RECENTLY ON TOL:
- A tumblr site dedicated to the people and places that make up Oregon and Southwest Washington.
I have a few suggestions for organizations:
Avoid hiring interns on an ad hoc basis. Instead designate an internship coordinator to be the liaison between the organization and the interns. The internship coordinator can then work with the interns either individually or as a team to develop clearly delineated expectations, tasks, responsibilities, and experiential learning outcomes.
Cultivate cohort solidarity among the interns so that the experiential learning can happen not only between those who run the organization and the interns, but also among the student interns themselves.
Hold weekly meetings to bring interns together. Such meetings can be both logistical and educational. For example, the internship coordinator might invite key members of the organization to present their work to the internship team. Or, perhaps this would be a good time to invite in other relevant guests to educate the interns (and organization) about a particular area of relevance to the organization’s overarching mission. This could have the added advantage of encouraging cross fertilization of social goals and efforts: for example, between those working to promote health and those endeavoring to protect the environment; social services and law enforcement; grass roots organizers and legislators.
When feasible, encourage interns to work on organization projects and their own self designed and initiated projects. Be clear with interns as to how much of their time is expected for each. For example, 60% for organization project, 40% for individual project. Schedule advising meetings or have designated office hours so that students remain engaged and focused in their work.
If student interns have accomplished something tangible for the organization during their internships, consider hosting an end-of-internship public presentation of their works, findings, conclusions, etc.
Finally, in recognition of the fact that non paid internships cater largely to economically privileged students, consider offering scholarships (or pay) to those who have no choice but to earn money in the summer months.
Again, thank you for addressing this issue on Think Out Loud.
Joyce Millen, PhD, MPH
Associate Professor of Medical Anthropology
posted 3 years, 1 month ago
view in context