Navigating the Transition from School to the Real World: My Attachment Experience
Story by Patricia Mtero: 3.1, Social work
As a new group of 3rd years have begun their attachment, we caught up with Social Work student Patricia Mtero who is attached to Social Welfare Makombe on her experience thus far.
As a social work student, I have always been passionate about making a difference in people’s lives. This led me to pursue my attachment at a government institution, Social Welfare Makombe, and also take up a part-time role as an assistant producer at Nkululeko Rusununguko Television (NRTV) on Dstv. Little did I know that these two environments would present such contrasting experiences and require me to adapt and cope in different ways. Entering the real world after years of being in a school environment can be both exciting , being jarring for many students. We are accustomed to the structured routines of classrooms, assignments, and exams. However, once we step into professional settings, we are faced with new dynamics and expectations .
At Social Welfare Makombe, I am exposed to the realities of social work on a daily basis. The office is always bustling with clients seeking assistance for various issues ranging from child protection to elderly care. The nature of this environment demands quick thinking and effective problem-solving skills. It has been initially daunting for me to handle such responsibilities as a new intern who does not have much skill as I had only dealt with hypothetical scenarios in my coursework. Moreover, working with vulnerable individuals requires empathy and emotional resilience. Witnessing first-hand struggles faced by those seeking help can be emotionally draining. However, it has also been incredibly rewarding to see the positive impact that social workers can have on people’s lives.
On the other hand, my role at Nkululeko Rusununguko Television (NRTV) has provided me with insights into the media industry. As an assistant producer, I am involved in brainstorming ideas for television programs, conducting research and assisting during production of live shows. This fast-paced environment requires multitasking abilities and effective communication . Unlike my internship at Social Welfare Makombe where empathy is crucial, working at NRTV demands assertiveness and confidence when dealing with colleagues and external stakeholders. The pressure of meeting deadlines while ensuring high-quality content can be overwhelming at times. Conversely, it is helping me to cultivate my organizational and time management skills, which are essential in any professional setting. Adapting to these two contrasting environments has been a learning experience. I am supposed to balance between the compassionate nature of social work and the assertiveness required in the media industry. This has taught me the importance of being adaptable and flexible.
One of the key lessons I have learned during this transition is the significance of networking and building relationships. Both at Social Welfare Makombe and NRTV, I have had the opportunity to interact with professionals who have provided guidance and mentorship. Transitioning from the school environment to the real world can be a transformative experience filled with valuable lessons. My attachment at Social Welfare Makombe and part-time role at NRTV have provided me with unique insights into two distinct professional settings. By embracing change, seizing learning opportunities, adapting skills, coping with challenges, and committing to continuous learning, I am confident that I will thrive in these environments while making a positive impact on individuals’ lives. As I continue this journey of personal growth and professional development, I eagerly look forward to further learning experiences that lie ahead.