The internship is an important component in the Jepson academic experience. Internships provide a unique educational opportunity to apply theory to practice and critically assess and revise theory in light of practical experiences. It offers students a chance to exercise and observe leadership in an organization. It also enables students to explore professional fields/industries of interest.
Academic/Scholarly Outcomes: Internship is designed to enrich students’ (a) understanding of the nature and process of leadership and (b) their capacity to exercise leadership in a variety of settings. Students will have the opportunity to:
- Develop competencies in problem-solving, decision-making, organizational analysis, communication, and group work
- Synthesize information to develop new insights into leadership;
- Practice some of the principles of leadership
- Improve oral and written communication skills
Affective/Interpersonal Outcomes: Internship is a highly personalized experience that provides students with the opportunity to extend and develop their skills as leaders, and to examine their own personal values, strengths, and objectives. Students will have the opportunity to:
- Develop proficiency in accomplishing specific and tangible tasks that contribute to the goals of their internship site
- Exercise leadership by problem solving
- Enhance interpersonal abilities
- Increase sensitivity to diversity and individual differences
- Engage in self-reflection and, articulate the results of it
- Examine ethics in leadership and in interpersonal contexts
The internship has an experiential and a reflective learning component that are equally important to successfully complete the course.
- Completion of 240 hours at internship site following a structured learning contract developed with your site supervisor.
- The site supervisor’s evaluation of the intern (e-mailed/mailed directly from supervisor to Dr. Soderlund)
- The intern’s evaluation of site should be completed immediately after the site work is completed
- Completion of weekly structured reflections about your internship experience
- Creation of a final reflection
Supporting Documents (25 points per item – attributed to fall LDST 488 course grade)
- Learning Contract – This document should be completed and filed by the end of the first week of the internship. It is designed to clarify your role requirements.
- Internship Site Evaluation – This evaluation is due at the conclusion of your internship.
- Site Supervisor Evaluation – Dr. Soderlund will solicit an evaluation from your supervisor as you are ending your experience.
Weekly Structured Reflection (six required – 50 points for each of the six reflections attributed to fall LDST 488 course grade)
While enrolled in LDST 488 in fall 2019, you will be asked to complete an academic paper that connects your internship experience with your leadership studies, a formal presentation about your experience and the way in which you drew on leadership studies on site, and a reflection about the way in which your internship has informed/impacted/contributed to your post commencement plans. As you will not be writing academic papers during your summer internship, you will be asked to complete weekly structured reflections that will help you capture experiences and observations that you can draw on when completing the fall assignments.
Weekly reflections will be captured via UR Blogs.
This blog is NOT open, it is available to only those students completing their Jepson credit-bearing experience. If – due to the nature of your internship – you have concerns about submitting reflections to this blog, Dr. Soderlund will work with you to identify another mechanism for submitting your reflections.
A minimum of six weekly reflections is expected of each intern as the hour requirement for the Jepson internship is 240 hours (six weeks at 40 hours per week). If you are completing a eight week or ten week internship, it is HIGHLY recommended that you continue to submit a weekly reflection beyond the sixth week as it will benefit you writing your papers for the fall. EACH WEEKLY REFLECTION SHOULD BE A MINIMUM OF 350 WORDS.
There are several topics to choose from, but you MUST submit at least TWO “Theories in Action” reflections as these will be critical to completing the fall paper assignment.
Late assignments will receive a 5 point grade reduction per day. If you communicate with Dr. Soderlund more than 24 hours in advance of your weekly due date (Sunday by 11:59 p.m. EST), small extensions may be granted.
Weekly Reflection Categories
- Theories in Action (NEED TO SUBMIT TWO REFLECTIONS FOR THIS CATEGORY) – Based on observations of and/or interactions with colleagues (peers and supervisors) at your site, identify a theory that is relevant to describing the operation and effectiveness of your organization. In particular, please include examples of behaviors from your site that illustrate the theory and/or ways in which interactions demonstrate the theory and then address at least two of the following for each theory post: how well the theory selected does, at least qualitatively; where the theory selected falls short and other theories that might perform better; how theory might help surmount problems/challenges in the organization; insights gained from application of the theory to your internship experience. EACH REFLECTION SHOULD BE A MINIMUM OF 350 WORDS.
- Leader/Follower Relationships – Describe the leader/follower dynamics in your organization. Please address at least three of the following: how work is structured in the organization (e.g. teams, departments, virtual teams, etc.); how work is directed (e.g. are employees autonomous and self-directed or do they follow standardized procedures); the ways in which decisions are made for the organization (e.g. centralized, decentralized, etc.); the leadership styles of individuals at various levels in the organization (senior level to intern) and whether people who are not in formal leadership roles have influence on others in the organization; the relationship and trust levels between leaders and members in your organization and the way in which followers regard the leaders in the organization; strengths and challenges in regards to leader/follower dynamics within the organization and recommendations for ways to enhance these relationships. EACH REFLECTION SHOULD BE A MINIMUM OF 350 WORDS.
