PSY Undergrad Internship Spotlight: Courtney Tolbert

July 20, 2023 - Shelly DeJong

Courtney Tolbert stands outside in Chicago along a river.

Name: Courtney Tolbert 

Hometown: the northern suburbs of Chicago 

Year: Senior 

Major: Psychology 


What drew you to psychology originally? 

What drew me to Psychology was my AP Psychology course in high school. I loved learning about the mind and the reasoning behind people's actions. Along with this, during the pandemic, I learned how important mental health is.

Where are you interning and what do they do there? 

I am interning at Tuesday's Child in Chicago, Illinois. It is a behavioral health center for children ages 3-6 years old. They focus on aiding children with behavioral issues. This organization also provides tools for parents and families to aid their children with behavioral issues. 

What kind of things are you doing at this internship? 

I work with kids that have behavioral issues, for example kids with autism and ADHD. Throughout the day, I shadow the social workers and psychologists and observe the techniques they use to help the kids regulate their emotions. The summer program I work at has a school like setting and routine, so it prepares the kids for upcoming school in the fall. I am working with the 6-year-olds throughout the whole summer, and I am responsible for coordinating day to day activities and implementing the various behavioral management techniques I've learned to help the kids regulate their emotions. 

What do you like most about your internship?  

What I enjoy most about my internship is being around children. Kids have always taught me so much and have been a huge part of my life, so being able to continue my Psychology career while still working with them is so special. 

How has your psych background prepared you for this internship? 

My Psychology background at Michigan State has prepared me for an internship like this in many ways. All the classes I have taken, especially the Developmental Psychology courses, have aided me in my work with children because I have learned about all the stages of adolescence.  

Has anything surprised you about your internship? 

What has surprised me the most is how much I have learned over the span of this summer. I work with kids year-round, and the techniques I have learned at Tuesday's Child have aided me with the work I do with other children. 

Do you have advice for others looking for an internship? 

For those looking for an internship in the future, I would recommend finding something that is of interest to you, and keeps you engaged. Finding something that interests you will make the internship much more enjoyable. By choosing an internship related to children, I know that I will be actively engaged throughout the summer! 

What are your hopes for the future? 

I plan on going to graduate school and getting my PsyD or PhD in clinical psychology and from there owning my own therapy practice. I'd love for my focus to be on children. I am very excited for what the future holds! 

Anything you’d like to add?  

I love my internship and cannot wait for more opportunities to come!