SNC Students and Faculty Publish Research on Internships

Margaret K. Burns, Jaime K. Aitkenhead, Christina M. Frederick, and Shannon Huddy have published their research study called, “Undergraduate internship expectations: Strategic encouragement of student involvement” in an international journal called Student Pulse.

Here is the abstract from this study:

Undergraduates value internships because they ease the transition from classroom to career.  Internships supply students with work experience, networking potential, and opportunities to apply classroom content to career-oriented professions (D’Abate, Youndt, & Wenzel, 2009).  Participation in an effective internship program benefits the student, internship host, and community by professionally preparing students through mentored relationships.  The current study examines undergraduate internship expectations with the goal of using our findings to encourage internship involvement.  The Undergraduate Internship Expectations (UIE) survey was developed to collect self-report data via: (1) written response to the UIE survey from 100 undergraduates, and (2) focus groups during which 19 undergraduates discussed and elaborated on UIE survey questions.  UIE survey results show 50% of respondents thought, previous to college, an internship would be part of their undergraduate career.  After starting college, 63.3% of respondents indicated they had considered an internship, but not initiated the process.  Surprisingly though, only 19.4% of respondents were currently participating in, or had already completed, an internship.  Potential reasons for the disparity between interested students and internship involvement should be evaluated and solutions incorporated into internship programs.  Focus group elaboration on UIE survey questions revealed student access and clarity of process were factors related to this disparity.  UIE survey and focus group results indicate increased undergraduate internship participation would result from development of an internship program tailored to their expectations of benefits (e.g., skill development, workforce preparation, etc.) and priorities (e.g., relation to major, networking, etc.).

Left to right: Christina Frederick, Maggie Burns, Jaime Aitkenhead, & Shannon Huddy

Left to right: Christina Frederick, Maggie Burns, Jaime Aitkenhead, & Shannon Huddy