The Effects of Internships on Student Success

With increasing amounts of students vying for internships throughout their college years, we have to wonder, “What is the effect of these internships?” How are students benefiting by competing to gain access to these opportunities?

In an empirical study done by Susan M. Taylor, it was found that people who underwent internships had greater crystallization of their vocational identity and self esteem; they were more likely to stay on the job; they had fewer conflicts with the values of their companies and they had higher job performance. Along with this, it was found that interns had a significantly higher satisfaction in terms of extrinsic motivation and rewards with regard to the companies that would hire them. One of the reasons that this is so is because there is a significant difference in the starting salaries of those who have internship experience and those who do not.

In another study carried out by Cara Mia C. Braswell and Debra Cobia, there was evidence that supported the idea that there is an increase in self efficacy from a career standpoint after an internship has been undergone by individuals. They found that this was due to how the interns perceived their performance throughout the internship. If they were confident with their performance, they felt increased self-efficacy. Due to this subjectivity, Braswell and Cobia stressed the importance of performance feedback from the companies who are making these internships available. This makes sense; internships within themselves are learning opportunities. When learning new subject material or actively learning a familiar topic, it is useful to receive feedback on how well a person is doing. When interns are given affirmation that they are well suited within a company that aligns with their career goals, they will have greater confidence when seeking out employment.

At this first glance, it appears as though the value of internships is clear. The opportunity for people to have confidence in their work, have faith in their line of work and to be seen as an experienced candidate in front of recruiters are all positive attributes that come forth when internships are pursued.

Giva offers multiple and diverse internship opportunities annually to assist students in preparing for post-graduation success. Check with your placement office to see internship openings.