Internship Reflection

by Dylan Ruffra

Last semester my student affairs internship was assisting in the Student Involvement Office as a Student Activities Graduate Intern. My two main tasks were to work with the Memorial Union Programming Board and the Student Ambassadors. Through helping with these different groups tried to aid these students critically think about the things they were planning for students. Another big task that I contributed to last semester was assessing the needs of why students were coming into the Student Involvement Office. Besides learning through these hands on activities, me and my internship supervisor, sat down on a bi-weekly basis to help me achieve my learning goals. This internship has given me a wealth of knowledge on how to work with student organizations, programming on a large scale, and finding the reasons that students used the Student Involvement Office.

In looking over the numbers, there was a lot of good information on why students used the office. The most notable thing was that students predominantly come into the office for programming tickets depending on the day of the week. There could be a bunch of students that come in for tickets and weeks when there were no tickets during a week; there was a lot less students coming in. Students were so used to us giving away free stuff that for the first couple of weeks we would have students come to our office to ask for football tickets. At the start of the semester til the end of October there were small amounts of student who would come to talk about student organizations. Many of these students were either looking for an organization or trying to make sure their organization was registered. Most of the Greek Life recruitment was finished in the first month or so of school, when most of the student came in to learn about Greek Life. Doing this research let the office determine the reasons why students want to come to the Student Involvement Office and maybe how they can promote what they have to offer.

During the semester I was in charge of the facilitation of several types of programs. I got to lead one of the biggest programs on our campus, Technology Bingo. We have a room in our Union that holds 500 students and we play about 10-12 rounds of bingo. Each round we gave away different technology items like ipads or apple watches. This is interesting program to run since we can only let a certain amount of students in. Students start lining up about two hours before we open the doors. As we were letting students in I had to monitor how many students came in and how many people we could still let in. Running large scale events like this also let me realize the different ways to plan things and how to help with events that have a high student population.

With planning the programs, there is a lot of organization that happens. For funding programming for the office comes from student government. First the aspect is figuring out what programming students like and what they want. Then we sat down and planned the schedule and tried to discuss collaboration with other offices. Once we had our schedule finalized it was shown to student government to see if the ideas fit into the budget and were approved. On an exciting note, the programs were approved by student government.

To me this internship was very beneficial in learning a new aspect of student affairs. I am still trying to learn what I want to do in the field so, this was a helpful experience. It gave me an opportunity to try diverse skills, in just one semester. I also got the experience of seeing another office and how they function. This experience gave me different skills and let me learn new things as I am learning in student affairs.

Student Affairs - the First Years

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