I am brand-new to the professional music therapy world! I became board-certified a little over a month ago, on November 20th. The transition from intern to professional has been an interesting one.
Lots of things change when you become a professional. However, the things that you would expect to change for a young professional did not necessarily happen to me. I did not have to adjust to a new work environment or build rapport with new clients. I didn’t even have to look for a job, as my dream job was right in front of me.
I was blessed to not have to go through the stress of job hunting, as my internship site, Music Therapy Connections, LLC, offered me a full-time music therapist position. I am currently living out my dream, but it has brought with it a unique set of challenges.
Seeing Yourself as a Music Therapist
One day I came into MTC as an intern, and the next I was a professional. Since my transition wasn’t drastic and not much has changed, it has been a bit difficult to fully see myself as a professional. As time goes by, I am sure this feeling will change. I’m also certain that other new professionals also experience this feeling, but perhaps in a different way.
Others Around You Viewing You as a Professional
Thankfully, I can count on one hand the times when I wasn’t necessarily treated like a professional. I am blessed that my supervisors and coworkers treated me like a professional from the moment I began my internship. It can be difficult when others still see you as the intern, but I’m sure that this too will change with time.
There have also been some huge perks to my transition from intern to professional.
Everyone Already Knows You, and You Know Them
Being an introvert, I am so thankful I don’t have to go through the process of constantly introducing myself and meeting new people. Everyone at MTC already knows my face.
Understanding the Lay of the Land
I already know what is expected of me and the basic guidelines of the business. I did my extensive training at the beginning of my internship, and only had to go through a few additional items when I became an employee.
Keeping the Same Caseload
I am so thankful that I was be able to keep almost my entire caseload from internship. This is a huge benefit, as my clients and I have already created a therapeutic relationship and we can keep working together on fulfilling their goals.
Though I had these unique experiences, I did have some that nearly everyone goes through.
I moved to Springfield, IL this month. The apartment hunting was lots of fun, but the actual moving part was not as enjoyable. I still have lots of stuff to go through at my parents’ house.
First Full-Time Job
I have had part-time jobs before, but this is my first full-time job. Work-wise, it doesn’t feel much different than my internship, but financially I am now solely responsible for matching my income to my expenses – see “Adulting” below.
I was blessed to have my parents support me throughout college and my internship. I am learning that paying bills, buying groceries, and fixing things on your own takes a lot more work than I thought. Although, I think I am doing an okay job so far!
Who else is a new professional out there? Can you relate? What was your biggest challenge in becoming a new professional? Let us know in the comments!