Internship is an official program for the undergraduates or graduate students who work between certain periods of time which has a benefit to gain practical work or reason related experience. (www.internship.
com, n.d.) In the other hand it is a way which helps to bridge the gap between “Academic” & the “Real” world. (Spring, 2011)
And also internship can be defined as the opportunity provided for the students / undergraduates to link with the industry & upgrade the knowledge about industrial practices. This may become a practical and compulsory fulfilment of the degree program.
Internship helps students to identify whether the career of interest is a “good fit” and also it will indicate the understanding about what career that suits you. In other words, internships can help you to decide if a particular career is something you’re interested in or not. Internship program provides the opportunity for students to clarify career objectives and verify career choices. (Spring, 2011)
Internships are a great way to prepare students for their future career. It gives them a deeper understanding of the path they want to take, and puts them in a situation in which they can learn first-hand what it feels like to work in their chosen Profession. Before University Students graduate they often need to complete the internship Program. (Carniol, 2018)
Internships provide students with an opportunity to test abilities and attitudes toward particular material or career possibilities for the future. Students who has decided to participate in internship program can broaden their future career opportunities through networking ; establishing positive working relationship with their employers. These relationships can’t build only through academics but, useful applications of the knowledge gained from the academics is a determinant for the real life career. (Spring, 2011)
Students who took part in the applied learning of the internship had a greater consciousness about the issues in the society. (Seon-Young Lee) When the students have their own motivation for the community service through internship, personal growth can be increased greatly. (Wilson J. Gonzalez-Espada, November,2006)
An Internship program involves different parties such as Students, employers/supervisors, program coordinators, sponsoring university ; the Government Authority related to the internships. Everyone involved in an internship program should have specified roles and responsibilities. (Jackel, December 2011) And also Internship Program Expectations are varying according to each parties that involved.
A student expects an internship program should be stimulated intellectually and also it should be supported to enhance the skills needed for future employment. The program coordinators/departments expect that internship will be an opportunity for the students to apply classroom knowledge to the real-world setting.
The employer/Company hopes the internship program partnership to be a path to determine hiring ; retaining talented students seeking permanent employment after the internship program. The university expects that an internship program will create a community partnership with a potential new employer, or to keep an existing partnership through productive and effective work done by university students which are interns.(Roger, 1979)
Universities take a major role of in making internship program more appealing to and productive for the undergraduates by giving course credit for internships and also it is a way of facing the competition for the jobs. (Jackel, December 2011)
General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University also has started providing internship opportunities for the day scholars since Intake 29. Upto now, Intake 29,30,31,32 ; 33 has already participated in their Internship Program. KDU has linked with National Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority (NAITA) and introduced comprehensive internship program for the KDU undergraduates to bloom their talents with the industry.
KDU moves undergraduates as interns and it is a partial fulfillment of the degree program that nearly go for 6 months Industrial Training and the most of the undergraduates work as permanent employees after the Industrial training.
Sometimes, due to the involvement of NAITA, KDU can’t control the overall process of the internship program. Therefore, KDU has to fulfill the requirements of NAITA such as Documents, Reports and Guidelines.
We have conducted an exploratory study among KDU past undergraduates (Intake 31, 32, 33 -Logistics Management). According to the study we identified that the employment rate among the undergraduates have not achieved 100%. It means it may be personal reasons or the internship program has not supported for them. For example, some students may be faced some problems such as sexual Harassments or any other harassments from the company Supervisors during the internship program. Although the students want to quit the organization due to those reasons, students can’t quit because of the NAITA requirements.
So the students will suffer from stress. It means that the Internship program objectives couldn’t be able to achieve as expected. That may be a practical problem of the internship program. And also there is a doubt whether the internship program has enabled the students to secure in the job market in the competitive environment. Although there are some researchers conducted in global context, There is no single research conducted in Sri Lankan Context and even in the KDU to measure and identify the student perspective affect for the internship program. So to overcome the issues and implement the changes, we conducted this research by finding the students’ perspective of successful internship program.
We took the population as the day scholars of KDU in Intake 31, 32;33 Logistics Management as follows;
Intake 31 …………………………. 52 Undergraduates
Intake 32………………………….. 71 Undergraduates
Intake 33………………………….. 55 Undergraduates
Total population …………………. 178 Undergraduates
We selected the sample size as 80 Undergraduates from the population.
1.2 Scope of the study
The scope of this study is to give an understanding about factors that affecting for the successful internship program on students’ perspective with special reference to undergraduate day scholars of Intake 31, 32, 33. It will be helpful to become success in the internship program. According to our conducted Exploratory study we identified that the employment rate among the undergraduates have not achieved 100%. So to overcome the issues and implement the changes, we are conducting this research by finding the students’ perspective of successful internship program. Therefore, this study will beneficial for undergraduates who are willing to enter in to industrial training to develop their qualified characteristics.
