Undergraduate Internship: WGST 49003
The WGST undergraduate internship is a three-hour course that gives students the chance to apply their classroom learning in the workplace. During a semester, students work 10 hours per week with a company or non-profit agency whose mission relates to women and gender. The internship allows students to gain invaluable professional experience, build their resumes and portfolios, and develop a network of contacts beyond TCU.
Although students are responsible for finding their own internships, WGST faculty and staff can help students identify organizations that match their personal and professional interests. WGST works with various community partners in Fort Worth, including SafeHaven of Tarrant County, Ladder Alliance, the Center for Transforming Lives (formerly the YWCA), Refugee Services of Texas, The Net of Fort Worth, the Cowgirl Museum, The Fort Worth Women’s Center, Girls Inc., and ACH Child and Family Services. Additional information about internships is available on FrogJobs. WGST faculty also support students throughout the internship semester, providing mentorship and helping students connect their work with WGST theories and concepts. The internship is graded on a P/NC basis.
During the course of the internship, students will:
- Attain professional experience in an organization that addresses issues related to women and/or gender.
- Apply the theories and concepts learned in WGST courses to analyze their work-related experiences.
- Describe, analyze, and evaluate (through medium such as journals, meetings with the faculty supervisor, samples of internship work, a final paper, and/or a presentation to the TCU WGST community) tasks performed and knowledge and skills utilized, enhanced, or learned.
- Students should meet with the TCU Internship Supervisor the semester before they plan to take the course. Students interning in the fall should have their internships set up and approved no later than the first Monday in August; students interning in the spring should have their internships approved by the end of finals weeks in December. (Transfer students with late advising/registration dates should contact the TCU Internship Supervisor no later than the week before classes begin.)
- Students set up working hours with the agency. Interns should have made all arrangements needed to start work no later than the beginning of the second week of class.
- The Learning Contract, which the student will develop in conjunction with her internship supervisor, is due no later than the end of the third week of class.
TCU Policy on Internships: TCU offers hundreds of internships in any given semester and does not support political or personal statements associated with any of them. We evaluate each opportunity to ensure academic value as it relates to a course of study. Beyond that, we encourage students to seek the opportunities that best match their interests and to choose how to best fulfill their internship requirements. We understand that students will encounter complex issues during the internship semester. The WGST Internship Supervisor works to support students as they navigate the complexities of applying feminist theories and concepts in the workplace.
Student Intern Spotlight:
Name: Lana Fuller
Agency: Girls’ Inc.
What I did: As a Girls Inc intern, I worked as a mentor and facilitated a weekly after-school program at a local library and crisis center in a predominantly Hispanic low socio-economic area of Fort Worth. I worked with elementary and middle school aged girls and reported to a licensed social worker who reviewed my work and managed my progress. The after-school programs I facilitated consisted of snack time, homework help, and modules where I held anti-peer pressure/ bullying and self-esteem building workshops. I utilized the concepts in the Girls, Inc binders for the workshop but evolved them by utilizing Pinterest ideas and my own creativity to make these workshops more relevant and interesting based on the age and personality of the girls in the groups I was facilitating.
What I learned: I developed a rapport with these young girls and became the trusted adult in the room, which at twenty-one was very eye opening. I learned about these young girls’ misfortunes and hopes and dreams. I started to notice the concepts that were talked about in WGST courses in real-life situations. I also found ways in which I was privileged while growing up and how I could use those opportunities I was afforded to grow this next generation (I.e. supplying them with holiday parties that Girls Inc, wasn’t able to fund as a nonprofit with strict budgets and sometimes supplies for them to run for class officer positions or projects). Then, I was able to empathize with their oppression in the school system and treatment of their parents due to them being of a non-white ethnicity and female. So, I saw a lot of how intersectionality plays a role on how many obstacles you face in life and how it starts at a young age.
I think everyone should do an internship through the WGST program because you gain real-life insight into what you are learning in the classroom. This step outside of your comfort zone will show you a need for higher education programs like WGST and ways in which you can take the classroom teachings to help the community.
My takeaway from my internship? Let’s grow strong women by starting at the foundation and reaching out to the youth of our community.
Student Intern Spotlight:
Name: Bernice Ogbondah
Agency: Refugee Services of Texas, Fort Worth
What I did: As the Advocacy Intern at RST Fort Worth, I was responsible for assembling a volunteer advocacy group and planning opportunities for this group to visit the offices of local and state elected officials. I also did office tasks and interacted with RST staff and clients.
What I learned:
My time at refugee services was extraordinarily enlightening. Most importantly, I learned how challenging advocacy work can be. I had to frame my advocacy work to make sure that I was non-partisan and that my arguments were relevant to people with a wide range of positions about refugees. I found that it is difficult to get meetings with politicians and their staffers, and I tried to make sure that the politicians knew that the clients that I was advocating for are their constituents and that Fort Worthians from all walks of life support the refugee community. I also learned a lot of about service. Many RST clients come from very traumatic situations and from different cultural norms. Being able to think intersectionally about the ways that different women experience oppression and discrimination was critical and helped me connect with clients.