An internship at UVEI is a lot like the long distance thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail. Both have an exciting, though somewhat apprehensive outset into the unknown, followed by an arduous journey of several months, leading to a clear and lofty goal at the end. But the novice hiker on the UVEI trek has a priceless asset in the services of a highly experienced, trail-wise personal guide: the UVEI Faculty Coach.
Each Faculty Coach at UVEI has successfully guided their interns along this trail many, many times. The journey is a demanding one, but guides understand the importance of pacing, and know when it’s best to prescribe rest, or a push to just get over the next ridge. They anticipate the mix of sunny, glorious days, gloomy overcast ones, and sudden storms encountered along the way, knowing how to keep their interns prepared for going forward in all kinds of weather. The changing landscapes, trail junctions, and unpredictable topography can create navigational challenges, but experienced guides can interpret the lay of the land for their interns, ensuring that no one stays confused or gets lost. Guides use their wisdom for improvising tools and strategies to solve problems along the trail, protect hikers from unsafe conditions, and provide the necessary understanding and encouragement when exhaustion looms or the going gets rough. It’s comforting to know that someone is walking beside you, a wise veteran who knows every bend of this trail, every hill to climb and every obstacle to cross.
Just as each thru-hiker’s experience is one-of-a-kind, the journey of each intern will unfold and progress in a unique way. A Faculty Coach strives to be versatile and flexible enough to customize the guidance and provide support for each individual intern in each different setting. Although the goal is the same for each intern — to stand on the summit at the end of the trail — the guide knows the challenges and experiences of each intern will be different. That keeps things interesting, but it’s all in a day’s work for a UVEI Faculty Coach.
Greg is a former UVEI Faculty Coach. Our current teaching program faculty coaches include Kristen Downey, Page Tompkins, Chris Ward, and Nan Parsons. They represent over 100 years of collective experience in coaching, teaching, and leadership.