Sample Essay on Internship Filed Based Learning

Internship Filed Based Learning

Learning Journal 1

  1. Summarize (with correct references and sourcing) the required articles

in studying organization, there is ongoing learning of its members, and continuous transformation (Garvin, Edmondson & Gino, 2008). The idea of modern companies to embrace the learning organization concept has been necessitated by the many pressures that they have to deal with. In order for them to remain competitive in their field of operation, they have deemed it necessary toado the learning organization concept. Through this concept, an organization is encouraged embrace a somewhat interconnected way of thinking. As a result, the individuals working in a learning organization feel as though they are working within a community, and this appeal to their sense of commitment to them. Consequently, employees in such organizations tend to work harder because they fell committed to it.

In his book, Peter Senge guides us into understanding the norms, values, as well as behavioural patterns that characterise a learning organization. He also helps us to fully comprehend the principles of the learning organisation. In part 1 of the fifth discipline titled, “How our actions create our reality…. and how we can change it”, Senge explores the concept of systems thinking and how it engages us with a view to shifting our minds. Senge also uses psychological experiments to demonstrate how rational individuals need to first realise that they are part of the system so that they can then change it effectively.

In part I of his book, Senge has devoted his attention to developing the argument that as individuals, we then to, by and large, create own reality. In other words, the solutions to the challenges or problems that we often encounter are within our reach and as such. Senge thus contends that we possess in us the ability to decide our destiny. In chapter I, Senge (1990) examines the “Level” concept of the leverage points that are to be found in a system. In “a Lever”, big differences can be obtained from the smallest efforts. Here, Senge has also introduced the five disciplines of the learning organization. They are: personal mastery, systems thinking, shared vision, mental models, and team learning. In chapter 2, Senge has sought to describe into details the seven learning disabilities that, according to Senge (1990) usually lead to organizational failure. These learning disabilities are: the enemy out there, taking charge, events fixation, being in my position, the boiled frog parable, learning from experience and its delusion, and the management team myth. Senge further argues that mastering the disciplines can help to overcome these disabilities.

Under chapter 3, Senge seeks to demonstrate how rational individuals form part of the system using the beer game as an example. He also argues that acting in isolation could see individuals faced with challenges related to their individual behaviours and thinking.

On the other hand, Gault, Redington and Schlager (2000) in their article, present the findings of a study of how early career success relates to past participation of an individual in an undergraduate field internship. The study involved a survey of nonintern and intern business alumni of a U.S. public university. The research findings revealed that internship experience among undergraduate field interns culminated in numerous advantages, including an increase in monetary compensation, limited time to gain first position, as well as enhanced overall job satisfaction (Gault et al., 2000). The report also discusses various positive implications for university administrators, marketing educators, and intern employers. At New Canadians Centre where I am on placement as the Program Assistant to the Community Connection Program, I can attest to the fact that the experience that I have thus gained from the organization, coupled with the support that I get from the team leaders, has helped to enhance my level of satisfaction with my position of work. While I am not being paid as an intern, I , nonetheless, feel fulfilled in the contributions that I make to the organisation but more importantly, the sense of belonging that I feel while here. This is because all of us are regarded as one large family.  I am free to discuss job-related issues with my superiors and I know that my input shall not be taken for granted.

McCarthy and McCarthy (2010) report that case studies are among “the most popular teaching tools used in business colleges and universities throughout the United States” (p. 2012). In spite of this popularity, McCarthy and McCarthy note that this teaching tool cannot substitute “learning that occurs from a direct, personal encounter with the phenomenon being investigated” (2010, p. 201). The authors have examined experiential learning theory, and the function of experiential programs with respect to the business curriculum.

  1. Apply the theory to the organization (integration). Is your organisation a learning organisation?

Experiential learning entails learning through experience. In experiential learning, environmental and personal experiences combine to ensure that an individual continuously gain knowledge (Merriam, Caffarella & Baumgartner, 2007).  This is because even in the absence of a teacher, experiential learning can still go on as it is principally reliant on the direct experience of an individual (Merriam et al., 2007). On the other hand, even as gaining knowledge tends to be a natural and hence inherent process certain elements are needed in order to obtain a genuine learning experience. For example, experiential learning requires that the learner reflect on the experiences. In this type of learning, possessing and the application of analytical skills are vital for the learner, to enable him/her conceptualize the experience. It is crucial that the learner possess problem solving and decision making skills as a means of utilizing the novel ideas gotten from the experience.  It is not unusual for employees in a learning organization to experience experiential learning.

A learning organisation can be identified by four crucial traits: sharing and accessibility of information, emphasizing on and valuing learning, not punishing failures or mistakes, and constant learning of the human resource (Mitleton-Kelly, n.d.).  Mitleton-Kelly (2003) contends that one of the defining characteristics of a learning organization is the ability to alter mind-sets and behaviours through experience.

