In its 20th year, Gen&WS 660: Internship in Gender and Women’s Studies is a course offered every spring for graduating Gender and Women’s Studies students through an application and interview process. The internship course provides a venue for students to put theory into practice, to participate in community-based organizations, to engage in a service-learning course and to think critically about participating as feminists in activism. It is designed to provide students with opportunities to learn and work in organizations in ways that connect their coursework in gender and women’s studies to specific issues in the community, while also developing a professional skill set.
The seminar provides a framework to think critically, through discussion, readings and assignments, about how practice is informed by theory and experience, as well as how theory informs our practice. The seminar allows students to learn about the wide range of organizations in our community that work on issues related to gender and social change, as well as activism around social justice and feminism. In addition, the internship program offers students the opportunity to develop and enhance skills directly transferable to a professional setting.
Instructor: Nina Valeo Cooke, MSW, firstname.lastname@example.org
Weekly seminar (3-credits) meets Wednesdays, 1:20 - 3:50 pm
Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Alliance for Women's Health, the Office of the Gender & Women's Studies Librarian, PATCH - Providers and Teens Communicating on Health, Wisconsin Women's Council, Girls, Inc., the Guerilla Feminist, Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault, End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin, and others.
Why enroll in this class?
Gen&WS 660 internship sites are vetted! We invite organizations to participate with a clear set of expectations and a commitment to provide meaningful, rigorous, and autonomous learning opportunities for students.
The seminar portion of Gen&WS 660 makes this course unique and, frankly, magical. The seminar brings students together to learn from each other about different professional settings and rethink what feminist work can look like. Together, the internship and the seminar set the stage for a professional network that can launch your early career.
Do I need to have an internship before I apply?
No. The Gen&WS 660 instructor recruits a group of internship sites and supervisors who will interview students. Students contact the agencies where they are interested in working to arrange an interview. The agency then selects the intern that they would like to hire.
Can I continue with an internship that I already have?
This is certainly a possibility. Reach out and let Nina know more about the situation and we’ll see how we can make it work.
What if I am not offered an internship?
We have many partners looking for an intern from this seminar. All the students who enroll in the course will have an internship.
Students get out of the internship experience what they put in to the experience. From the very start students are expected to set goals to measure their growth throughout the semester. Even before the semester begins, prospective students will reflect and clarify on what they hope to learn during an internship experience through the application process, as well as how a commitment like this will fit into their schedule.
The goal is to bring together a group of GWS students excited to step outside of the classroom to engage in feminist praxis while learning about what feminist work can look like in a variety of community-based settings. Students will leave this course with a more developed set of professional skills and an increased level of professional confidence.
Applications are available now and are due Monday, November 4 at 3 pm. Email applications to email@example.com or hand deliver them to 3318 Sterling Hall.
Conversational interviews with Nina will be scheduled for the first week of November and students will be notified about admission to the program before enrollment for spring begins on November 11.
The goal is to keep this seminar to fewer than 20 students. If necessary, priority will be given to graduating and senior GWS students. However, all GWS majors and certificate students are encouraged to apply.
Student Learning Outcomes
- Apply knowledge of gender and women’s studies to practical and professional experiences outside of the classroom.
- Develop a professional feminist network.
- Engage in feminist social change and social justice.
- Gain professional experiences and skills to further personal goals.
- Further understanding of gender & women’s studies application in professional settings and career development.
Expectations for Interns
- Complete 10-12 hours of work each week at their internship site.
- Be prepared, present, and engaged as a professional in their internship setting.
- Attend, prepare for and actively participate in the weekly seminar.
- Complete course assignments, including visit another internship site, and projects as required in the syllabus.
What do alums of the program have to say?
This is a fantastic and valuable class – I learned so much!
I gained a lot of knowledge about feminist activism that I haven’t learned in other GWS courses.
The combination of internship experience and advanced coursework was very unique and valuable.
The field experience is incredibly valuable & I made SO many wonderful and important connections.
It is a wonderful experience – both the internship and the supportive (learning) community.
I learned SO much. This class is so valuable every GWS student should take it!