Brittany Witte, a criminal justice degree student from Minnesota School of Business-Blaine, is currently completing an internship for credits at the Alexandra House, an organization that provides domestic violence and sexual violence services to victims from across Minnesota.
The Alexandra House has two locations, one in Blaine and another in Anoka. All of their services are free, including 24-hour emergency shelter, legal and hospital-based advocacy, safety planning services, family law clinics, support groups, youth services, community education and professional training to victims of domestic and sexual violence.
Through her internship Brittany is gaining an abundance of experience and a multitude of skill sets, according to Ryan Samuelson, criminal justice program chair. She has dedicated her time toward working in the crisis call center, where she gains experience with crisis management, referral generation, case notes, filing and data collection.
Beyond helping advocate for victims over the phone, Brittany also spends time conducting in-shelter counseling, which develops her service provider, case management and crisis prevention abilities. She is responsible for communicating with multiple entities to ensure her clients get the most out of the Alexandra House’s services.
“Her communication with managers, fellow employees and clients is paramount,” notes Samuelson, “but she also exchanges dialogue with police officers who help her understand the full breadth of challenges facing her clients.”
Samuelson emphasizes the significance of completing an internship while in school. “Internships are extremely valuable for students in many ways,” he explains. “The professional development internships help students refine their skills and extend their abilities. In addition to the work experience students gain, internships allow students to network, not only within the organization they intern for, but throughout the overall industry as well. Furthermore, interns get a feel for industry trends and often discover niches within the industry that get them closer to their ideal employment opportunity.”
Brittany said, “I really enjoy being able to make a difference in people’s lives while developing my work experience at the same time.”
She added that the people she works with and the clients she advocates for have made a powerful impression on her and she hopes to continue to work to better others’ lives while utilizing the knowledge and skills she’s gained from her time at Minnesota School of Business.