A bitter sweet ending
April 2, 2015

The past few months of this internship seemed to fly by, as did my senior year of college. Taking on an internship proved to be challenging during the school year, but I was able to learn a lot about the subject of coaching and about myself. The topic of coaching is very broad, but many of the coaching types can be applied to community coaching. Connecting these types to community coaching was my purpose during this internship, and it was a very interesting field to study.

I began the project by reading the literature from the Center For Rural Entrepreneurship’s previous efforts, and expanded the search by reading some of the referenced papers and books. While working on this, I happened upon a topic that led me through life coaching literature and ultimately to the subject of emotional intelligence. It just so happened that one of my classes had just had us take personality and motivation tests that closely related to the topic. Emotional intelligence was mentioned in one of my quiz results, and so it caught my attention immediately. Emotional intelligence applies to coaching because a coach must be aware of their feelings and beliefs so that they can step back and understand the situation and facts from the group’s point of view. It also helps in teaching the group members to do the same, allowing for individuality and creativity within the group. This proved to be a key point in the literature I found from the different types of coaching. This intersection of school and the internship project happened a few times and helped me to learn and actually apply the new knowledge, which is something I really liked.

I created a large source document and narrowed it down a bit later. From this smaller source list, I went through and summarized the information I wanted to include. The next step was to actually create the PowerPoint, which The Center will use for training community coaches. The tricky part for me with this step was storyboarding the PowerPoint so that it flowed smoothly and was more like a story to share than just a set of main points. After running into a minor roadblock with finding storyboarding programs, I ended up completing it manually and it turned out beautifully. This was just the overview PowerPoint that was meant to be 40-60 minutes long, and my next project was to create a drill-down PowerPoint of the same length. In this PowerPoint, I focused on the topics of Listening, Critical Thinking, and Adult Learning. I followed the same procedure for it and found that the literature flowed together smoothly, so it became much quicker to write the storyboard. The drill-down PowerPoint turned out well and lasted 45 minutes without any content reductions during editing, which saved a few hours.

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A slide on Strengths-Based Action in the drill-down PowerPoint.

As the internship and school year winds to a close, I can’t help but feel proud of what I produced and how the year went. I was surprised to find that Don will actually be using the material very, very soon on the UNK campus. Though it was a challenge, it helped to prepare me for entering the “real world,” though I have a suspicion that my working life will be less hectic than college has been. We will soon see about that though. I feel incredibly blessed to have had the opportunity to be an intern again and work with Don, Dana, and The Center For Rural Entrepreneurship. It was a great opportunity for me to learn and grow, and I can’t show enough appreciation. Nebraska really does hold the good life.

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Grass beside the West Center building.