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Ioana Cebulla, a PhD student in Clinical Psychology at the Fresno campus, had an important phone call to make back in August. She called home with news of her acceptance to the Coalinga State Hospital’s Pre-Doctoral Internship Program. Like most students looking to match with an APA-accredited agency, Iona found the intensely competitive application process a bit daunting. Yet like the thousands of Alliant students before her, she soon found that her support net and CSPP training would carry her through to her internship opportunity.

Preparing for the Psychology Internship

Iona will be graduating with her PhD this spring; and of all the lessons she has kept in mind during the internship process, she said the most prominent in her mind came from Professor Raymond C.D. Greer, PhD.“He said ‘Preparing for internships starts with your first day in graduate school.’”Cebulla says that she is honored by the internship opportunity, and that what attracted her to Coalinga were some of the same qualities that brought her to Alliant. She said, “Coalinga State Hospital is one of those gems, distinctive and remarkable, yet well sheltered from the crowds, and offering an abundance of training and learning opportunities.” After her internship, Iona hopes to continue working with diverse populations, from children to veterans and forensic populations, something she feels gave her an edge in the matching process. Looking forward to starting her career this Spring, she also aims to further explore specialized training in neuropsychological assessment, research, program development, and social justice issues.

As graduation draws near, Cebulla says she will never forget those who helped her get there. She remains grateful to her friends, family, and her dedicated professors.

“Most of all Dr. Greer, who helped and encouraged me throughout the process, good days and bad days, weekends included.”

When Iona takes the first step in her career as an Alliant alumna, she will look back with two key pieces of advice for current graduate students: be passionate, be prepared. “If you are passionate about your work in this field, you will make a difference in people’s life and will be successful wherever you go. Also, keep in mind Dr. Greer’s words that preparing for internship starts with the first day in the graduate program.”

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