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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)



First Advisor

Qingwen Dong

First Committee Member

Carol Ann Hackley

Second Committee Member

Alan Ray


The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between internships and Social and Emotional Competence (SEC). SEC was conceptualized as the combination of Emotional and Social Intelligence. Increasingly, areas of SEC have become the subject of research, because SEC enables people to use emotions advantageously to achieve desired outcomes. Measures of seven components of SEC (self-awareness, selfperception, self-regulation, self-motivation, self-ownership, empathy, and social awareness) were evaluated. Qualitative phone interviews were conducted with 21 undergraduate and graduate Communication students whom had recently served as interns. All interviews were recorded and transcribed. Research questions sought to evaluate the effect of internships on (1) self-awareness and self-perception; (2) self-regulation and self-management; (3) self-motivation and career development; and (4) empathy, social awareness and relationship skills. The majority of subjects reported increases in all areas of SEC after the internship process.

In addition, a formal survey of members of the Educators Academy of Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) was conducted to compare internship guidelines by professors at other universities. Eleven professional educators responded. Results found that interns from University of the Pacific's Communication program were being held to the highest standard, in terms of supervision and guidance.



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