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Internship vs. Capstone

You are probably wondering why there isn’t a capstone to do for OLLU. I was required to do a capstone for my undergrad while doing an internship. Let me tell you that was not an easy process. It was extremely difficult to find time to write a 100-page capstone while doing an internship. I constantly was aware of how much time I was spending writing the capstone and where my time was going to other places like time with my wife and daughter. However, I did complete the capstone along with the internship.

I remember a fellow student saying “We should be focusing on our internship only and not on this capstone.” At OLLU you can do just that. OLLU has you do a field placement with no capstone. There are minor assignments to do along with your placement but it’s nothing in comparison to a 100 page paper. When I heard this I was relieved. I was worried that I was going to have to juggle schoolwork with time for the internship. But this is not the case. The assignments given still allow you to find time for your internship and other activities as well.

What is the Difference?

I want to contrast the differences of writing a capstone and why OLLU has you do an internship instead. First, a capstone has you sharpen your writing skills and citation skills but you are not applying what you learned in your classes through first-hand experience. I did a lot of writing and citations for that capstone. Being able to write is important for a social worker but it’s not as beneficial as applying skills in your internship through real time experience.

Second, a capstone hones your researching skills but is not really used in your internship. This is also important to have as a social worker, but if you are not going to be in research, then learning this skill is not as effective. I will admit you need researching skills for your schoolwork at OLLU but researching is not a huge thing you do in your field placement.

Third, a capstone has you writing about social work theories and possibly social work origins but at an internship you really perform the theories with clients. I remember writing about different theories and social work methods for the capstone. At my internship, I have had to use different theories with the clients. There is a not one theory that fits all clients. At my internship, I am constantly learning new theories and incorporating them into my individual client sessions or in my group sessions.

An internship gives you the opportunity to be a true social worker through application. A capstone gives you the opportunity to be a great writer but lacks the experience and application. I hope that you see that just because there isn’t a capstone requirement that OLLU doesn’t care about your learning. OLLU helps you to learn first-hand rather than cramming knowledge into an essay.

About the Author

 OLLU online MSW student Joseph De Luca

I remember taking many personality tests, and always seeing at the bottom "social worker" as a career option. I was surprised that this kept coming up. I eventually looked up what social workers do. I felt like this was my personal calling in life. I also liked that it was not just one field I had to choose from but many different possibilities that I could choose from. I am currently working as a youth mentor and supervisor to teenage boys in a group home. It has been great and challenging. I have also been a medical social worker working in an orthopedic rehab center where I learned to work with patients and their families to ensure both were taken care of. Outside of social work, I love playing early morning basketball with friends. I am married and have 2 beautiful daughters, one is 2 years old and the other will soon be 8 months.