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Article
Publication date: 8 April 2020

Debora Jeske and Carol Linehan

Many employers experiment with virtual working modes for project-based work. Virtual internships are one such mode that is gaining increasing popularity worldwide…

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Abstract

Purpose

Many employers experiment with virtual working modes for project-based work. Virtual internships are one such mode that is gaining increasing popularity worldwide, particularly e-internships that require remote working with employers. However, little is known about the extent to which e-internships present learning opportunities to such e-interns.

Design/methodology/approach

The current study examined mentoring experiences among a cross-sectional sample of 158 e-interns working for different companies. Data were collected using an online survey in two data collection rounds.

Findings

The length of the e-internships did not increase mentoring satisfaction, but the likelihood of e-interns having a mentor was higher the longer the e-internships. Mentoring was offered irrespective of working hours per week. Mentoring increased reported skill development, particularly in relation to their communication skills and their ability to think strategically about problems. In addition, mentored e-interns were more likely to have opportunities to cooperate with and help others. They likewise had opportunities to share information, knowledge and experiences.

Research limitations/implications

The study recruited interns from various countries. Potentially relevant cultural differences were not explored as part of this study.

Practical implications

The results demonstrate that the benefits of mentoring observed in relation to traditional internships can be fostered in e-internships. E-internships represent an opportunity for managers and employees, regardless of company size, to become mentors. E-internships thus represent another work-integrated as well as work-applied learning and skill development opportunity that creates additional options for many interns and organisations alike.

Originality/value

The evidence suggests that mentoring is becoming a regularly available feature for virtual and temporary workers such as e-interns, many of which are hired for short-term projects. As remote working has become a standard practice, e-internships are on the rise – and worthy of further study in order to promote best practices.

Details

Journal of Work-Applied Management, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2205-2062

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Article
Publication date: 29 July 2014

Debora Jeske and Carolyn Axtell

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the emergence of a new form of internship (virtual or e-internships), which poses particular challenges for the interns, the…

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1163

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the emergence of a new form of internship (virtual or e-internships), which poses particular challenges for the interns, the supervisors and organizations alike. The authors present results regarding the prevalence and characteristics of e-internships, including a brief e-internship description for demonstrative purposes. Then use the findings of a student survey to outline the role of students’ past internship experience and prior knowledge as potential factors that influence acceptance of e-internships.

Design/methodology/approach

The case study was based on an interview with an e-intern and the analysis of student awareness, prior experience and knowledge was based on the analysis of a student survey.

Findings

The paper summarizes preliminary research that confirms the emergence of e-internships in several countries. It also outlines the characteristics of these new internships and outlines how e-internships compare to traditional internships, thus providing an insight for practitioners and managers. The case study and student survey outline the role of previous internships and prior knowledge as potential influences on self-selection and interest in e-internships. The paper further discusses some of the practical issues.

Research limitations/implications

This paper outlines a number of new findings about the e-internships and represents only a first step into the right direction. The success factors and conditions for these internships are currently largely unknown.

Originality/value

This paper provides information about e-internships using available statistics, a case study and survey results. The paper outlines relevant research avenues for researchers in the area of virtual work and personnel management, e-collaboration, communication studies and multimedia effectiveness.

Details

Internet Research, vol. 24 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

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Article
Publication date: 11 May 2021

Rashmi Maini, Sanandi Sachdeva and Guneet Kaur Mann

The objective of this research is to explore factors that influence interns' satisfaction (is) toward the e-internship program, an alternate adopted by management…

Abstract

Purpose

The objective of this research is to explore factors that influence interns' satisfaction (is) toward the e-internship program, an alternate adopted by management institutes in lieu of the regular summer internship amidst the global pandemic, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Design/methodology/approach

A cross-sectional research design with a self-reported questionnaire was conducted on business school (B-school) interns to rate the factors that contribute to their e-internship satisfaction. Structural equation modeling was used to examine the responses obtained from 203 B-school interns with a diverse demographic background belonging to a government university of North India. Convenience sampling was employed to get valid responses from interested respondents.

Findings

Results revealed that although all the four factors under consideration, faculty mentors' preparedness (FMP), industry mentors' preparedness (IMP), interns' readiness toward online internship and interns' Internet efficacy (IIE) are significantly related to IS, industry mentors' role was found to have a major impact on the IS. The study unravels that industry mentors' interaction has a potential role in the successful implementation of e-internships.

Research limitations/implications

The study has implications for the university as well as the companies to ponder on factors that satisfy interns during the virtual internship and designing an effective internship program by having a collaborative approach.

