Loyola students have three options when it comes to internships:
SC401: The sociology internship and practicum is designed as a pre-professional experience for sociology majors and minors and other students interested in the field of sociology. Students complete a minimum of 150 hours in their placement site over the course of the semester and participate in a weekly seminar.
Field experience in sociology enables students to:
- Gain valuable experience related to future employment
- Establish a track record that prospective employers or graduate programs can use to assess work habits and attitudes
- Develop professional skills and competence in areas including agency research, practice intervention, policy formation and development, etc.
- Determine how well suited you are in terms of skill and personality to particular kinds of work
- Develop self-awareness and a style of professional practice that is consistent with your own personal strengths and weaknesses
- Integrate sociological theory and analysis with practical experience accrued in a concrete work setting
- Discuss professional issues and concerns that are not covered in other courses.
SC402 Social Work Practicum and Seminar
Students develop social work skills through participation in supervised social work setting. A weekly seminar provides a forum for discussion of relevant issues and professional development toward a career in social work. Seminar format with enrollment limited to 10 students. Interested students should contact the department chair or the instructor early in the fall semester before registering. Students will not be permitted to enroll once the semester has started.
SC403 (SumServe Practicum and Seminar)
SumServe, a program that offers a summer of immersion into service, is designed for students who want an intensive service experience that will prompt deeper questions and discussion about social justice issues. Students work almost full-time at a community agency in the Baltimore area and interact directly with community members who are struggling with issues related to material poverty. Together, through the community placement as well as through a weekly Social Justice seminar, the group explores the reality of oppression through examination of issues related to race and class. Note: The paid positions – fellowships- do not qualify for academic credit.
Areas of Focus
Use the links below to find information about various kinds of internships sociology students complete.
The internship experience is profound for many students. They are able to apply their learning, explore their interests, and to figure out what they want to do with their lives.
Anthony Di Rosa, '09
For my senior year internship I worked at the City Council President's Office in Baltimore. My office was in City Hall and I was working directly under the director for community affairs. I was involved with reaching out to the many neighborhoods and communities of Baltimore and relaying their problems and issues back to City Hall. … Being around the Mayor, the City Council President, and various other important figures in Baltimore politics gave me a sense of confidence and a feeling that I was making important contributions alongside important people. I think for many students taking an internship can not only be a good way of figuring out what you want to do in your future, but also what you don't want to do. For example, I always knew I wanted to work in some form of government and by working in local city government I emerged with a much better understanding of what type of government setting was most interesting to me. Some of my sociology classes were very relevant to my internship especially Neighborhood and Communities in America with Professor Smith. Our discussions about social issues affecting cities and neighborhood in our country were apparent in my work at City Hall which helped me function and contribute more throughout my internship. … I'm going to Seton Hall University in the Fall [OF 2010] for my Masters degree in International Relations and Diplomacy with the hopes of working in the federal government after I graduate. My internship senior year certainly helped me find my way and was a great experience for me professionally, academically, and personally.
Ashley Alexander, '09
I was placed at the ARC and for me the most important thing that I learned was that you did not have to go far to see the poverty and injustices that were commonly talked about in class discussions and in our textbooks. It was rewarding to actually get out in field and see what things were really like. The internship also allowed me to put a name/theory to the concepts and behaviors that I was seeing. It was one thing to read about it in the textbooks but it wasn't until I saw the theories being carried out in real life did they become concrete. The internship has shaped what I am currently doing because it opened my eyes to the injustices that are placed on children especially those who are homeless and those belonging to disenfranchised communities. Becoming a social worker will help in allowing me to speak up for these children who otherwise would not have a voice of their own.
Being involved in a varsity sport really made things difficult in picking a internship. Because of the limited time that I had during the school year, a summer internship during summer school was the best option. It gave me more time to really focus on my placement and allowed ample time for me to reflect and process the interactions and events that I had with my supervisors and others.
