An Environmental Scan

When I quit my job and made the decision to come back to school, I promised myself that I would take advantage of every opportunity that the Voinovich School and Ohio University had to offer. I have firsthand experience that once you leave school, the opportunity to expand your knowledge through projects and internships reduces significantly. When the Ohio Campus Compact opportunity was released over winter break, I knew this was an experience that I had to apply for. After my first meeting with Susan from Ohio Campus Compact, I knew that I had made the right decision throwing my hat into the ring and accepting this opportunity.

In a nutshell an environmental scan is assessing the internal and external components of an organization. This is done by critically assessing your company, interviewing members or partners and researching the trends that are happening in the sector. My current task is reviewing and redrafting the questions that will be asked in the interviews conducted with the current members of Ohio Campus Compact. I am also going to begin researching what is happening in the world of civic engagement.

When I accepted this internship, I had no idea how wonderfully it would align with my classes this semester. Last week in my Organizational Theory and Politics class we discussed the theory behind environmental scans. I knew that I had an extremely important role in this process, but being the person behind the research opened my eyes to just how vital this process is for an organization. I didn’t think that I would have the deep appreciation for this process that I do without Dr. Burnier leading the discussion on the theory aspects. Because of the intensive interviewing aspects that are included with environmental scans, I am excited to be learning how to be a qualitative researcher from Dr. Holly Raffle. I can say that after only three weeks of classes, I already feel that my facilitating skills have improved and I’m much more comfortable leading discussions. I know that as we move through the semester the interviewing and facilitating skills I will gain through my Qualitative Research class will contribute to my success as the Ohio Compact Intern.

The best part about the opportunity to work with Ohio Campus Compact is how supported I have felt through the progression of my work. I was provided materials, which explained the background and growth of Ohio Campus Compact, as well as the service learning movement. When I mentioned in a progress report that I wanted to do some additional research about the current trends in civic engagement, I received an immediate response with articles enclosed. And it’s not just Ohio Campus Compact who is interested my success. When I felt that I needed a better understanding of the kinds of questions you ask in an interview setting, as opposed to questions used in a survey, my qualitative professor Dr. Holly Raffle was more than willing to take time out of her busy schedule to offer her professional advice.


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