Cihak joins WITCC as counseling intern Matt Cihak, a resident of Vermillion, joined Western Iowa Tech Community College (WITCC) as a counseling intern in January. Working under the direction of Penny Schempp, WITCC counselor, he is gaining field experience and accumulating credit hours toward his higher degree.
Cihak is currently pursuing a master's degree in counseling at The University of South Dakota.
"Sometimes you just need to be out there in the field," said Cihak, who will be at WITCC through July. "You take what you've learned from books and apply it to real life."
One of the most frequent issues that Cihak deals with among his clients is career development. Another is stress. "That comes with being a student today," he said. "A lot of kids have families and jobs as well as their studies."
Cihak knows about juggling roles. In addition to his internship and his studies, he's a part-time restaurant manager at Minerva's Restaurant in Sioux City. He has worked there four evenings a week for nearly five years, commuting nearly 40 miles between Sioux City and Vermillion.
Schempp estimates she has supervised an average of one intern a year over the past 19 years.
"I find quality candidates through my activities as a guest speaker for workshops at USD," she said. "I strive to provide them with a really excellent foundation in career and personal counseling."
Schempp is full of praise for Cihak's accomplishments since he arrived at WITCC.
"He's doing a wonderful job," she said. "He has great presence and maturity."