Published on April 21st, 2015 | from CAMH Education

Starting a Field Placement at CAMH Education

By Sarah May, Portico

Sarah has just stared her placement with CAMH Education, primarily working on Portico Network. We asked her if we could follow along and get a sampling of the student experience.

As I sat on the subway, heading to Russell Street to begin my first day at CAMH, I didn’t know what to expect. Underneath all my nerves and the million thoughts running through my head, deep down I was excited – excited for a new learning experience, meeting new professionals and finally putting my knowledge to the test. As a post-graduate student at Centennial College in corporate communications and public relations, I am required to complete a field placement and I was thrilled to be selected to do this at CAMH Education. After several years of pursuing my education including a university degree and post-graduate certificate at Centennial College, I was eager to get some real life experience under my belt.

While I came to CAMH with an interest in mental health and a general idea about topics and issues surrounding mental health, I quickly found out that there was a lot to learn. Since I am specifically working with the Portico team, I spent a great deal of my first week here perusing all of the content available on Portico Network and learning where I can help and add my input. Most of my first week was spent getting comfortable in this new setting and the staff here have been extremely helpful and provided me with a lot of great resources.

When I met with my supervisor, we had a discussion about how the structure for me would be a self-directed learning environment on the Portico team for several projects I am involved with. My first reaction to this was a feeling of stress and uneasiness, as I have become accustomed to other experiences where I am told exactly what to do and when to do it. Upon reflecting on this discussion I’ve realized that this is an amazing chance for me to learn exactly what I want to learn during my time here at CAMH and be able to take away specific skills that I think will benefit me in my future career as a communicator. I have already had to the opportunity to sit in on several interesting meetings, write content for Portico’s social media pages, and have been given full responsibility of upcoming projects for Portico. With a supportive group of staff around me and so many people willing to help and answer questions, I’m finding this to be a great learning environment.

As I round up my second week here, I am gaining confidence and really looking forward to what the next six weeks at CAMH will bring!

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