Alejandra De Los Santos '19

Social Work

Alejandra De Los Santos ’19 is a social work major at MacMurray College and during the 2018 Fall Semester she took part in an internship at the Jacksonville Public Library. She initially was nervous about beginning her internship; however, she was also excited to gain knowledge and experience. 

“After I got comfortable in this setting, my worries decreased, and I focused on learning from this experience,” De Los Santos explained. 

She relied on her social work classes at Mac to help get the most out of her internship. “MacMurray College prepared me by having hands on experience in the classroom,” De Los Santos said. “I noticed a lot of what I learned in my classes was being brought out during this internship. I was able to demonstrate professional behavior, engage in research, and engage in practice with different community members. I was given a realistic image of what this career was going to be like.” 

The internship provided her with the knowledge and critical thinking skills, being confident, being patient and learning how to network. However, it was having the opportunity to engage with the community and work with people with different backgrounds that stood out the most for De Los Santos. “These skills I learned are skills that I can take with me into the workplace and successfully help people with different issues and of different backgrounds.” 

Although internships help a student gain knowledge in the workforce, it is also a good time for them to learn more about themselves. De Los Santos learned that she was “not as introverted as I thought. I’d challenge myself throughout this internship by socializing with everyone.” Along with learning about herself she confirmed her commitment to being a social work major. De Los Santos expresses, “This internship made me realize that this is what I want to do. I enjoy being part of a community and being able to help people.” 

It was her experiences at MacMurray that helped Del Los Santos succeed in her internship. And it was the size of the College and access to the professors that drew her to MacMurray.  

“I choose Mac for their small class sizes. I didn’t want to get lost in the crowd,” De Los Santos said. “I wanted to feel like I was part of the College and not get lost in the crowd. I wanted to be somewhere where I could get to know my professors and be able to receive help when I needed it.”