Formal Service Learning Opportunities: Engineering Internships in Social Entrepreneurship Organizations
International Journal of Service Learning in Engineering
Over the past three years, a collaboration between the School of Engineering and the ABC Center for DEF at the University of the XYZ has provided students with internship opportunities at five different social entrepreneurship organizations distributed among six countries. The summer internship program administered by the ABC Center seeks to provide an enriching experience for participants, to raise awareness of the broad application of social entrepreneurship across different disciplines, and provide qualified student assistance to organizations seeking specific help. Working with the socially entrepreneurial organization, students were required to apply problem-solving skills in environments where language, culture, technical support, and supervision were very different from levels experienced during their more ‘traditional’ internships in the United States. These internships in social entrepreneurship allowed students to learn first-hand that successfully implementing projects in other countries requires strong technical skills and a fundamental understanding of local cultural, political, and contextual factors. At the institutional level, lessons learned included the importance of forming strategic partnerships to increase opportunities and capitalize on limited resources, and the need to use existing frameworks to facilitate student involvement in such service-learning opportunities.
Fernandez, A. A.,
Formal Service Learning Opportunities: Engineering Internships in Social Entrepreneurship Organizations.
International Journal of Service Learning in Engineering, 7(1), 40–52.