This entry was originally posted in Spanish with the title: "Companerismo". It has been translated to English by the same author so that more people have access to it.
Today I write in Spanish because I will speak of an experience I lived yesterday that relates to my experience of being a Mexican in the U.S, and I wish I could reach all those interested in Latin American culture. During my first year of the PsyD program, I did my internship at Arbour Hospital - Latino Partial Hospitalization Program. It was a great experience. Thinking back on those days, I realize that through this practicum I learned a lot about the human being, psychology, and Latinos in the U.S. among other things. It truly was a wonderful experience.
When I came to MSPP one year ago and I told people that I'm from Mexico, everyone wondered if I knew Juan Rodriguez, a student who then was coursing his fourth year of the PsyD program (and who was part of the Latino Mental Health Program), to which I answered “no”. Then, I got into my practicum and my supervisor asked me if I knew Juan Rodriguez, as he made a practicum in Arbour in the same program during his first year (like me), to which I replied “no”. Overall I really wanted to get to know Juan, as everyone described him as a great person. So, I remember one day as Gretchen Nash and I were talking in a hallway of MSPP, we saw Juan. I was really happy of finally meeting Juan. I felt that Juan would know what I was going through as a Mexican coming to study to Boston, and my instincts were right.
Without knowing, Juan became sort of a guide for me, and someone whose footsteps I try to follow. During my first year practicum, I would sometimes see him at the hospital and we talked everything: from classes and internships to Mexican candies and restaurants. And like everything else, the day came when Juan made his colloquium and he is now successfully doing an APA internship.
So yesterday, some people from Arbour Hospital reunited to celebrate Juan’s path at MSPP, and it felt like a real celebration. I was able to see more clearly where my life could be directed in a few years and I realized that the possibilities are truly endless. The opportunities to customize your professional life in MSPP are truly unique in several aspects, such as the variety of scenarios brought to us through practicum and internships, among other things (such as tracks). For me, last night was a reminder of how individualized and customized the PsyD program really is. I think these are some of the characteristics that make the MSPP experience exceptionally rewarding. In the same way that for me Juan Rodríguez is an example to follow, I really advise people entering MSPP to get to know other students from other years with whom they can identify and feel guidance.
Juan: I wish you success in the path that you are tracing as I am sure we all believe you’ll reach many people’s lives.