I’d like to talk a bit about my experience moving to the internship phase of my program. I am in the Educational Leadership and Supervision program and working toward a School District Leader advanced certificate and NYS certification. Here are few things that I understand now, in hindsight, that I hope you find helpful:
1. Don’t be anxious about this! I felt unsure of myself and thought setting up the internship would require me having a sense of confidence about it – knowing where I wanted to do it, who I wanted to work with, etc. But the only thing that I knew for sure was WHY I wanted to do the internship – to experience what education leaders do and how things work in schools and districts. And guess what? Meeting with my advisor (Dr. Doug David) put me so at ease! It was an informal meeting where we chatted and he asked me questions in an open-minded and encouraging way. I got the sense that he really wanted to put together an internship that was right for me. And that we were a team, putting this together. Bottom line – your advisor is on your side and wants you to succeed.
2. Be yourself! This seems important to putting together an internship that feels right, one that might put you on the path you are meant to be on. Being ourselves isn’t easy. There are a lot of expectations and pressures out there – societal, in our profession – suggesting we should act a certain way, want certain things, and all the rest. Going into my internship meeting, I was thinking about things I should say and wanting to say the “right” things. Because my advisor was welcoming and encouraging, I ended up being honest about what I wasn’t sure about (a lot) and talking about educational ideas I’m passionate about. Doing so seemed to help generate ideas about internship possibilities that matched my interests.
3. Let your advisor help you! What I mean by this is, you don’t need to go into this phase of the program with all the answers. If you do have a well-developed sense of what you want to do, where, etc., that is great. But from my experience of not having the answers, I was happy to lean on the wealth of knowledge, contacts, and ideas that my advisor had to share. Your advisor has a lot to offer in the way of guidance, support, and ideas. Take advantage of it!