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Shannon Bence Reports Back on her Graduate Field Experience

This summer I had the great time experiencing my fieldwork portion of the VIU SLM program. I was lucky enough to be able to experience two fieldwork internships, both of which were very different from each other. My first internship experience was working as a Research Assistant. This position allowed me to further develop my skills as a researcher and to gain mentorship from a team of well-rounded researchers. This experience helped my to prepare for my thesis research as I learned how to analyze and code data after exporting it from survey monkey into SPSS. It was great to have the experiencing working with these tools prior to using them for my own thesis research. 

For my second internship I was fortunate to be the supervisor of a local community development initiative that works to lower crime rate, violence, and address poverty in Nanaimo. This initiative is a partnership between a Harewood Neighborhood Association (non-profit), School District 68, Nanaimo Foodshare (non-profit), the Nanaimo RCMP, and the City of Nanaimo. Running this initiative gave me a great opportunity to practice and implement the theories and ideas in regards to sustainability that emerged throughout the coursework portion of the Master's Program. Having an opportunity to work at improving the social sustainability of the local Nanaimo neighborhood was a great way to become familiar with the challenges and success of trying to improve the sustainability of the area. I also learned to recognize that although the pace of change is slow, every step forward and every small success is one step closer to achieving the greater change!


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