• Crafting the Internship: An Empathy-Driven Approach

      Blakiston, Rebecca; University of Arizona Libraries, University of Arizona (Association of College & Research Libraries, 2022)
      At their core, internships are for student learning and career preparation. Students aim to get hands-on experience in a professional environment, building specific competencies and skills and deepening their understanding of a particular field and potential career path after graduation. At the University of Arizona, students are encouraged and often required to complete real-world experiences as part of their degree programs. The 100% Engagement initiative, an outcome of the university’s strategic plan in 2013, called for “100 percent of our students to have the opportunity to engage in integrating and applying their knowledge through real-world experiential learning.” 1 In response to this initiative, the School of Information added an internship requirement for its master’s in library and information science degree in 2015.2 The school has approximately two hundred students in its program, with the majority being distant students who are seeking local or remote opportunities. Even students who aren’t required to complete an internship as part of their program often seek one out as a way to supplement course instruction and strengthen their qualifications and future job prospects. 184 Chapter 11 Most graduate-level internships hosted at the University of Arizona Libraries are designed as structured learning experiences, so they are unpaid and compensated through academic credit. The time and effort required for a student to complete an internship is equivalent to a three-credit course, which is nine hours per week during a regular (fall or spring) semester. Departments across the library host interns regularly, including Student Learning and Engagement, Research Engagement, the Health Sciences Library, and the University of Arizona Press. The majority of library interns are graduate students seeking master’s degrees from the School of Information, though interns have come from a range of disciplines and have also included high school students, undergraduate students, and PhD students. Some of our library internships are publicly posted, competitive positions, whereas others are individually tailored to specific students. This book chapter focuses on those tailored experiences.