Field Work Term Curriculum

fwt and the plan process

Bennington College’s Field Work Term is grounded in a career education curriculum that teaches students to explore their fields of interest, examine how these fields connect to their academic study, and extend their work-based learning to launch satisfying careers. In a recent alumni survey, over 97% of respondents said that they were satisfied with their career direction so far. This happens through the uniqueness of the Bennington curriculum, which offers not just one work-learning opportunity, but a new one every year.

In the first year, students use Field Work Term to explore. This is a chance for students to try something new, delve into an area of curiosity, or test drive work in an industry of interest.

In order to prepare for the first internship, students complete CliftonStrengths for Students assessments to evaluate how their strengths apply in the world of work. In their First Year Forum groups, students also learn key work readiness skills, including:

  • Research tips to find jobs connected to a field of study and in a target location

  • Resume and cover letter writing to make a strong first impression

  • Digital profile creation to help employers find and connect with Bennington students

  • Practice interviews to help students feel confident in talking with prospective employers

  • Understanding of workplace expectations and norms

  • Preparation to work through common workplace challenges

The second and third Field Work Terms afford students the chance to examine various ways in which their academic studies intersect with different professions and with the world. Students use these FWTs to expand their network, develop special skills in field(s) of interest, and challenge assumptions about career preferences and goals. Some students study abroad for one of these two Field Work Terms, others work with a faculty member on an approved Independent Study, Entrepreneurial Option, or Professional Training.

The final Field Work Term is a time for students to extend their work into the world. In consultation with their faculty advisors, students consider if there are any gaps in their resumes and which opportunities will best position them for employment after graduation. This Field Work Term is the capstone of Bennington’s work-based learning trajectory and is aimed at building strong, relevant connections for students’ future success.