Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
Cooperative and Experiential Education
In this evidence-based practice paper, it is recognized that experiential opportunities in the form of internships in industry represent significant experiences for engineering students to gain knowledge about the professional workplace and gain insight into potential future careers. Previous work has also found that working in a professional engineering environment such as a summer internship is a predictor of self-confidence and interest in innovation and technical engineering tasks. For industry, internship programs are opportunities for recruitment, allowing supervisors to “test-drive” the talent pool and identify potential hires through firsthand observation of their work and professional and interpersonal skills. To optimize the benefits gained from internship programs for both students and companies, it is important to understand the specific motivations of interns in order to inform the design of effective programs, guidelines, and environments.
In this study, 92 interns at a large global engineering company in the automotive industry completed a pre-internship survey in 2018 that included open-ended questions about their reasons for choosing to work at the company, the goals they hoped to accomplish, and what they hoped to learn during the internship. These qualitative findings will be triangulated and interpreted in relation to two quantitative datasets representing the self-reported experiences of two cohorts of summer interns at the end of their internships at the same company in 2017 (N=115) and 2018 (N=179). The analyses of these quantitative data will focus on the innovation and engineering task self-efficacy measures as well as additional constructs related to innovation interests and outcomes, postgraduate career goals and other influencing factors. Analyses disaggregating by gender will also be conducted.
The results from this research will inform an actionable understanding of how interns view engineering internships from the goals they articulate prior to starting their internship and upon completion as they prepare to leave the company. The findings will guide the development of recommendations and best practices for students seeking to optimize their internship experience as well as for industry partners, who are looking to innovate, transform and grow by providing insights into the design of an engaging and compelling internship experiences for students or potential future employees. Prototypes of sample infographics and other sample materials translating and communicating the research findings for these two critical stakeholders will also be shared.
Huynh, A., & Chen, H. L., & Prasad, K. V., & Sheppard, S. (2020, June), Exploring how Innovation Self-efficacy Measures Relate to Engineering Internship Motivations and Outcomes Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34641
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