Undergraduate Student Blog, Speaking of Princeton

Undergraduate Student Blog

Author: Rachel Newman ’16

Paramus, New Jersey • Psychology View Profile

Doing What I Love

Finding my passion in Princeton and beyond

Hey all!

So winter break has been happening these past few weeks, and I have loved every minute of relaxation. But there’s been this nagging excitement in me since the day I left campus. That day, I, along with tons of other students applied for IIP, Princeton’s International Internship Program, which is a funded internship opportunity in another country. Which is AWESOME. So I could rant and rave now about how fun international travel is, but that’s something we can all agree on. What I want to share was how thrilled I was when I found an internship that so directly suited my passion.

Since as long as I can remember, I have loved working to help serve the special-needs community. I grew up going to a sleep-away camp that had a bunk for children with special needs, and every Saturday I would head over there to hang out for a few hours. These past few summers, I have been working at a camp for special needs, and finally it hit me – I have to do this with my life. So I looked into different job opportunities and found that becoming an occupational therapist best suited me. Occupational therapists work with patients – from trauma victims to the elderly to children born with different disabilities – to determine their personal goals and structure therapy sessions that help them accomplish everyday tasks. This job is basically dignity-building, which seems super exciting to me.

But for a second, I got nervous. I didn’t know if Princeton would have the resources for someone like me, who wanted to work one-on-one with children in a small setting rather than go out into the world of nonprofits and business, and government, and all of those other macro-scale jobs. Everyone in Princeton is working to create change, but I didn’t know how many others, like me, wanted to do so in such a one-on-one fashion.

Well, then I turned to the IIP website and found the Indian Institute of Cerebral Palsy on their list. Check it out for yourselves. Not only does it have specialized occupational therapy programs, but it has other awesome facets including education, advocacy, and social work. Basically, my dream internship.  And it’s in India. I hope I get it!

I realized at that moment how many wonderful programs existed in Princeton that I never noticed. For example, did you know Princeton has a Teacher Prep Program? My roommate’s doing that. 

Princeton has so many exciting ways to help you achieve what you love to do. Now all I can do is wait and check my email all day in hopes of an interview…

Wish me luck!