1.3 Justification of the problems
The internship program has designed by the involvement of administrative lecturers of the Faculty of Management and NAITA. So they are making the internship program according to their ideas and perspectives. Therefore, the lecturers’ perspectives are different from students. But the benefits are gained by the undergraduates, so they have the ability to look closely at the internship whether it is useful or not. If the internship program is successful then it doesn’t occur a problem, but if the internship program is not successful there should be a change. As there is no single research conducted in Sri Lankan context and even in the KDU to measure and identify the student perspective of internship program, we decided to do the research based on the internship program by considering the undergraduate day scholars of Intake 31, 32;33 Logistics Management, KDU.
1.4 Objectives of the study
1.4.1 Primary Objectives
To examine the student perspective of the internship program.
1.4.2 Secondary Objectives
To examine factors affecting on successfulness of internship program
1.5 Research Questions
This study tries to answer following research questions.
• What are the student perspective of the internship program?
• What are the mostly influenced student perspectives of successful internship program?
1.6 Research Hypothesis
H1: Skill Development, Self-confidence and Attitudes developed through Internship Program affect the success of Internship Program.
H2: Academic Preparedness and Evaluation is positively associated with internship successfulness. s
H3: Career Development is a factor which affect for the successfulness of the Internship Program.
H4: Compensation of the Interns is a major factor for the Internship Successfulness.
H5: Experiential Education developed through Internship Program affect the success of Internship Program.
1.7 Significance of the Study
The significance of this study is to identify the factors affected on successful internship Program on the perspective of KDU students and to identify the requirements of business industries. Also, this will able to provide better understanding about industrial training to the undergraduates and this will help undergraduates to improve their performance in academic studies and extracurricular activities.
To identify the student perspective of the internship program, we have conducted an exploratory study among KDU past undergraduates (Intake 31, 32, 33 -Logistics Management). According to study we identified the employment rate among the undergraduates have not achieved 100%. It means it may be personal reasons or the internship program has not supported properly. And also there is a doubt whether the internship program has enabled the students to secure in the job market in the competitive environment. If there are any changes to do for the internship program we can identify and it will be helpful to do the implementation. That’s the reason why we are doing this research.
When we consider about the global context, there are some researches which have conducted regarding the factors affecting for the successful internship program. The competency and motivation of all parties involved are indispensable for a successful internship programs “Being a valuable component of higher education academic program, Internship is believed to create win-win situation for the students, organization as well as the university. (Coco, 2000).Therefore we can identify three perspectives which divide the factors affecting for a successful internship program according to the previous researches.
- Organizational Perspective (to take advantage from the intern offering a least compensation)
- University Perspective (to give a good internship program and secure the job)
- Student Perspective (To have a secured job and good compensation)
Therefore, we discovered the following factors under the above three perspectives.
- Organizational Perspective
- Effectiveness of the Supervision
- Task clarity
- University Perspective
- Effective Design of the Internship Program
- Involvement of the University regarding the Evaluation of Internship Program
- Student Perspective
- Skill Development, Self-confidence and Attitudes
- Academic Preparedness and Evaluation
- Career Development
- Industry Exposure
Therefore, we can describe and justify the factors with the reference to the previous researches.
1. Organizational Perspective
Effectiveness of the Supervision
The strategic role of supervisors may determine the internship experience is positive or not. Interns’ perception of supervision effectiveness is significantly correlated with job placement success and overall job performance. (Gabris, October 31, 2009)
Effective supervision during internship such as “being supportive, demonstrates high work standard and competence, provide frequent feedback, provides more opportunities for individuals to explore career interests and resolve conflicts” are very important. (Taylor, 1988).
The support from the supervisor is a commitment to the employee by the organization. (Mowday, 1998).It means a supervisor is helpful to make the commitment of the employee by showing the interest and as a representer of communicating and valuing of him or her in the organization. (Dixon, 2005)
From the above previous researches we can identify that the Effectiveness of supervision is positively associated with the successful internship program.
In the task Clarity it includes the task outputs such as task goals and standards and also task activities which mean by how work is accomplished. The organization expect that the certain goals and standards from the intern. They expect that the intern will fulfill his or her task in the organizational goals and achievements. (Sawyer, 1992).
Sometimes, poor planning of work assignments caused frustration among interns. (Rothman, 2007)
And also unclear roles contribute to stress and poor performance of the interns. (Kahn, 1964)Therefore, developing a proper job description, (Crumbley, 1998)), providing a reasonable time frame for accomplishing tasks of the intern and establishing a clear understanding of what is to be accomplished can be helpful to the interns to fulfill the given tasks. (Rothman, 2007).
From the above previous researches we can identify that the Task clarity is positively associated for the successfulness of the internship program.
Effective Design of the Program
Designing an effective internship program may involve many different factors. When a program coordinator is developing