Internships and Field Experiences

Department of Leadership Studies

An internship is the integration of theory and practice; an opportunity to take what’s been learned, and use this knowledge in more practical ways at an organization of your choosing. The internship experience can be one of the most challenging and rewarding aspects of a graduate program. It’s an opportunity to enhance your technical skills, experiment with a variety of authority relationships, and in some instances even work with others to achieve a common organizational goal. The Department of Leadership Studies is pleased to offer students a wide variety of opportunities for internship and well as the support and encouragement of the faculty and staff.

Internship Testimonials*:

"The experience helped me to better understand the dynamics of being a leader and how to balance certain roles and responsibility. There is quite a bit of flexibility and creativity involved in the internship. I really enjoyed it!"

-Dana Gordon (Site: Mindful Mentoring)

"The Center for Creative Leadership provided me with an internship where i was given the opportunity to explore new arenas in the corporate world. I was provided with clear direction and guidance, allowing me to explore areas of interest that I chose."

-Angela Chiarenza (Site: Center for Creative Leadership)

"My site supervisor guided me during the internship more as a practicum - hands on experience. His personal commitment to develop leaders for Catholic education is greatly appreciated."

- Gregory Heidenblut, O.S.A. (Site: Saint Augustine High School)

"Because I've already been working in this office for two years, the opportunity to create a new workshop series and take the lead on all aspects of its planning and implementation has been very valuable. I doubt I would have experienced this growth as a leader this quickly without this internship opportunity."

- Melissa Calderon (Site: Eleanor Rooevelt College Academic Advising, UCSD).

"My supervisor gives me the opportunity to have a lot of autonomy in what I am doing. The learning has been great; it has given me insights into learning about authority dynamics and its expectations. My supervisor was helpful at mentoring me along and letting me make my own decisions."

Johan Bodaski (Site: UCSD - Express to Success)

"I have been able to get some practice with concepts I've studied in the leadership studies program, such as boundary spanning, organizational structure, and organizational culture. The supervisors are not shy about giving an intern responsibility and discretion, and they subscribe to the leadership theories taught at SOLES."

- Ryan Moscoe (Site: University of San Diego Residential Life)

"Perhaps the most useful aspect was in learning how to begin to lead in an environment in which I am not a subject matter expert. I've started to learn how to bring out the expertise in the people whom I work with. I've also started to explore how to negotiate as an outsider coming into a well-stablished culture. It has been one of the most beneficial experiences in my doctoral program. My only regret is not having taken an internship earlier in my studies - I think it really would have informed my research."

-Karen Robinson (Site: Palomar College Human Resources)

* Note: All sites noted above are not available to undergraduates. Please consult with Teresa VanHorn if you have questions.

Teresa VanHorn