So you want to do a LEEP Project?
Let us point you in the right direction! LEEP Projects are a great way to take the skills that you've learned in your courses at Clark and apply them to real-life work, research, or internship experience. These projects allow Clark students to engage in experiential learning and explore how their skills may be put to use in the "real world." They also will allow you to develop your interpersonal and networking skills, adapt to a professional environment, work independently, collaborate with Clark University professors, and connect with external organizations. Here are some steps to help you get started.
- Make an appointment with the LEEP Center adviser: The LEEP Center Staff are able to answer routine LEEP Project related questions at LEEP Center, located at the new Alumni and Student Engagement Building. This is an essential resource for students looking to complete LEEP Projects. Staff will discuss your interests with you and inform you of necessary steps for designing and implementing a LEEP Project. They will walk you through the application process, help you explore your academic interests, and advise you on project feasibility.
- Ask yourself — Am I eligible? Though juniors primarily complete LEEP projects, it is possible to apply for a LEEP project as a sophomore if you demonstrate how the project relates to your future academic and professional goals. Previous LEEP Pioneers cannot complete another LEEP Project. Additionally, students on social or academic probation are ineligible.
- Check out the Clark Recruiter. If you are interested in completing a LEEP project but are unsure about designing your own, look on the Clark Recruiter for pre-identified projects. These are often created by Clark alumnus, faculty members at Clark, and organizations that have previous partnered with LEEP Project Fellows. To access the Clark Recruiter, log into your ClarkYou account and locate the LEEP Center Clark Recruiter link on the left hand side of the page under “Web Services." Your Clark University credentials will automatically log you into your Clark Recruiter account!
- Reach out to external organizations! Find an organization that interests you and discuss a potential LEEP project with them. You could do research for the organization, act as an assistant, or intern. Dialogues with organizations often lead to exciting, collaborative projects that will benefit the student and uphold the organization's mission and goals. Securing a project supervisor from within the organization is a critical step to applying to be a LEEP Pioneer.
- Design your project. After you've connected with an organization and discussed your interest with the LEEP Center Staff, you should then design your LEEP project. Make sure that your project is feasible and will have some kind of deliverable to prove its connection to your academic and professional goals. This could be a final write-up, research paper, series of reflections, photo project, or other deliverable. Be sure the project reflects your passion. Be sure to note the earlier deadline for Self-design projects and independent research.
- Ask a Professor to Sponsor your Project. Once you have a self-design or independent research project in mind, you must secure a Clark University faculty sponsor. (Projects hosted by an existing organization do not require a faculty mentor but still require a faculty recommendation.) This can be your faculty adviser, a professor who shares your interests, or a professor with whom you have worked before. The professor will need to approve your self-designed or independent research project and will be responsible for project support as well as mentoring you over the course of the summer.
- Complete and review your application. This includes resume and cover letter review! LEEP Center applications include a comprehensive project proposal that outlines your project, goals, feasibility, deliverable, and what you expect to gain from becoming a LEEP Pioneer. Think carefully about your application and don't be afraid to revisit the LEEP Center if you have any questions or need help drafting your application. Be sure to pay special attention to application deadlines!
- Attend a LEEP Fellows Boot Camp. If you are selected as a LEEP Project Fellow, you should attend the LEEP Fellows Boot Camp. The Boot Camp prepares students for their summer work and provides a 1hr session of professional training. The session also includes tips on professional etiquette and an opportunity to hear from previous LEEP Project Fellows! The goal of this program is to ensure that your questions are answered and that you are prepared to begin your project.