Career Connections

Matt Ringstad

Major: Child, Adult, and Family Services

Minor/option/emphasis: CHFS-Youth Programs

Year: Senior
Hometown/State: Jewell, IA

Type of experience: Internship
Company/Organization: Woodward Academy
Company/Organization website:
Title: Interim Program Director
Destination: Woodward, IA
Timeframe: June 1, 2016-July 31, 2016

Advisor/Coordinator Email:

I was responsible for...
I was in charge of managing student case loads, and working with outside systems. I was also in charge of going to court with students and setting up discharge plans for students (plans for when they leave the academy).

I accomplished...
I have helped kids leave their programs at WA successfully. I also take pride in hearing back from students who are still successful at home.

My most valuable effort...
I ran an extracurricular program and taught students about the work world (how to write resumes, apply for jobs, etc).

I learned...
I learned that sometimes no matter what you do, some kids don't want to change. I learned that I need to turn off work mode sometimes when I go home.

I will never forget...
Getting a thank you email from a student's mother for helping change her son's life.

A surprising discovery...
I didn't expect to have to put in so much work outside of work ("off the clock"). I will change my approach with my profession by making sure the people around me know that sometimes I have to step away for things and that it is not because I am trying to be rude.

Advice for others...
Go into it with an open mind, and you will learn something new every single day.

I first learned about this career-building experience from...
Iowa State job board posting.

I landed this assignment by...
Previous work experience.

I wanted this experience because...
It is a career goal of mine on my way to becoming a JCO.

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