Intern Q&A: Courtney Mayer
August 16, 2021
Tell us about yourself, Courtney.
My name is Courtney Mayer, and I am a first-year intern with Concert Health from the University of New Hampshire. I have an undergraduate degree in Psychology with a double minor in Justice Studies and Forensics and I am currently pursuing my master’s in social work through the UNH online program. I would like to work with the adolescent population, but I am still figuring out exactly what area I would like to work in.
Can you describe what your typical day as an intern at Concert Health is like?
I have really enjoyed my time at Concert so far, especially working remotely. Although we are remote, our day is not extremely different from that of an individual working in-person. By 9:00 a.m. I am sitting at my desk with my cup of coffee ready to conquer the day.
Each morning I view my calendar and log into all our platforms ready to view any new tasks assigned to me. Concert offers a variety of learning opportunities; some I have been a part of is the medication management engagement project and working with Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) patients by helping them to find reliable and accessible resources near them. I have even participated in literature searches for the company’s research articles and made code books in SPSS to help with the research findings. Although we are remote, Concert uses Slack daily for employees and interns to connect. I always feel extremely connected to everyone in the company which makes the day very enjoyable.
My day is spent mostly connecting with patients and searching for resources for them. Depending on the week I may also attend a few training sessions or learning intensives. There are always endless opportunities to learn with Concert.
What has been your most valuable learning experience at Concert Health?
Learning who I am not only as a graduate intern but as a clinician has been my most valuable experience with Concert. My internship has enabled me to begin my first steps as a clinician in the field not only in Collaborative Care, but as a social worker. Furthermore, Concert has taught me how to form professional relationships as well as professional boundaries with patients. I feel I am finding my professional voice and self in the field of social work thanks to Concert and my supervisor, Alissa Mallow.
Has this internship helped you accomplish goals in becoming a clinician? If so, how?
Yes, this internship has. Through my supervision hours, process recordings, and training sessions, I feel I have and continue to learn my foundation skills as a Social Worker.
How did your internship provide you with the support to develop clinical skills?
Through weekly supervision, endless opportunities for further training and development, as well as a positive, open, caring work environment, this internship has supported me to develop professional, personal, and clinical skills.
What was a highlight of your internship?
One of my highlights in the internship throughout these past few months has been having the opportunity to watch my patients’ growth throughout their time with Concert. It is very validating when your patients thank you for the help you have given them, and it is certainly an amazing feeling to witness your patients’ growth clinically.
What was something that challenged you?
Something that challenged me was becoming confident in myself and my capability as a social worker to help patients. Learning and accepting that it is okay to make a mistake was one of my biggest challenges. But once you allow yourself to be comfortable with acknowledging and working on your skills, it helps you grow as an individual not only professionally but on a personal level.
What types of group learning activities did you engage in during your internship? Please explain in detail.
I enjoy participating in the learning intensives formally known as “lunch and learns.” These informative sessions really helped me to understand a wider variety of clinical and social barriers that our patients face. Furthermore, participating in our student aid meetings monthly is one of my favorite learning activities at Concert. All students who are interning with Concert are asked to attend student aid meetings at least once a month. These meetings are just for students, and it gives us an opportunity to connect with one another as well as learn from one another. We discuss the success and challenges we have faced the past month. We help answer questions for one another and provide support for each other. Having this group meeting monthly has not only enabled me to be further connected with fellow interns but has also provided a learning platform in which we help and learn from each other. This is something very unique that I had not experienced at other internships before Concert, and I am very thankful for it.
Can you describe your experience learning and working in a remote environment, from both a client care and supervision perspective? Did your opinion of remote work change after completing your internship?
I have absolutely enjoyed working remotely for Concert. At first, I was a bit nervous that I wouldn’t be able to work from home and that I would become distracted, but in fact it has been the opposite. I find myself much more productive when interning remotely and a little less stressed. Since I live in New York, it is amazing to not have to worry about the traffic every morning and every evening (If you are from NY, especially the city or LI, you know).
I feel more supported than ever interning remotely. I know my supervisor is one email or slack message away and that I have the capability to Zoom or Google Meet with any employee across the United States, not just in New York. Concert goes above and beyond to connect everyone together whether you are a full-time employee, part time, or an intern. Working remotely has taught me how to adhere and set boundaries for myself. It took a little while at first to become used to completing my internship at home, but it also taught me valuable skills such as: setting boundaries, being okay with asking your supervisor proactive questions, becoming more confident in your abilities professionally, and learning to laugh when your dog and your fellow interns’ dog are having a conversation with each other while you are trying to have an important meeting with one another. The beauty of working remotely is that it is not all that different from in-person and in fact, I feel I have had more opportunities for personal and professional growth from interning remotely than I have previously experienced at other internships.
Working remotely with patients has also taught me valuable skills: always be punctual, as your patients expect you to call at a certain time and more often than not, they are very much looking forward to speaking with you. Other lessons include: learning that a simple “okay” or “hm” is okay when your patients are talking with you—just because they are not sitting in a room across from you doesn’t mean we have to overcompensate by asking a ton of questions all at once and last but not least, learning to really understand what your patients are saying to you and understanding the tone of their voice. Because we cannot read their body language, the skill of reading their tone is something I believe to be extremely valuable and unique in our line of work as remote Social Workers. This is a unique skill that you learn from interning with Concert.
Has participating in this internship refined your career goals, or changed your path altogether?
It most certainly has. Before interning with Concert, I never imagined I would want to work remotely. I consider myself an extrovert and thus, I love to be social and be around other people. I personally felt that I wouldn’t do well in an environment where I was sitting in my home office. However, I was completely wrong. In fact, I have felt more connected to my supervisor, fellow interns, and other individuals at Concert than I ever have at any other internship. I feel less stressed worrying about making it to meetings at a certain time because I simply log onto my Google Meet. Interning with Concert has enabled me to live a healthier lifestyle. When working an 8-hour shift, we are given two 15-minute breaks and a half hour lunch. Since I am not in an office building or in a city, I take fifteen minutes to either sit outside in the fresh air or take a short walk—something I never did before at other internships because I was so go, go, go in an office setting. Concert has shown me that there are opportunities to live a healthier and happier lifestyle while working and doing what we love. Because of Concert my vision of remote work and supervision has completely changed, and I want to continue to intern and work remotely.
Why should future students consider Concert Health’s internship program?
Concert is a completely unique internship opportunity that will excel your professional growth while constantly providing you with new and exciting experiences and opportunities. Concert’s Collaborative Care model will enable you to develop important, unique, and strong clinical skills. You are constantly learning as well as being supported by many members of the Concert community. Concert’s work environment is positive, healthy, and connected. Not only will your clinical and personal skills grow but your technological skills will too. As the world continues to advance in technology, Concert is on the forefront of remote Collaborative Care and you can be a part of it.
What advice would you give to future interns? Why?
Have confidence in yourself and be open to a changing schedule if there are meetings or training sessions you want to attend and can. Not only will this improve your clinical skills but participating in all of what Concert offers allows you to connect with so many amazing individuals that work for Concert. Learning how each client is different and how working with them may differ is something that is so wonderful as you are forming your professional identity and professional relationship with them. Speak up if you have questions or concerns. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your supervisor, especially if you are interested in doing something specific, because we are remote it is up to you to contact who you need to talk with. Lastly, take advantage of all of what Concert has to offer, learning can be challenging but it can also be exciting and will allow you to grow professionally.