The Odyssey Program

PL Specific Reflection Questions: Professional Development

PL Specific Reflection Questions: Professional Development


 “Whether focused on a specific profession or an exploration of career and vocational options, Professional Development experiences include an evaluation of the student’s values, interests, strengths, and abilities as they relate to the field or vocational options being explored.” (Odyssey Guide)


Some PL projects are not full-fledged internships but other forms of professional field experience or vocational exploration. Though “internship” is used below, the questions should be appropriate for other forms of professional and vocational exploration.


1.         What have you spent most of your time doing for the internship?  Is it what you expected to do?  Explain. If it is different from what you expected, how are you adjusting to the difference?

2.         What sort of relationships are you having or building with: (a) your on-site supervisor; (b) other employees, fellow interns or volunteers; (c) the agency’s patrons or clients?  What do you have to learn from all three (supervisor, fellow workers or interns, patrons or clients)?


3.       In Let Your Life Speak, Parker Palmer notes that in finding our vocation or career fit, identifying our weaknesses and dislikes can be as helpful as discovering our passions and strengths.  Are there particular parts of your internship or professional field experience that you are:  (a) really enjoying or really disliking (b) feeling really good at or not so good at?  Are these likes and dislikes/strengths and weaknesses instructive to you about what you might want to do in life?


4.         What have been the primary challenges of this internship? How have you met or overcome these challenges? What did you learn about yourself from facing them?


5.         Have any of the experiences associated with this internship significantly challenged or significantly reinforced your fundamental values, social ideals, or life goals?  Explain.


6.         In life, we often learn as much from failure as from success.  In this internship what have you learned from your successes?  What have you learned from your failures? Explain.


7.         How have you applied in your internship what you have learned in the classroom? Are there any theories that have direct applicability? Anything you learned in class that you would directly challenge now that you have had this experience?


8.         What are you going to do with what you have learned?  Can it figure in any way into your academic course of study?  Do you expect it to change or reinforce the types of extracurricular activities that you do?  Does it tell you anything about the kind of person you want to be or the kind of life you want to live once you graduate?