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Vic Management Interns' blog

Blog posts by Victorian Management Interns of the Australasian College of Health Service Management. Views are those of the individual authors and not those of ACHSM or management interns’ host organisations or employers.

Tais Lildaree
Tais Lildaree

Health Management Interns, ACHSM

Making use of your personal network

Jane Dinh

17 Nov 2015





Throughout the Health Management Internship Program (HMIP) and through life’s many challenges you will often feel confused, alone and helpless. However it should never have to feel that way. This is personal reflection on my experience and tips on how to make use of your personal support network.

During my first placement and transitioning into a new work environment I found it difficult to settle in. In such a large department it was difficult to make friends and the work was very different to what I had expected. Like every organisation there were difficult tasks, difficult processes and difficult people. I had to learn how to fit in and be functional at the same time.

At times I found it difficult to remain positive especially when things did not go according to plan. These feelings were amplified when I felt my personal development was not a priority. I was in a high pressure team environment and did not feel supported enough to reach my full potential.  I was really grateful to have the support of a fellow intern who was also placed in the same organisation. It was hard to reach out for help without feeling like a complete failure. At my lowest point, I stopped believing in myself, I could not think of how I could possibly contribute to any organisation.

Luckily for me, I had the support of other interns, my mentor and colleagues from my placement. My mentor always helped me understand the other side of the story. Through my catch ups with her I was able to perceive the positive aspects of negative events. I was able to build my resilience and being open to change.

So my advice to all anyone embarking on a new career in a new organisation is to make use of your personal support network. It is important to use all the people in your support network including interns, your mentor, colleagues, ACHSM and friends. If you have doubts or questions about your support network then follow these steps.

  1. Acknowledging the situation and that you need help. It is hard to accept how difficult the situation is and opening up without feeling like you have failed. In the Success Indicator poster by Mary Ellen Tribby, the difference between a success and failure is how you see it. Success is seeing this as a learning opportunity where you can continuously grow and develop.
  2. Reaching out. This is often the hardest part for interns as we “don’t want to bother” them. This is understanding who is in your support network and the people who want to support you. There are people who genuinely care about you and would feel hurt that you could not approach them. You would be surprised at how rewarding it is for them to be part of your journey and when they can see your development.
  3. Moving forward. In any situation you can reflect and learn from your experiences. This is where you grow as an individual and build resilience. Just remember that the other interns are here to support you and you are all in this together. A quote from Mother Teresa “I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot, together we can do great things.” So never go through this journey alone.









The last day of my placement at the Department of Health & Human Services. Above (L – r): Friendships made with Justine Giri, Jane Dinh and Yilin Zhang

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