Justin White, '09
White was placed at Guilford Elementary/ Middle School where he was a teacher’s aid in a 5th grade class. He also organized and implemented a young men’s group, M.A.N.Y Men (Mentoring and Nurturing Young Men) for the boys in the 5th grade and attended and supported programs at the school geared to increase family involvement.
I learned how complex it is to maintain a school community and its culture and how challenging it is to have a school be seen as an integral and positive part of a community.
My favorite Sociology course, and the one that made me want to become a Sociology Major, was Self and Society. The entire course focused on the influences society has on our development of self as well as the “self’s” response to such structures and social scripts. When working with the young men, I saw so many of the traditional male gender roles being upheld before my eyes. Like many young men growing up in today’s American culture, they placed a huge emphasis on being tough, athletic, and down playing their feelings. These are the classic male gender roles that have been passed down to young men for centuries. The purpose of the group (MANY Men) was to give an outlet for the young men to just talk about different issues. I was able to have a good conversation with the young men about respect and one young man recounted a story about being disrespected and he actually began to cry. The other young men were supportive of him.
There are not many outlets in which young men, especially urban youth, to vent and discuss what they are feeling in positive setting. I hoped for a brief while to expose the young men that I worked with to such an environment.
After my placement at Guilford Elementary/Middle I realized that I wanted to work in a school community. I think schools are one of the most amazing entities in our social life. Schools are where social scripts are taught, re-enforced, broken-down, and rebuilt. Schools can be a vibrant source within a community providing not just education for youth but also support for parents and families. Or a school can be a sign of years of neglect from and within the community.
These thoughts have led me to become a Theology teacher at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School here in Baltimore City. I am one of many teachers around the US who have become part of a new movement in education that combines college preparatory schooling and a work-study program for students that come from low economic means. Cristo Rey schools exist to transform lives and break a link, even if it’s a small one, in the chain of poverty.
Sarah Carta, '09
During my college career I had two internships. The first was the summer before my senior year at a non-profit organization in Manhattan called A Better Chance, Inc. While this experience was not through Loyola, it helped me gain a better understanding of the professional world and how my sociology degree could be translated into a job after college. My second internship was through the sociology department. I interned for Jill-Kristi Tyler, a school social worker and therapist who teaches Intro to Social Work at Loyola. My six-month internship was an in-depth look at social work in the Baltimore Public School system. I became proficient at leading group sessions and one-on-one counseling with students ages 5 to 15. I also developed a sense for the many roles of a social worker in a school system. Most importantly, this experience helped me rule out a possible career path, which can be just as important.
Currently, I am in my last year of graduate school at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis. My major is Non-Profit Management. Next year, I will be working at a nonprofit that does capacity building and leadership training for other nonprofits. The spectrum of career opportunities after receiving a sociology degree is wide. My internship experiences helped me narrow my focus and played a key role in being accepted to graduate school.
Joe Dombrowski, '10
In the Spring Semester of 2010, I enrolled in the Sociology Internship and Practicum Course. I interviewed for and received an offer to complete my internship at the Casey Cares Foundation in Baltimore. The Casey Cares Foundation works with critically ill children through out Maryland and parts of Virginia, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania. Through events, "pajama" drives, support groups and vacation packages, the foundation tries to bring normalcy to the lives of critically ill children and their families. I began my work unsure of how I would incorporate my experiences as a sociology major into my on site work as a "program management intern." I spent time soliciting potential donors for contributions by phone, email, and written letter, contacting the program's families about upcoming events they might like to attend, and helping the foundation's staff with the Annual Auction Gala.
As my internship unfolded I began to see connections between my sociology coursework and the daily projects I was assigned. I took notice of how the staff interacted with the program's families, current and potential donors, and fellow employees. By shadowing different staff members, I learned how to navigate through different levels of tact, compassion and persistence depending on the audience.
Through discussions with Dr. Vann and my fellow classmates each week, I realized that working at a nonprofit organization like Casey Cares was not something I wanted to do in my professional career. However, my experience helped me realize that I wished to help and empower disenfranchised families in some capacity following my undergraduate career.