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Center for Experiential Learning

Tips for Field Period™ Supervisors

Hosting an Field Period™ student is a wonderful and exciting thing to do. Students can bring fresh ideas and perspectives to your daily business operations. They are developing professional skills necessary to be successful in the workplace.

As a Field Period™ supervisor, you will lead them through this development, while providing them opportunities to learn and grow as professionals. With proper planning and dedication to the overall Field Period™ experience, you will not only provide your student with a successful, hands-on learning experience, but will enhance your own leadership and mentoring skills.

Prepare for your Field Period™ student’s arrival:

Suggestions for Day One: Get acquainted

Provide a one-on-one orientation to familiarize your Field Period™ student with his or her new surroundings and to establish basic expectations for the duration of the time on site. Cover any rules, regulations, and office protocol he or she is expected to follow.

In your role as a Field Period™ site supervisor, you may enjoy providing your student with some information about your own career history and aspirations and discussing his or her own goals as well.

Be patient during the learning process:

Your Field Period™ student may be experiencing a totally new work environment and may be unsure how to handle certain situations or challenges. Be prepared to offer guidance and insight in areas that you may consider routine.

Offer networking opportunities:

Offering your Field Period™ student the opportunity to connect with other professionals within your organization or industry can be invaluable. Introduce the student to a member of your staff whom you feel would relate to some of the experiences and challenges he or she may encounter during the Field Period™. Encourage your staff designate to share his or her insights into what it takes to be successful as a young professional in your industry.

Help your Field Period™ student reach his or her learning goals:

Before the Field Period™ begins, you will receive and must approve a Learning Contract which outlines the measurable learning objectives and activities your Field Period™ student hopes to achieve during this experience. Please discuss these objectives and activities within the first few days your student is on site.

Provide feedback:

Constructive and honest feedback, to highlight achievements or outline areas for improvement, will help the student develop strategies to achieve success in the workplace.

Evaluate the student:

We ask that you complete an evaluation at the end of the Field Period™ in order to document the student’s performance at your site, to improve our Field Period™ program, and to offer insights to faculty evaluators also reviewing student portfolio development.