This Friday culminates the third week back at Keuka College. Unlike most college students who have been taking their spring semester classes for about a month or so, Keuka students get a longer break than normal, not because they need more time to hang out in between classes, but because they need enough time to complete the experience that makes Keuka College unique: the Field Period.
The vision of Keuka College is to become the world leader in hands-on, experiential learning. The Field Period is integral to its mission; it is the “Keuka difference.” At other schools, internships are possible, and encouraged, but at Keuka, a mandatory, 140-hour, 3-credit internship allows students to explore job possibilities, to make professional connections, to apply what they learn from the classroom, and to graduate with a competitive resume. And this happens for every year a student attends Keuka. These outcomes are definitely true for me, and I now have four Field Periods under my belt.
So now, having recently completed my 2012 Field Period, what better to talk about than my experiences and how it has helped me? I can add that when I made the decision to come to Keuka, price, location, and other factors primarily influenced my choice, and the Field Period was merely an added perk. I hadn’t known when I was a senior in high school, making my official college decisions, just how important the Field Period would be to me, so here is my story; I hope it helps inform your decision.
According to the Recent Graduate Survey:
Although I am not yet a graduate (I still have one more year to go), my Field Period supervisor, Linda, the head librarian at Lightner Library, offered me a summer job working the circulation desk, shelving books, helping patrons, and doing other tasks. Normally, she told me, this job would be posted on Stormtracker (Keuka’s online job portal), but I saved her the trouble. “You know what you’re doing, and I know I can trust you.”
Since I plan on getting my MLS (Master of Library Science) after Keuka, this is wonderful praise. I am also excited for the continued opportunity to gain experience and credibility in the field. So now that you know how successful I have been in this aspect, let me tell you a little more about the rest of my experience.
Field Periods require 140 working hours on the student’s part, and you also need to submit:
In my summary paper, I organized my learning experiences into three main categories: practical skill development, specialized library skills, and my own personal initiatives. Each area not only helped me develop my understanding of the library profession, but I also believe it contributed back to the library in a number of ways:
After glimpsing my exciting (and final) Field Period experience (and know that the possibilities are almost limitless), I hope you have a slightly better idea of what makes Keuka so special. And believe me, in this day and age, with the economy how it is, practical approaches to job hunting are important. If you want to know more about particular Field Period experiences, check out Keuka’s online news site. Enjoy!