February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 33

res earch update
By Brent Beggs and Amy R. Hurd

Internships Bring the
Classroom to Life

I

nternships are a common practice in parks and rec-

reation as they are a requirement for NRPA accredited
programs. These internships allow students to apply their
classroom learning to a real situation. Students spend 4-plus years
preparing to become a professional and the internship serves as a
training ground where students can build on the skills they already possess and help them make the transition from student to full time employee.

Internships serve multiple purposes including
(a) networking with professionals, (b) developing
professionalism, (3) demonstrating, refining, and
acquiring competencies, (4) preparing to secure
an entry level position, and (5) bridging the gap
between theory and practice. These are achieved
through successful internships which are a result of
academic preparation, student motivation, student
competency, and the internship site itself.
Key to any successful internship is the people involved. A solid relationship between the university
supervisor, the student, and the agency supervisor
should exist. While there is a symbiotic relationship
between the agency, student, and the intern, there
can be very different expectations of the internship
from these three different entities. The primary purpose for the university is learning, and the student
wants to find a job or has career advancement as a
goal, and the agency wants a quality student who
can contribute to the agency while also learning
about the field.

dreamstime / istock

Student Perspective:
A study by Peretto Stratta outlined many expectations of students during internships. The main
theme that prevailed from students was that they
wanted access to resources during their internships that would help them get a job. When students are looking for internships, they are going
to select them based on compensation, location,
and timing. Compensation was defined as monetary and non-monetary compensation. Monetary
compensation included salary, tuition waiver, or a

	

stipend and non-monetary compensation encompassed such things as food, housing, and
travel expenses. Location was a consideration
if it had excessive expenses related to it, and
timing referred to the length of time of the internship and the start/end time of the internship.
Students were rarely interested in six month to a
year internships.
Students also look for agencies that are a good
" fit " for them. They want an agency that matches
their professional goals and provides the type of
experiences they are looking for. They want clear
expectations detailed so they understand what will
occur during the internship. Students also want
exposure to professional challenges by being respected by the staff, given challenging work, and
not serving as only menial labor.

Agency Perspective:
Practitioners have their own expectations of internships, and they also have a major impact on
the quality of the internship. Agency supervisors
expect students to have solid preparation in the
classroom prior to beginning an internship position and that interns should expect to do both routine and meaningful tasks during their internships.
The students should also understand professionalism by knowing how to dress professionally, being
on time, and adhering to deadlines, among other
things. Beggs, Ross, and Knapp completed a study
comparing intern and agency supervisor perspectives of internships. The agencies included campus
Continued on page 32

www.NRPA .ORG

February 2010

Parks & Recreation	

31



February 2010 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of February 2010 - Parks & Recreation

February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 1
February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 2
February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 3
February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 4
February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 5
February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 6
February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 7
February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 8
February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 9
February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 10
February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 11
February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 12
February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 13
February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 14
February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 15
February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 16
February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 17
February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 18
February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 19
February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 20
February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 21
February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 22
February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 23
February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 24
February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 25
February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 26
February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 27
February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 28
February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 29
February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 30
February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 31
February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 32
February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 33
February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 34
February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 35
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February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 37
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February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 53
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February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 60
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February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 77
https://www.nxtbook.com/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2021
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2020
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2019
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2019
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2019
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