MSU RCPD was fortunate to welcome intern, Mudita Jagota, to the team during the Spring 2023 semester as one of our Ability Access Specialists. Mudita recently graduated from MSU in May 2023 with her Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling. Through her efforts, she gained more knowledge and experience and left with a deeper appreciation and gratitude for the students she helped in maximizing their abilities and opportunities. Read on to learn more about her time spent at RCPD:
Q: What was your undergraduate degree in?
A: My undergrad degree was Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.
Q: Explain what your role was with the RCPD. What were your goals?
A: At the RCPD, I served as the Ability Access Specialist for Temporary Conditions. My work at the RCPD was part of my internship requirement for the Master's program in Rehabilitation Counseling at MSU. In line with that, my goals included getting first-hand experience working with students with disabilities in higher education, gaining knowledge of different kinds of disabilities and suitable accommodations for students, increasing skills in needs assessment and case conceptualization, learning and understanding the process of providing reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities, acquiring problem-solving skills while understanding disability-related concerns of students, working ethically with a broad spectrum of students from diverse backgrounds, learning about the different resources available to students with disabilities in higher education, enhancing my own as well as students' advocacy skills and finally, working in a team and learning through case studies and constructive feedback.
Q: What did you enjoy most about working with RCPD?
A: I enjoyed meeting and working with students from diverse backgrounds. Each student presented a different perspective on disability, and I learned a lot from them. As a person with a disability myself, I was able to relate to most of my students and gain interesting insights from their situations which helped me learn a lot about myself and the kind of resources I can utilize as a student. I also enjoyed working with my co-workers who supported me as a team whenever I had doubts and questions regarding my students’ cases. I will miss each and every individual at the RCPD.
Q: What has been the most important thing you have learned while working here?
A: That each situation is unique, each student comes with a different background despite having a commonly known disability, thus, each individual should be supported in different ways. I learned to advocate for my students’ needs which in turn resulted in me having enhanced advocacy skills for the rights of people with disabilities.
Q: What will you take with you from this experience?
A: I will take with me the knowledge, skills, and expertise to work with students, especially those with disabilities. As a rehabilitation counseling student, I was taught many counseling techniques in class, but RCPD provided me with a chance to polish those through practical learning. My internship with the RCPD enhanced my skills in needs assessment, case conceptualization, providing interventions and resources, and working with each student with empathy and respect. These are my biggest takeaways from this experience. It was definitely not smooth sailing as I was met with many challenges along the way, however, each situation provided me with a new and different perspective on handling things, which made me stronger and more confident at work.
Q: What are your future plans?
A: I have been accepted for Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision at Michigan State University. I am looking forward to joining the program this Fall (2023).