Student Board Internship (BUS 480)

NOTICE: Board Internships may be available on an ad-hoc basis.

The intended audience for this course is those BCom Leadership students interested in applying their learning to serving on an arts organization's board of directors. The course is for students at the end of their program who have taken courses on the basics of leadership, organizational behaviour and board responsibilities in the not-for-profit sector.

Learning Objectives:

Students will gain an understanding about, be able to directly apply the theories of leadership and directly practice and hone their skills by participating on the board of directors of a not-for-profit arts organization. Specifically, students will:

  1. Observe leadership theories and understand the ideas and limitations of:
    1. The Level Three Leadership Theory;
    2. The Behavioural Approach;
    3. The Situational Approach;
    4. Authentic Leadership
    5. The relationships between Leadership and Power;
    6. The overlapping and differentiated aspects of Leadership and Management
  2. Students will have the opportunity to directly observe, hear from and interact with prominent senior leaders of the community
  3. Appreciate the need for many styles to fit the situation and understand the collaborative nature of leadership.
  4. Understand transformational leadership and authentic leadership within the not-for-profit sector.
  5. Appreciate what kind of leadership attracts and retains the best and the brightest to an arts board and an arts organization
  6. Explore and practice their own leadership styles in a not-for-profit sector through direct participation on the board and committee(s) of the board
  7. Be able to apply leadership theories to the analysis of organizational behaviour
  8. Understand ethics of leadership
  9. Understand the prime skill sets which leaders need to develop and nurture
  10. Students will have the opportunity to practice, hone and apply their communication skills


Major Project: In collaboration with the instructor and input from the student, the organization will select an area of value for the student to research and analyze. The paper should be substantive.

Internship Paper: It will be important to demonstrate critical thinking in relation to the experiences learned from the Board Internship opportunity in relation to your own leadership style. You should apply the leadership styles you have observed to further development your leadership style and future aspirations.

Board Participation: 3/4 of the mark, will be assessed on your actual attendance record at scheduled meetings of the board and the assigned board committee(s). This will include feedback from management and board members on the quality of your participation and on the quality of your contribution during board (and committees of the board) meetings and your ability to interact in a meaningful way with management and board members and your contribution to business matters before the board. The other 10% of the participation mark will be assigned by the Instructor based on observations, discussions and timely handling of assignments and their required tasks.