You’ve just completed the in class section of your program and it’s time to move onto your practicum.
Pratica are a critical part of your education meant to give you an idea of what working in your chosen field will be like. They are designed to give you practical experience and provide an edge when you enter the job market.
However, starting a practicum can be a daunting experience. Setting yourself up for success is important. Here are five tips to help you.
It’s important to have goals when you enter into your practicum. Take a moment to reflect on your in-class experience and try to understand what areas you’d like to improve upon during your practicum.
When you do begin, take the time to sit down with your supervisor and discuss the expectations they have for you, and what you want to gain from the experience. This can include regular feedback, talking about your strengths and weaknesses, and areas you would like more mentorship in.
Coworkers are an important part of every job. Even if your role has a great deal of autonomy, it’s quite likely you’ll be working as part of a greater team. Get to know the people you’ll be working with and learn how you can support each other in your respective roles.
Since you will be working closely with people on a daily basis, it’s critical to your success to build a good relationship with them. They may be able to give you some tips about your job you might not have learned in class, or they may even give you inspiration for your long-term goals.
Additionally, building good working relationships with practicum colleagues can go a long way when it comes to your professional network and references.
Treat your practicum like a job—because it is.
Even though you are there to learn, a practicum is meant to give you the on-the-job experience you can’t get from classroom learning alone. Take the time to get to know the ins and outs of your workplace, the team, and the role.
It’s important to understand that every new job– regardless of where you are at in your career – has a learning curve. Depending on the job, it could take weeks or even months to learn the particulars of how a company or team operates. Each workplace has its unique processes and ways of operating. You won’t be expected to know the ins and outs right away.
Even though a practicum is meant to give an accurate representation of what a career is like, it’s still part of your education. It’s a chance for you to learn on the job, with the expectation that you’ll make mistakes.
This means it’s your chance to try new things, and to learn what works and what doesn’t. Your practicum supervisor is there to help you learn from you mistakes, not to get you in trouble. It’s a bit of a safety net, and making mistakes or taking chances in a practicum means you’ll have that knowledge to draw from when you start your new career in the field.
At the end of your practicum, it’s important to take the time to reflect on what you have learned. You'll have the opportunity to participate in an official, but it's also important to take the time for personal reflection and determine if you've met your goals, and where you can improve when you enter the workforce.
Determine if you met your goals and accomplished what you set out to do. Discussing your performance with your supervisor can be a great way to do that, and they may even be able to give you advice on the areas you should be focusing on when you get your first job.
Becoming an expert at anything takes years of training, and feedback is critical. Everyone has weaknesses and it’s important to get feedback so you can work on improving yours and work towards becoming an expert.
Setup for Success
A practicum is a valuable component of your education, and we want you to make the most of it.
It’s important to do what you can to succeed through your practicum. The experience and knowledge you gain from it can be critical to long-term success in your new career. Keeping a professional attitude, focusing on improving from the start to the end, and considering the advice of your supervisor and coworkers will help you achieve your goals.