RSI is hiring UNC students in their paid internship program. Students can attend The Daily Tar Heel Job Fair on April 25, where RSI will be in attendance, to learn more about the program.
RSI provides living accommodations and care for people with developmental disabilities. Mandy Dickerson, human relations director, explained that interns have different responsibilities and work depending on the house they are assigned to.
Mandy Dickerson started out as an intern at Residential Services, Inc in 1998. Now, 25 years later, she’s the human relations director at RSI. When she was a UNC-Chapel Hill student, Dickerson said she found the internship through an ad in The Daily Tar Heel and thought it would be a good way to gain experience for her major.
In a full circle moment, RSI is hiring UNC-CH students for their paid internship program. Students can attend The Daily Tar Heel Job Fair on April 25, where RSI will be in attendance, to learn more about the program.
“What people are learning by doing this job are things related to psychology, the medical field, nursing, social work, lots of Human Services fields,” Dickerson said.
RSI provides living and care for people with developmental disabilities. Dickerson explained that interns work different shifts – first, second and third shift for example. When interns check in, they ask the previous shift how residents are doing.
Interns assist residents not only with daily tasks such as taking showers but also with fun activities like going to concerts.
“We have five basic core values: we build relationships, we care about people, we set an example, we respond and the fifth one is that we enjoy what we do,” Dickerson said.
That’s why a part of the job is to have fun, she added. RSI wants people to be able to laugh with their coworkers and residents.
Dickerson said RSI wants interns who are compassionate, eager to learn, and motivated.
According to Dickerson, some of RSI’s former interns have become doctors, physician assistants, and counselors. Although RSI has changed over the years the internship program has stayed true at its core, Dickerson said.
“We've grown as far as expanding the services that we provide,” Dickerson said. “We do more than just residential services.”
She added that RSI now has a day program and is hiring for different roles, such as nurses and chefs.
Dickerson said the day-to-day for interns will look different depending on which of the 16 different group homes they are assigned to, but each role will involve a lot of routine and structure.
Alexie Lail is a psychology major at UNC-CH and a direct support coordinator at RSI who has worked at RSI since October. Lail said she likes learning the practical uses of things you may learn in a psychology class.
“Some jobs you walk in and it's just you and your co-workers. Sometimes you're all in a bad mood because you don't want to be there,” Lail said. “But at RSI, you go in and they're actually happy to see you there.”
To learn more about RSI’s internships, students can attend The Daily Tar Heel Job Fair on April 25 in The Pit from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.