UCDC Fall 2022: Centering Self-Care and Compassion as a Core Principle of Professionalism

November 10, 2022

I’m currently interning at HIPS: Honoring Individuals Power and Strength a nonprofit organization that serves the underserved population in the DC metropolitan area focusing on harm reduction and the sex trade. As a direct service intern, my role is to assist drug users and sex laborers by providing syringe exchange, condom distribution, and overdose prevention supplies via outreach vans and drop-in centers. Through my experience working with HIPS, I have come to an understanding that the concept of “professionalism” varies from company to company. There is no concrete definition of what professionalism should look like in a working environment. Along with that, being at DC has taught me that adulting really means being your own advocate for whatever you want out of life. It takes a lot of practice, unlearning, and relearning but it pays off in the end because it makes you more present in your own life. 

Outside of interning at HIPS, I make it a priority to plan an outing with my friends to explore more of DC and see what the city has to offer. I have been taking advantage of the Smithsonian activities that DC has to offer, especially the art museums and the zoo. As part of my self-care treat to myself, I have volunteered to walk someone’s dog a few times during the week. I enjoy every minute of it because it helps me explore other areas of the city since we take different routes every time. Also, dog walking allows me to take time for myself and unplug for a bit.