5.4 Preparing for Field Placement

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”
– Benjamin Franklin

Questions to Consider:

  • What is a Field Placement?
  • How can Field Placement prepare me for my career ?
  • What knowledge, skills, abilities and resources can help me succeed in my Field Placement?

Free photos of Internship

Praktikum. Image by Uli-W from Pixabay 

Field Placement – Your map to a successful career

A field placement in your chosen field helps you apply your knowledge, skills and abilities into the working world. During field placement you will learn about who you truly are, and can be, as a working professional. You will discover important knowledge about the work world. You will gain more information to help you make solid career decisions. You will get experience that will increase your qualifications. You will be more prepared to reach your professional goals. And the good news is that Centennial College is set up to help you gain this valuable experiential knowledge.

Is Field Placement going to be paid or unpaid?

Field placement is a non paid placement where you will be expected to practice, demonstrate, reflect and document your learning while assuming the role of a placement student “employee”. You will work a full 8 hour shift  per day, at the agency. You will be reporting to several people while in this role as follows:

Field Supervisor – A faculty member from the college who will overlook your field placement and support you during your placement. They will visit and observe you while you work at the agency. They are responsible to all field placement related assessments and evaluation related to the field placement.

Mentor – A full time employee at your placement agency who will mentor you as you assume the role of a placement student “employee”. You will shadow them, demonstrate best practices and you will learn, practice and demonstrate your learning to them. The mentor will provide you with constructive feedback so you can grow as a professional in your chosen field. They will also observe and evaluate you based on the requirements stated in the Field Placement Manual.

Centre Supervisor – The supervisor of the agency you are placed at. This person overlooks your orientation and maintains documentation of all placement students working at the agency. The centre supervisor interviews student employees to ensure they are a good fit for the agency. They are also your future employers! Many students are offered a full time position with the same agency they completed their field placements during the diploma.

Before you start placement – Learn About Yourself

Gaining self-knowledge is a lifelong process, and college is the perfect time to gain and adapt this fundamental information. Following are some of the types of information that you should have about yourself:

  • Interests: Things that you like and want to know more about. These often take the form of ideas, information, knowledge, and topics.
  • Skills/Aptitudes: Things that you either do well or can do well. These can be natural or learned and are usually skills—things you can demonstrate in some way. Some of your skills are “hard” skills, which are specific to jobs and/or tasks. Others are “soft” skills, which are personality traits and/or interpersonal skills that accompany you from position to position.
  • Values: Things that you believe in. Frequently, these are conditions and principles.
  • Personality: Things that combine to make each person distinctive. Often, this shows in the way you present yourselves to the world. Aspects of personality are customarily described as qualities, features, thoughts, and behaviors.

In addition to knowing the things you can and like to do, you must also know your strengths. During your Field Placement, you will get trained as well as assessed for what you know, what you can do, and how well or deeply you demonstrate these skills. Think of these as your Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs). Field placement is your first step in preparation of  your career. As a placement student think of yourself as carrying a “tool kit.” In your tool kit are the KSAs that you bring to each job. As you gain experience, you learn how best to use your tools. You gain more tools and use some more often than others, but all the tools you gather during the Field Placement work experience will stay with you in some form.

As you commence your experiential journey it is important to prepare for and learn more about all required documents related to your Field Placement. Field Placement Manual, is provided to you during all your Field Placements by the college. You will learn how to use this document during your Field Prep course.

Key Takeaways

  • It is important to learn about yourself as you start preparing for your Field Placement
  • You will get to learn and demonstrate your knowledge, skills and abilities during your Field Placement
  • Field Placement experience will prepare you to work in your chosen career

Attributions and References

Contains adaptations from:

Baldwin, A. (2020). College Success. Provided by: Open Stax.
Book URL: Access for free at https://openstax.org/books/college-success/pages/1-introduction
Section URL: https://openstax.org/books/college-success/pages/12-2-your-map-to-success-the-career-planning-cycle
License: CC BY: Attribution

Image Praktikum by Uli-W from Pixabay 


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Fundamentals for Success in College Copyright © 2022 by Priti Parikh, Centennial College is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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