Considerations In Choosing A Supervisor and Internship Site

As a student looking for a practicum site and supervisor, it is important to not only look at the site and the clients that you will be working with, but the qualities of your supervisor. This is a commitment that you will be involved with for a major portion of your academic career. It was through my own internship and supervisor that I gained the majority of my knowledge and confidence as a behavior analyst. I know I have said this before, but I will reiterate: DO YOUR HOMEWORK! Ask questions; truly get to know the person who will inevitably have an impact on your educational and professional life.

Take some time to think about yourself and what you need to be successful both academically as well as professionally. I have listed some questions to think about and take into consideration when considering a practicum or intern site and supervisor.

“The important things to consider is to be sure to ask questions and to try not to be so eager into an internship. ”

  1. What motivates you?
  2. The best way you learn best?
  3. What qualities you look for in a leader or teacher?
  4. What type of setting or environment are you looking to gain a lot of experience?
  5. What demographic of clientele are you looking to work with?

Next, are some questions to consider when considering a potential supervisor.

  1. What are their credentials (educational background, experience, research interests, etc.)?
  2. What is their availability/schedule in providing you with supervision?
  3. How many supervisees are they currently providing supervision to?
  4. Are there opportunities to complete research experiments?
  5. Are there opportunities to gain experience in multiple locations/settings/environments?

There are definitely more topics to think about and questions to ask. Consider this a starting point for your research. The important things to consider is to be sure to ask questions and to try not to be so eager into an internship. Thankfully, I had a great experience through my internship and learned a great deal through my supervisor.