HDFS Health Tips Students

What to expect during your human services internship

Internship coordinator Tasha Galardi offers advice on how to get the most out of your internship

From Maria Thalassinou on Unsplash

Everyone seems to talk about the importance of internships – how it fills out your resume and could lead to a job. But the advice on how to get an internship is often generic and predictable.  

That ends now. 

Tasha Galardi, Oregon State’s human services internship coordinator, walks through how to land a human services internship and what to expect. The best part is that she’s here to help you every step of the way.  

How do I find a human services internship? 

The best place to start is to contact me — Tasha Galardi — Oregon State’s human services internship coordinator. My job is to help students find an internship that is a good fit for their interests and career goals.  

I like to meet with each student, at the start of the term before they want to take an internship course, and get to know more about them. 

In that meeting, we discuss what the rest of their life looks like and the days/times that they are available to complete the required field work hours.  

We also talk about the populations and settings that most interest them, and the internship opportunities that are currently available. 

It is a good idea to review the human services internships webpage before we meet, to better understand the process of finding a site and review the list of suggested internship sites for the current academic year. 

What are some examples of past human services internship locations? 

There are so many great options!  

For those who want to get experience working with unhoused individuals, there are internships at the Corvallis Daytime Drop-in Center, including their street outreach team, Community Outreach Inc., Unity Shelter and Jackson Street Youth Services.  

“Through interning and working here [at Community Outreach Inc.], I was able to see how passionate I am about working with the homeless. 

It is such a big need, and there is a lot of ignorance that surrounds the subject. I want to be a part of diminishing that.”

Regan Benitez, HDFS ’21  
Watch Regan in action 
Regan Benitez at her human services internship

We have several internship options related to child welfare, including ABC House, Department of Human Services and Old Mill Center.  

For those who want experience working with youth, there are internships at College Hill Alternative High School, the Boys and Girls Club, and Ophelia’s Place.  

There are also opportunities to work with older adults at places such as Grace Center and Corvallis Caring Place. 

How do I make sure I get academic course credit for my internship? 

You must enroll in an internship course, such as HDFS 310: Practicum, in order to get academic credit for your internship.  

You must have an override to register for the course, and you cannot get an override until you have secured an internship site and submitted a completed Placement Agreement form.  

Tasha Gilardi, human services internship coordinator

By working closely with me, you will have the support you need to make sure you find an internship site and get registered properly for the appropriate course.

Tasha Galardi, human services internship coordinator

What will I do during my human services internship? 

Human service agencies help individuals and families meet their basic needs, and/or improve their developmental outcomes.  

All of the HDFS internship sites allow students to get hands-on experience helping others, and learn more about the various ways that agencies and programs try to help individuals who are experiencing challenges.  

All of the internship opportunities we offer allow students to work directly with those who are experiencing stressors and to engage in meaningful work.  

Anything else I should know? 

Many students report that their human services internship was one of the most valuable aspects of their academic career at OSU because they learned firsthand what it is like to work in a helping profession.  

Taking the concepts you learn in the classroom out into the real world, and having an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others, is very rewarding.  

Students who have completed internships while in college often have great success securing a job after graduation, or getting into graduate school.