- Organizational Culture – Describe the organizational culture of your organization. Please address at least three of the following: the values, attitudes and expectations about work at your site; the norms and the process of learning these norms at your internship site; the ways in which people interact (formally or informally); the ways in which people communicate; how your site’s context (type of industry or history) affects the way it functions and is led, including whether the site’s context requires the leadership to be more attentive to certain issues than to others; strengths and weaknesses of the organization’s culture and recommendations for ways to continue to enhance strengths and suggestions/strategies to address weaknesses. EACH REFLECTION SHOULD BE A MINIMUM OF 350 WORDS.
- Solving Problems/Improving Leadership – Based on observations of and/or interactions with colleagues (peers and supervisors) at your site identify problems and/or areas that could be improved. Please address at least two of the following: operational issues and/or ineffectiveness and ways in which these may be addressed; under-use, misuse, or abuse of leadership by those in formal or informal positions and ways in which such issues could be addressed; insights about teamwork and collaboration that could positively impact the environment and work product at your site; ways in which you as an intern, who is majoring in leadership studies, might identify issues and share concepts and strategies with supervisors and colleagues that could address the issues. EACH REFLECTION SHOULD BE A MINIMUM OF 350 WORDS.
- Personal Contributions – Based on the work that you have completed to date and the processes you have been involved with at your site, reflect on the ways in which you have contributed to your internship site. Please address at least two of the following: specific ways in which you have contributed to particular projects, events, and efforts; observations and/or perspectives you have shared that have changed and/or enhanced projects, events, efforts, processes; ways in which your insights about leadership have contributed to individual and/or team efforts and work; opportunities you would like to secure for yourself that will enable you to contribute to particular projects, events, programs, etc. When reflecting on any of these, be specific in regards to both your actions, efforts, insights AND the ways in which your contributions have impacted the greater good, the final product, etc. EACH REFLECTION SHOULD BE A MINIMUM OF 350 WORDS.
Final Reflection (100 points – attributed to fall LDST 488 course grade)
Length: 1500-1800 words submitted via the Jepson Internship 2019 Blog.
Due Date: One week after completing your summer internship.
- Follow the assignment prompt/requirements.
- Late assignments will receive a 5 point grade reduction per day. If you communicate with Dr. Soderlund more than 24 hours in advance of the first week of class due date, small extensions may be granted.
Final Reflection Prompt
- Reflect on what you learned over the course of your internship, making explicit reference to the learning outcomes you discussed in your Personal Plan paper, Site Description and Personal Contribution paper and your Learning Contract. (40 points)
- Describe the way in which your leadership studies courses informed the way that you understood the organization with which you worked and the way that you approached your work. You should draw from your structured reflections throughout the summer to assist you in this process. (40 points)
- Make certain that your assignment has a clear and logical organization, makes use of free and effective transitions between ideas, and is free of grammatical, punctuation, and/or spelling errors. (20 points)
DRAFT OF PROMPT FOR LDST 488 FALL INTERN PAPER
Theory Into Action Paper
This document should be double-spaced and should include citations to relevant literature and sources. You may use any citation style you choose.
Describe the context of your organization clearly. This includes
- traits of individuals in the organization (physical characteristics, personality, experience, leader and follower behavior)
- relationships between individuals (group identity, intimacy of leaders’ relationships with followers, leaders perceived legitimacy)
- structure of the organization (who has formal power over whom, recruitment and promotion, compensation by position, who interacts with whom internal to the organization, social connections to individuals outside of the organization)
- situational factors
- the physical space/environment where the organization is located
- the tasks in which organization members are engaged.
Select a theory that you think is particularly relevant to describing the operation and effectiveness of your organization. Your options include but are not limited to:
- Trait theories (height, (emotional) intelligence, knowledge, personality, etc.)
- Behavioral theories (relationship vs. task orientation, transactional vs. charismatic/transformational leadership)
- Contingency theories (how relevance of particular traits depend on the situation)
- Relationship theories (social exchange/LMX, social identity theory, social network theory, crowd behavior, theories of leader legitimacy, power and corruption)
- Cognitive theories (implicit leadership theory, cultural leadership theory, role congruity theory, romance of leadership-i.e. do followers overestimate how much leadership matters)
- Evolutionary theory (proximate vs. ultimate interpretations of leadership and followership, comparison to non-humans)
Give a comprehensive description of the main assumptions and predictions of the theory. Cite existing evidence supportive of the theory from both literature AND examples from your site. How well does the theory explain leadership and followership phenomena?
Apply the theory to the operation and effectiveness of your organization. How well does the theory do, at least qualitatively? Where do you think the theory falls short? Where might other theories perform better?
Identify insights gained from application of your theory to your internship experience. How might your theory help surmount problems in the organization? Or improve leadership and leader-follower relationships?