Publication Date

Spring 5-10-2021

Document Type

Action research project: Open access

Degree Name

MA Higher Education Leadership


Leadership Studies


Research shows that students who participate in an on-campus internship during their time as an undergraduate can have positive impacts on their leadership and professional development (Matteo & You, 2020). The positive impact of partaking in an on-campus internship has prompted higher education professionals to investigate the specific benefits that are provided through these internship programs as well as the structure of such programs. This study sought to improve my understanding of being a mentor and how I can create space and opportunity for my student interns to work towards leadership and professional development and how those skillsets can be transferable to their intended careers. By working with health promotion student interns and conducting one-on-one interviews, journal prompts, and surveys, I was able to gain greater insight into the ways of supporting student interns and structuring internship programs that directly and positively impact their leadership and professional development. This study found that student interns who reported high levels of satisfaction with their leadership and professional development opportunities and relationships with supervisors had a more positive internship experience overall. The findings from this study can be used to implement more inclusive and available resources that aid in student’s personal growth, leadership, and professional development while attending a university.