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5 Reminders for Medical Music Therapy Interns

My boss recently asked me what keeps me motivated and excited about coming to work. Without pause, I answered "students" and I sincerely meant that. Becoming an internship director and supervisor has been such a rewarding experience. It affirms my love for the field and makes me excited about what's to come as this profession grows.

I'm pretty early in my supervisory journey. I still distinctly remember what it felt like to be an intern and so I draw from that experience whenever I can. As a former intern and now supervisor, here are five things I want you to know from someone who has been there.

1. You don't have to be perfect.

No one expects you to be perfect. What would perfect even look like?

The goal of your internship is not to enter with all the knowledge and skills you'll need to become a professional. If you had those, you wouldn’t need an internship.

When I interview candidates, I am not necessarily looking for the strongest musical skills or the best answer to each interview question. I am looking for an intern who is passionate about medical music therapy. I am looking for effort, follow-through, and a positive attitude. These are attributes that I can't teach.

Remember that progress and growth come from making mistakes. One thing I find so cool about this process is its invitation to take risks. Try something that gets you out of your comfort zone. Never again in your career will you have the opportunity to make mistakes the way you'll be able to now. Your supervisor will be there to back you. I've had some of my best learning experiences from mistakes. I've had some of my most successful moments from trying new things and thinking outside the box.

2. Your supervisor isn't perfect.