Experiential Learning & Community Engagement


  • Adrian Guardia Texas A&M University – San Antonio
  • Chin-Yen Alice Liu Texas A&M University - San Antonio
  • Edwin L. Blanton


This study chronicles the discussion, planning, and execution of the pilot externship – Inscape, a project initiated by the student chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management at A&M, San Antonio (SHRM@A&M-SA). “Externship”, an experience offered by educational institutions in which a student observes a professional in their place of work, has as its objectives the opportunity for students to (1) explore a career field; (2) experience the workplace up close and personal; (3) learn how to apply their academic major through discussions with a professional who has a similar background; (4) assess their “fit” for a particular position or with an organization; and (5) make career connections and begin to establish their network. The chapter coined Inscape -- the essential quality of a thing, place or person, as its brand of externship, and secured the City of San Antonio (COSA) its inaugural employer-partner.  The plan for the pilot Inscape was to provide students with a 2-day Spring Break experience shadowing Human Resource professionals with the COSA in their daily routine in functional human resource management roles, e.g., recruiting and staffing; compensation and benefits; training and development; and employee relations. The study will provide significant inputs to educators when preparing a similar experience in transitioning lessons from the classroom to the actual workplace.