Alternative Experiences

LDST 488: Internship – Spring 2020

Alternate Experiences Paper for Jepson Internship Experiential Requirement

If you have not been able to secure an internship that meets the UR summer guidelines related to COVID-19, this paper will serve as an alternative to the Site Description and Personal Contribution paper typically due at the end of the spring LDST 488 class. The purpose of the paper is to set the course for what experience/assignment/project you will complete in lieu of 240 hours at an internship site.

Below you will find two possible experiences/assignments/projects that you could select to pursue in lieu of 240 hours at an internship site. For your final paper for LDST: 488 spring 2020, I ask you to consider these alternatives and identify which you would like to pursue. For each alternative, you will see there are prompt questions that you need to address in the paper. The focus here is to identify an alternative to the 240 hours on site that will be most beneficial/of interest to you so that there is value added.

NOTE: Depending on which alternative you select, the reflections/assignments that are typically completed summer between junior and senior year and during the fall LDST 488: Internship class will be different than those assigned for individuals who complete an internship this summer (though equitable). Once your alternate path is identified, Dr. Soderlund will outline how those reflections/assignment will vary. But there will be reflections/assignments associated with each of these alternatives – it is not simply writing this paper and completing the alternate experience/assignment/project.

General Paper Requirement (irrespective of which alternative you select) – 1200-1500 words (double-spaced)

Alternatives to Consider

  1. Exploring Industry(ies) of Interest

Given that you were not able to complete an internship in the industry you wanted to explore, you want to explore and learn what you can about industry(ies) of interest. In order to pursue this alternative, you will complete SIX informational interviews with individuals in that(those) industry(ies). You may choose to only explore one industry or if you are still considering multiple industries, you can explore TWO industries, comparing and contrasting the two. Dr. Soderlund can assist you to find individuals (Jepson or UR alumni, individuals that work with Career Services, etc.) to interview, though you will need to identify at least three on your own. If you want to pursue this opportunity, please write this paper addressing:

  • The industry(ies) you want to explore and what interests you about the industry(ies);
  • The types of individuals (e.g. level at which they serve in the organization, departments/areas of interest – HR, communications/marketing, finance/business, etc.) and why these types of individuals interest you;
  • Five to seven questions you would propose to discuss with each individual interviewed (e.g. career trajectory, organizational culture, particular skills/qualities sought for the industry, health/growth of the industry, etc.). NOTE: In addition to those that you identify, Dr. Soderlund will provide some specific questions to ask (prior to the start of your interviews) that relate to leadership studies and the reflection prompts you will be asked to write as you complete the interviews; and
  • A potential time-line for when you would start and would hope to finish this alternative, keeping in mind that there will be reflections you are required to write while conducting the interviews and that the assignments in the fall LDST 488: Internship class will draw from this experience/assignment/project.
  1. Shadowing Individuals

Though you may not have been able to secure an internship in an industry of interest in your home community, there are things to be learned from other industries that are transferrable. As public health guidelines permit this summer, you could explore organizations in your home community with which you can shadow two individuals for an abbreviated time (e.g. a week with each). NOTE: If public health guidelines do not permit completion of shadowing in the summer, when we return to campus in the fall you could shadow two individuals for an abbreviated time (e.g. one week with each) at organizations in the City of Richmond or within departments/schools at the University of Richmond. If you want to pursue this in the context of a UR department/school or a City of Richmond organization, Dr. Soderlund can assist you to think about who you might reach out to about developing such an experience. If you want to pursue this opportunity, please write this paper addressing:

  • Organizations in your home community and/or University of Richmond (departments/schools) or organizations in Richmond, VA that you might like to explore and why;
  • The types of individuals (e.g. level at which they serve in the organization, departments/areas of interest – HR, communications/marketing, finance/business, etc.) and why these types of individuals interest you;
  • Identify and discuss five to seven issues/areas you would like to consider while shadowing (e.g. organizational culture, leader/follower dynamics, decision making, etc.). NOTE: In addition to those that you identify, Dr. Soderlund will provide some specific issues/areas (prior to the start of the shadowing) that relate to leadership studies and the reflection prompts you will be asked to write as you complete; and
  • A potential time-line for when you would start and would hope to finish this alternative, keeping in mind that there will be reflections you are required to write while completing the shadowing and that the assignments in the fall LDST 488: Internship class will draw from this experience/assignment/project.

If neither of these two alternatives addresses interests that you have, you can make a proposal to complete an experience/assignment/project you develop. If you propose your own alternative you will need to propose a detailed and thoughtful experience/assignment/project that will need to be approved by Dr. Soderlund. If you want to propose your own experience/assignment/project, please write this paper addressing:

  • What you would like to do as an alternative and why, with specific and concrete discussion about how this provides insights/opportunities the other two alternatives do not provide;
  • Five to seven elements/areas that your alternative will enable you to explore (e.g. industry(ies) of interest, leadership dynamics/phenomenon, etc.) NOTE: In addition to those that you identify, Dr. Soderlund will provide some specific issues/areas (prior to the start of the experience) that relate to leadership studies and the reflection prompts you will be asked to write as you complete this experience/assignment/project;
  • A well devised strategy to develop/secure this alternative (e.g. how you will identify/connect with relevant individuals/organizations to complete this alternative, etc.); and
  • A potential time-line for when you would start and would hope to finish this alternative, keeping in mind that there will be reflections you are required to write while completing the shadowing and that the assignments in the fall LDST 488: Internship class will draw from this experience/assignment/project.

 

 

 

 

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