Field Study Student Resources: Making the Most of Your Placement


These resources are intended to help you make the most of our field study experience! 

How to Prepare for Your Fieldwork: 

  • Complete tests/background checks/live scans ahead of time.
  • Establish a recurring weekly schedule with your supervisor.
  • Review the 2023-2024 Student Flyer.
    • Pay close attention to
      • Learning Outcomes (Earning an APPLAUSE) 
      • Sample Assignments 
  • Track your hours. Here's a time log sample you can use.


How to Make the Most of Your Fieldwork Experience


  • Take initiative but accept guidance
    • Volunteer to take on other tasks, but only as much as you can handle while still doing quality work. Take this as an opportunity to learn from people who are more experienced than you, such as your supervisors. 
  • Communicate often
    • Socialize (with a filter); don't be afraid to get to know your fellow interns and be friendly with them! However, since it is a work environment, make sure to refrain from sharing too much personal information or behaving inappropriately.
    • Turn on your camera during Zoom Meetings & participate when appropriate.
    • Interns that do the best work tend to be those that communicate often with their supervisors.
    • Ask questions to learn more about and show interest in the place that you are working for.
    • Ask questions immediately when things are not clear to avoid miscommunication
    • Meet regularly with your supervisor to ensure that both of your expectations are being met.
      • This is a good way for you to get feedback on your performance and helps to keep you on track with current and future assignments.
    • Remember that quality of work is better than quantity of work!
      • Proofread your work. Communicate professionally.
    • Be observant and ask questions about appropriate behavior at the workplace.
      • Different organizations have different expectations regarding employee behavior and it is important that you learn about and conform to the corporate culture.
    • Be easy to work with.
      • Accept assignments without complaint, ask for more work when assignments are completed, and turn out good quality work
      • Go above and beyond to show that you are working diligently by reaching out to the supervisor for more work, rather than waiting
      • Listen carefully to instructions and ask for clarification
      • Learn to work as a team; be respectful of input from other team members and practice the art of compromising.

What to do if your site is not as expected?


  • Don't’ check out
    • Identify what is the issues and communicate with your supervisor (and the Field Study office when appropriate)
    • Be proactive about your experience, request clarification on task assignments or request additional tasks that better align with your interest. These may not always be available, but it’s always a good idea to advocate for yourself!
  • You will get out what you put in! Don’t burn a bridge!
    • Your attitude is the determining factor! If you come in with a poor attitude, you will create a poor experience!
    • Lasting impressions can follow you!  Every interaction you have as part of that internship will be seen as a reflection of your character and sometimes your work ethic!
    • Always think long term, in that you will not be in that position forever, but think about how you want to be remembered!
  • Always be polite and respectful
    • Remember there is still an opportunity to get a recommendation or to add a reference that will support you with a future opportunity
    • Appreciate the opportunity to add this experience to your resume.

Division of Career Pathways: Career Toolkit


  • Make sure the internship is project-based and you are obtaining meaningful work experience
  • Deliver high quality work and strive to exceed expectations
  • Take the initiative to seek additional responsibilities when you have completed your work
  • Develop mentor relationships with professionals across the organization
  • Maintain your network after the internship is over for future referrals and letters of recommendation
  • Remember! Be a team player. Every task is important and fits into the final product. What may seem like a small part of the process does have an impact on the end result


UCI Division of Career Pathways. “Career Toolkit.”

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