The Value of Real World Experience

FullSizeRender (1)-2By Jared Larson, senior psychology major

Since the beginning of the school year, I’ve been working at Newberg High School in the Counseling Office. I have been serving under school counselor Troy Monson. I’ve known him since my sophomore year of high school when he started working at my school in St. Helens, Ore. I always knew that I wanted to serve others, but wasn’t sure how I wanted to do that.

Then, during my junior year of high school, I realized that school counseling is a field I could potentially see myself go into. After my father passed away before my senior year, I knew I wanted to pursue the field. School has always been a place where I felt comfortable enough to disclose what was going on in my home life. I came to the conclusion that I wanted to be that person for someone else. At the beginning of my senior year, Troy encouraged me to work in the counseling office because he knew that I was passionate about helping others and was interested in the field. So I did. That was one of the best experiences I ever had. I learned so much about myself and my peers.

Jared with Newberg High School school counselor Troy Monson
Jared with Newberg High School school counselor Troy Monson
Now at George Fox, I have been blessed to work in the school counseling field again. As a psychology major, students are required to have field experience as part of their graduation requirements. In fact, a number of majors require field experience so students get a better feel for what they are getting themselves into. When I found that out, I knew I wanted to work at a school again. When researching, I saw that Troy got a job at Newberg High School. It was a blessing from God. Having that connection was nice because he was able to put in a good word for me. When I found out that I got the internship, I was thrilled. I was excited to be able to work with a great mentor again and to mentor students myself.

Since interning at the high school, I have learned so much. I have learned how to build student schedules, mediate conflicts, and most importantly how to empower students so they feel valued. There isn’t a day that I don’t look forward to going to the school. I have built connections with professional staff at the school and I know that I’ll be able to use them as resources for my future endeavors. One of the aspects that I value the most is the insight that the staff gives me. They are really wise. Troy often tries to convince me that idioms are a valuable tool when teaching students. I often laugh at him when he first says them, but then I find myself reflecting on what they actually mean.

After graduating this year, I plan on getting my master’s degree from the George Fox school counseling program. I look forward to taking classes that I am passionate about and having foreknowledge that many students may not have about school counseling. Having the opportunity to do field experience at Fox is what makes our school unique from many others. Since I started this internship I feel more prepared to go into the field of school counseling. I am ready to change lives.