Originality/value

There is a dearth of empirical studies on internships in general and e-internship in particular, so this study fills the gap and contributes to the existing literature and provides ways to satisfy B-school interns toward e-internship by addressing the key factors.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 11 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

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Article
Publication date: 20 November 2017

Leopold Bayerlein and Debora Jeske

The purpose of this paper is to provide a student learning outcome focussed assessment of the benefits and limitations of traditional internships, e-internships, and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a student learning outcome focussed assessment of the benefits and limitations of traditional internships, e-internships, and simulated internships to evaluate the potential of computer-mediated internships (CMIs) (e-internships and simulated internships) within higher education from a student perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper undertakes a systematic conceptually based assessment of the extent to which CMIs are able to replicate the cognitive, skill-based and affective learning outcomes of traditional internships. In addition, the key limitations of traditional internships from a student perspective are identified, and the potential ability of CMIs to address these limitations is assessed.

Findings

The findings of this paper highlight that CMIs are able to replicate most of the benefits of traditional internships, whilst concurrently addressing many of their limitations. However, the current paper also identifies a number of important limitations for student learning in CMIs, and provides advice that aims to assist students in maximising their learning outcomes in these situations.

Originality/value

The paper is the first to provide a systematic student learning outcome focussed comparison of traditional internships and CMIs. In addition, the paper establishes the high potential of simulated internships for student learning in higher education, and provides students, higher education providers and researcher with learning outcome focussed criteria sets that enable the empirical evaluation of CMIs in future research.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 60 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 24 September 2021

Cecilia Woon Chien Teng, Raymond Boon Tar Lim, Dana Wai Shin Chow, Suganthi Narayanasamy, Chee Hsiang Liow and Jeannette Jen-Mai Lee

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a contingent shift to remote working and learning worldwide. However, little is known regarding the impact of this shift on…

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1490

Abstract

Purpose

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a contingent shift to remote working and learning worldwide. However, little is known regarding the impact of this shift on internships. Moreover, much of the available literature studies on internships are focused largely on perceptions by students, less so by supervisors. This paper describes the impact of COVID-19 on public health (PH) internships and examines interns' and supervisors' perspectives on their experiences in internships before and during the pandemic.

Design/methodology/approach

A cross-sectional study design was conducted on two cohorts of undergraduate students and their supervisors in Singapore. Participants were surveyed using questionnaires with both close-ended and open-ended questions about various aspects of the internship experience. Data were triangulated from these surveys and module evaluation reports, and analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively.

Findings

COVID-19 disrupted internships significantly, with a reduction in the number of placements offered and necessary changes to the internship scope. Overall, the internship experience has been positive. Supervisors and e-interns reported high levels of satisfaction and documented learning gains such as the development of technical skills and soft skills unique to remote work.

Originality/value

The study findings fill current gaps in the literature on supervisor perceptions and internship experiences during COVID-19. Recommendations are proposed to optimize e-internships, a potentially authentic workplace in the post-COVID era.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

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Article
Publication date: 7 March 2016

Debora Jeske and Carolyn M. Axtell

The purpose of this paper is to outline unique learning experience that virtual/e-internships can offer small and medium-sized enterprises and start-up organizations.

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595

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to outline unique learning experience that virtual/e-internships can offer small and medium-sized enterprises and start-up organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors interviewed 18 experts on e-internships (interns and managers of internships) across several countries to learn more about the learning experiences for both organizations and interns. The information from these interviews was also used to formulate a number of recommendations.

Findings

The interviews outlined the various development opportunities that e-internships may produce for interns, managers and staff within these organizations. One important benefit pertains to the skill development of both interns and managers. The interns get unique working experiences that also benefit the organizations in terms of their creativity, input and feedback. In return, managers get a unique learning experience that helps them expand their project management skills, interpersonal skills and mentoring.

Practical implications

The authors outline a number of recommendations that consider skill development, the benefit of diversity in numerous forms as well as mutual benefits for enterprises and start-ups.

Originality/value

The discussion of the various benefits and conditions under which virtual internships will succeed in organizations provides practitioners an insight into the organizational opportunities available to them given the right investment into e-interns and internship schemes.

