interns has given me valuable perspective on what it takes to be a good social worker. I’ve received a lot of great advice from everyone.


Wilmarie Feliz
Graduate student at John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Pinkerton Fellow and Mental Health Counseling Intern

  • Q: What are you responsibilities as an intern at GOSO?
  • A: I help to run the job-readiness workshops and facilitate some of our groups, which are different therapy/mental-health focused sessions. My favorite group is called BROSO, where we talk about different topics that the guys find important. As much as possible, I try to incorporate mental health literacy into my work with the guys. This means that my approach is to help the guys be more open about mental health issues and their own mental health. I try to help them better understand what triggers their stress or anger.
  • Q: Besides BROSO, what has been your favorite experience at GOSO?
  • A: I have loved all of the clinical experience I’ve gained. The one-on-one meetings with clients have been the best part of my work here.
  • Q: What’s something you are going to take away from this internship?
  • A: I’ve learned about how social workers establish boundaries with clients, which is an important aspect of the type of work that I want to do.


Alyssa Sargent
Social work graduate student at Fordham University

Social Work Intern

  • Q: What has been an important lesson learned during your internship?
  • A: A good social worker learns to step back and allow the client to utilize and showcase the skills they’ve been taught — the social worker doesn’t do the work for them. We want our clients to be self-sufficient. My job as a social worker is to not be needed at all!
  • Q: What’s been your biggest accomplishment since you’ve been here?
  • A: I’m proud of my work to redesign the Resume Writing Workshop, a part of our 2-week job-readiness curriculum. I also created a new Advanced Computer Skills Workshop.
  • Q: Your internship isn’t over yet — what are you looking to focus on as you continue your internship?
  • A: I’ve been here for about a year already and have a second year ahead of me. In the first half of my internship, I’ve focused more on the clinical aspects of social work. For this coming year, I am going to focus more on macro-practice. This is looking at how outside factors affect the individual, more than just looking at the individual — a more holistic approach, which is GOSO’s model.
  • Q: When your internship comes to an end, what’s next for you?
  • A: I would really love to be a part-time clinician and part-time lobbyist for policy change!


Michelle Chen
Graduate student at NYU Silver School of Social Work

Social Work Intern

  • Q: What has been your favorite memory from interning with GOSO?
  • A: Honestly, my favorite memory was teaching the guys to play a card game called “Spot It.” It was an opportunity to see them laugh, smile, and just be carefree, which is not typically a part of our interactions. Additionally, I’ve benefited greatly from having in-depth conversations with clients about societal issues; hearing their perspectives is invaluable.