Program Concept

Christmas break is a season of gift preparation, too much food, and the general bustle of holiday cheer. Reunions of family members often elicit the same questions for the college kid – “What’s your major?” – “How are classes going?” and “What are you going to do with your life?” During the 2010 holiday break, that type of discussion led to an idea for a different type of educational experience.

I am majoring in Community Leadership Development, a ten year old major at UK that offers classroom instruction, and encourages students to do internships. But I was interested in a different kind of real world experience. With that intent in mind, the Real World Leaders – Real World Students Program was conceived. From that point it took nearly 18 months to get approval from UK, to gather willing participants, and to complete the logistics needed for travel to the different locations involved.

The Real World Leaders – Real World Students Program (RWL) allows a student to participate in six clinical internships of one month each in geographically diverse locations. While interning the student works for the host or sponsor with the objective of observing different leadership styles from each worksite.

The culmination of the project is a written analysis of the leadership observations as they compare to similar themes in literature. The written analysis is important as it is a way to revisit the experiences of each worksite and draw out the leadership skills, characteristics, and goals observed in the locations. Organizing each encounter as it relates to major themes in literature provides a better understand the concept of leadership itself.

I, Zac Brown, developed RWL, and it has been supported by UK for 12 credit hours. The faculty sponsor is Dr. Lori Garkovich.

What follows in this report are the details concerning the RWL experiences that I compiled as the first student to go through the program – the worksites visited, leadership lessons learned and an analysis of how these lessons fit into different perspectives on leadership today.

Real World Calendar

January 2021
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About the Program

The Real World Leaders - Real World Students Program is a leadership program created in partnership with the University of Kentucky that enables students to work at different work sites across America and observe a wide variety of leadership skills, traits and characteristics.

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