My organisation, New Canadians Centre is committed to supporting refugees, newcomers, and immigrants. New Canadians Centre overseas the settlement of individuals born outside of Canada but who reside in Peterborough, Haliburton, Northumberland, and Kawartha Lakes regions. On this, NCC offer such services as referral, information and orientation, computer services, initial needs assessment, and solution-oriented counselling. At New Canadians Centre, we acknowledge the importance of newcomers to find meaningful employment opportunities upon their arrival in Canada. Such newcomers are all too often confounded with the daunting challenge of having to search job advertisements, write cover letters and resumes, establish networks with local employers, as well as prepare for job interviews. Having recognized these challenges that newcomers in Canada encounter, New Canadians Centre is committed to helping this group of people. On this, NCC offers newcomers various types of help (New Canadians Centre Peterborough, 2008). To begin with there are the employment services that cover the various employment programs that the New Canadian Centre offer. Then there are the employment links that enable these newcomers looking for jobs to connect to Internet job listings in the locality, in addition to other employment agencies that are to be found in the region.  In addition, NCC assists immigrants by offering them basic information on immigration processes and options, as well as in assisting them with immigration forms. New Canadians Centre also provides newcomers to Canada with employment links, employment programs and other resources like news articles, videos, links, and publications. Since New Canadians Centre values sharing learning and gives individuals access to information, it is thus a learning organization.

Reflect on your position, contributions, and role

At New Canadians Centre, where I am on placement, my position is that of Program Assistant to Community Connection Program. Under this position, I am charged with the responsibility of assisting in the planning and activities of the 2015 Multicultural Canada Day Festival. In addition, I am also involved in the volunteer recruitment and placement with a view to fulfilling the various tasks and multicultural festival, as well as data entry.

The event will be held on Wednesday 1st July 2015, at Del Crary Park. This will be an opportunity for newcomers in Peterborough to showcase the different aspects of their culture such as crafts, food, and performances, and also get an opportunity to share these with others. Last year, nearly 10,000 people took part in the Multicultural Canada Day Festival. The event was a great success, thanks to the 100 volunteers recruited by the New Canadians Centre. I am now faced with the uphill task of having to better this record set last year. Accordingly, I plan on undertaking an aggressive recruitment exercise of volunteers who will assist in organising sports demonstrations, food and craft vendors, family activities, and stage performances.


Garvin, D.A., Edmondson, A.C., & Gino, F. (2008). Is Yours a Learning

Organization? Harvard Business Review, 1-10.

Gault, J., Redington, J., & Schlager, T. (2000). Undergraduate Business

Internships and Career Success: Are They Related? Journal of

Marketing Education, 22(1), 45-53

McCarthy, P.R., & McCarthy, H.M. (2006). When Case Studies Are Not

Enough: Integrating Experiential Learning into Business Curricula.

Journal of Education for Business, 81(4), 201-204.

Merriam, S.B.,  Caffarella, R. S., & Baumgartner, L. M. (2007). Learning in

adulthood: a comprehensive guide. San Francisco: John Wiley &

Sons, Inc.

New Canadians Centre Peterborough (2008). Who we are. Retrieved from

Welcome to the New Canadians Centre

Senge, P.M. (2006).  The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The

Learning Organization. New York: Doubleday.

Mitleton-Kelly, E. (2003). ‘Ten Principles of Complexity & Enabling

Infrastructures’ in ‘Complex Systems & Evolutionary Perspectives of

            Organisations: The Application of Complexity Theory to

            Organisations’, London: Elsevier

Mitleton-Kelly, E (n.d.). What are the Characteristics of a Learning

            Organization? Retrieved from



Learning Journal 2

  1. Summarize (with correct references and sourcing) the required articles

Under part II of his book Senge (1990) in chapter 4 has made very interesting observations. First, He notes that yesterday’s solutions give birth to today’s problems. He further notes that when we have pushed the system hard, to the limit, it, in turn, also tend to push back at us in the same measure. Senge further notes that before behaviour can grow worse, it has to first grow better, and that there should be no blame in the system (Senge, 1990). Under chapter five titled, “A Shift of Mind”, Senge contends that interactions in the modern world have become so complex that it necessitates systems thinking. On this, Senge contrast dynamic complexity with detail complexity. Here, cause and effect tend to be, by and large, subtle. Senge also argues that planning, analysis methods and convention forecasting have limited use in dynamic complexity (Senge, 1990). However, the systems context is geared towards the non-obvious and expanded consequences of actions, as well as a long-term view.

According to Senge (1990), a systems perspective traces the source and effect, and causality via feedback loops, and causality via feedback loops. The positive reinforcing feedback system is such that small actions have the potential to develop into large consequences. For instance, an organization could realise sales growth through word of mouth only. Senge contends that balancing feedback loop is fundamental to all goals seeking behaviour. For instance, an organisation whose goal is to maintain a targeted cash balance will decide to either continue comparing the actual cash balance realised with the cash balance it desires to achieve.

