College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Since the Fall of 2009, I have taught Writing 490, a course that guides interns through the internship process. Students are required to write weekly blogs that chronicle their experiences and discuss any observations, problems, and accomplishments that arise on the job. These postings serve as anchors for conversation during our class meetings and shape much of the content of the course. These reflections enable me to have richer discussions about the transition from academia to the professions. This presentation will highlight and discuss major themes that emerged from analyzing nearly two years' worth of blog posts from student interns in my WRT 490 course. Such topics range from adapting to a new workplace culture, transferring writing skills, supervisory relationships, power and authority issues, ethical scenarios, intern capabilities, and how to handle specific challenges they face at their respective internship sites, among other things. By sharing these findings, I hope to give those in our profession some insight into using blogs to help students in this transitory period in their academic lives, when they are straddling the line between the educational sphere and the world of work. Discussing such topics raises student awareness about typical workplace issues and gives students a place to raise other issues, and further expands their understanding of office culture. This type of reflection enables interns to make sense of experiences in context, through meaningful thoughtful practice. Students make connections between theory and practice, and get an opportunity to view themselves as professionals in training.
Conference on College Composition and Communication
St. Louis, Missouri
Mulally, Dauvan, "Individual" (2011). Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants. 340.