Recent Graduate Uses Internship as Springboard to Career



By Stuart Esrock, Ph.D.

Before the spring semester of 2022, Oliver Kratholm was not sure of the direction he wanted to travel for a career, even though graduation was only months away.  However, after an internship with a mental health provider, Kratholm found his calling.

The Louisville native graduated in May with a BS degree in Psychology.  During the spring semester, Kratholm enrolled in the PSYC 407—Community Internship course and after looking into options, he decided to work with Seven Counties Services.  Seven Counties serves Louisville and surrounding counties with mental and behavioral health services, substance abuse treatment, and intellectual and developmental disabilities services.  

 Intern-Oliver Kratholm

Oliver Kratholm

Kratholm’s responsibilities included helping prepare therapy materials for counselors and therapists, organizing treatment guides, brainstorming/creating new therapeutic aids, and more. “A large portion of my time was also spent shadowing therapists and the psychologists in their work, which provided great exposure to different types of treatment plans and interventions.”

Kratholm said that first-hand exposure to the clinical setting was rewarding and enlightening.  “Being able to shadow professionals as they work with a variety of clients with different mental health concerns really sparked my interest for pursuing further education and a career in the field.” 

The relationships that Kratholm developed opened an immediate opportunity as well.  At the conclusion of the internship, he continued on with Seven Counties and also is doing work with a research lab at UofL Kratholm plans to eventually return to school to pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology.

Kratholm’s only regret is that he did not do an internship earlier in his academic career.  He suggests all UofL students take the plunge to do an internship or co-op. “While an internship might not be for everybody, I think it can be incredibly worthwhile for students who are unsure of where they want to take their education or career. There is no substitute for first-hand experience in an area of potential interest.”

If you want to hear about other student internships, the University Career Center posted a virtual session with a group of students talking about their internships and providing advice about how to make the most out of the experience.  You can find out more about internships on the UCC Internship website, plus review a virtual workshop Interning 101. If you are interested in obtaining academic credit for your internship or co-op, be sure to reach out to the coordinator/director in your UofL academic program.