Under part II of the book, Senge has endeavoured to help us gain a deeper understanding of the four key disciplines. These, according to Senge include shared vision, personal mastery, team learning, and mental models.  Personal mastery involves continued deepening and clarifying of our individual vision. Mental models entails deeply engrained generalisations, assumptions, images, and picture that affects the way we understand the world and the manner in which we take action. Mental models can be unearthed through several skills: balancing advocacy and inquiry and acknowledging leaps of abstraction (Senge, 1990). Shared vision refers to what the organization wants to create. On the other hand, team learning or learning together calls for experimentation, and room for practice.

Garvin, Edmondson and Gino (2008) argue that advances in technology, shifting customer preferences and tougher competition have all combined and compelled companies to become learning organizations. According to Garvin et al (2008), “in a learning organization, employees continually create, acquire, and transfer knowledge-helping their company adapt to the unpredictable faster than rival’s can “(p. 1). On the other hand, not many companies are able to achieve this ideal. This, according to Garvin (2008), is because managers are ill-informed about the exact procedure involved in the establishment of a learning organization.

More importantly, most companies lack the necessary tools for evaluating if their teams are learning “or how that learning is benefiting the company” (Garvin, 2008, p. 1). The authors have further proposed three building blocks that define a learning organisation as below:

  • A supportive learning environment: where employees can safely disagree amongst themselves,
  • present their individual viewpoints, as well as owning up to mistakes
  • Leadership that reinforces learning: leaders in the organization depict the value of spending time to transfer knowledge, identify problems, and reflection. This is a clear demonstration that they are willing to listen to alternative viewpoints.
  • Concrete learning process: a company or team characterised by formal processes in compiling, dissemination, and interpretation of information

In their article, Kolb and Kolb (2005) have drawn heavily on the foundational theories of Kurt Lewin and John Dewey, as they seek to assess “recent developments in theory and research on experiential learning” (Kolb & Kolb, 2005, p. 193). In addition, the authors have also examined how their work can improve experiential learning in higher education. More importantly, the authors have introduced the idea of learning space to enable them to better understand the interaction between institutional learning environment and student learning styles. Kolb and Kolb (2005) have made sue of three case studies in an attempt to demonstrate the utilisation of learning space framework.

  1. Apply the theory to the organization (integration). Is your organisation a learning organisation?

In a learning culture, the organizational systems, practices and values are set in such a manner as to encourage and support the organization and individual in it to increase competence, performance levels, and knowledge, on a continuous basis. As a result, the organisation benefits from. At New Canadians Centre, the management team is committed to promoting personal capacity-building. It does this by encouraging the development and realization of organisational and personal goals. In addition, the management challenges its staff to rethink the way that they look at the world and especially the non-profit organisation sector where New Canadians Centre is a key member, by encouraging them to develop and implement friendly and innovative strategies of dealing with the challenges faced by immigrants, newcomers, and refugee in its areas of operation. Another important thing that is worth mentioning about New Canadians Centre is that the organisations encourages the development of a shared vision, as well as a sense of collective commitment in regards to where the organisation has set its eyes on going, and the manner in which it intends to achieve such a goal. Since the organisation has very clear vision and mission statements, it has made it easier for its employees, including those who are recruited as volunteers to work towards the achievements of its goals. This is because the hiring or new staff and/or recruitment of volunteers is planned in such a way as to ensure that those recruited shared in the mission and vision of New Canadians Centre. Consequently, the individuals and organisation share common goals and hence these can be aligned for increased competency.

iii. Reflect on your position, contributions, and role

Being on placement at an organization is a chance for a student to apply the theory that they have learned in class into practice. It is also a chance for those on placement to be exposed to the way in which different organizations conduct their activities.            In my case, my current place of placement is the New Canadians Centre, a non-governmental organization that is involved in the provision of various services to newcomers, immigrants, and refugees in the Kawartha Lakes, Peterborough, Northumberland and Haliburton regions (New Canadians Centre Peterborough, 2008). The type of services that my organization provides to these newcomers includes settlement, community connections program, community outreach, and English Language training, among others.

My position at New Canadians Centre is that of a Program Assistant to Community Connection Program. This position comes with various responsibilities, including the recruitment and placement of volunteers who will assist the organization to plan for activities that will take place in the 2015 Multicultural Canada Day Festival. This is a cultural event that brings together newcomers, immigrants and refugees in Peterborough and affords them a platform to demonstrate to various aspects of their culture such as food, craft vendors, and different family activities. Seeing as the 2014 Multicultural Canada Day Festival was a real success, I feel challenges to meet the same standard, if not do better. I am also actively involved in data entry activities whereby I ensure that information pertaining to the newcomers who are in need of the various services on offer at New Canadian Centres has been input into our system.


Garvin, D.A., Edmondson, A.C., & Gino, F. (2008). Is Yours a Learning

Organization? Harvard Business Review, 1-10.

Kolb, A.Y., & Kolb, D.A. (2005). Learning Styles and Learning Spaces:

Enhancing Experiential Learning in Higher Education. Academy of

Management Learning & Education, 4(2),193-212.

New Canadians Centre Peterborough (2008). What we do. Retrieved from

Senge, P.M. (2006).  The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The

Learning Organization. New York: Doubleday.