Details

Development and Learning in Organizations: An International Journal, vol. 30 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7282

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Article
Publication date: 14 May 2018

Leopold Bayerlein and Debora Jeske

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the opportunities and limitations of computer-mediated internships (CMIs) for higher education providers (HEPs) and to outline how…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the opportunities and limitations of computer-mediated internships (CMIs) for higher education providers (HEPs) and to outline how HEPs may maximize the benefits that arise from CMIs through strategic choices.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper provides a systematic assessment of the benefits, opportunities and limitations of CMIs. A particular focus of the paper concerns ways in which HEPs may utilize CMIs to maximize student learning as well as institutional benefits in terms of the use of expertise, collaborations and the achievement of institutional targets.

Findings

Benefits of CMIs include the more inclusive access of previously disadvantaged student groups to internship opportunities, as well as fewer restrictions for HEPs and employers. Given the right design, CMIs can provide a number of important learning opportunities to students while providing extensive opportunities for HEPs. However, the benefits of CMIs need to be viewed in line with the challenges that arise, such as the skill and expertise required to implement CMIs, the required investment of resources, and the currently limited acceptance of CMIs by employers.

Practical implications

The findings of the paper highlight that CMIs have the potential to be highly beneficial for HEPs and students. In addition, the paper showcases how HEPs may address the limitations of traditional internships, as well as the challenges that arise in relation to CMIs, through the systematic and well supported application of technological solutions.

Originality/value

The paper makes an important contribution to the literature because it is the first to evaluate the potential of CMIs for the providers of higher education programs.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 32 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 14 July 2021

May Mei Ling Wong, Ka Hing Lau and Chad Wing Fung Chan

COVID-19 has changed the way we teach and learn, including service-learning (S-L). This study examines the impacts of the work-from-home (WFH) mode on the work performance…

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2977

Abstract

Purpose

COVID-19 has changed the way we teach and learn, including service-learning (S-L). This study examines the impacts of the work-from-home (WFH) mode on the work performance and learning outcomes of student interns on an eight-week S-L internship programme, and the key factors in terms of its success.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative research methodology is adopted by interviewing nine student interns and four supervisors from three community partner organisations (CPOs) to understand their experiences of how the WFH mode has impacted intern work performance and learning outcomes. Thematic analysis is used for the data analysis.

Findings

The interns uncover a number of negative WFH impacts on the S-L internship, including ineffective communication and management practice, low work efficiency and quality, a lack of task variety and learning opportunities and distractions in the home environment. Furthermore, five critical factors for WFH success are also identified, including prior preparation, effective communication systems, personal motivators at work, the nature of the job in relation to it being suited to the WFH mode, and organisational support.

Originality/value

The study examines impacts on student work performance and learning outcomes in an S-L summer internship programme operating under the WFH mode as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Key success factors and practical recommendations have been developed for enhancing the future success of S-L internships operating under the WFH mode.

Details

Journal of Work-Applied Management, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2205-2062

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Article
Publication date: 22 May 2019

Carina Kraft, Debora Jeske and Leopold Bayerlein

The present paper aims to outline the case for diversity gains for employers via virtual internships, while recognizing the role of government and educational support.

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400

Abstract

Purpose

The present paper aims to outline the case for diversity gains for employers via virtual internships, while recognizing the role of government and educational support.

Design/methodology/approach

In the context of Australian employment statistics about people with disabilities, the actors, key issues and barriers to utilizing virtual internships are explored.

Findings

The results of an online survey with 24 career, access and inclusion service officers at Australian universities suggested that the large majority were unfamiliar with virtual internships, as many shared concerns about what kind of learning and mentoring opportunities such computer-mediated internships may provide to their students.

Practical implications

Employers embracing new e-HR developments may be particularly well situated to adopt virtual internships and combine these effectively with existing diversity initiatives, many of which already include mentoring and learning opportunities. A closer dialogue with career, access and inclusion services may further support a fruitful knowledge exchange and reduce the concerns of educational representatives about virtual internships and their usefulness to increase the employment prospects of people with disabilities.

Originality/value

At present, virtual internship programs remain the exception, and are often not connected with diversity initiatives, nor are virtual internships well known among student services. However, virtual internships represent a promising opportunity for employers who wish to access untapped national (or even international) talent pools and thus candidates that would benefit from and contribute to their diversity initiatives.

Details

Strategic HR Review, vol. 18 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1475-4398

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Article
Publication date: 19 November 2021

Amy Irwin, Joy Perkins, Leah Luise Hillari and Darja Wischerath

The world of work is becoming digital, a process accelerated by the recent COVID-19 pandemic and resultant remote working guidelines. Online internships have become more…

Abstract

Purpose

The world of work is becoming digital, a process accelerated by the recent COVID-19 pandemic and resultant remote working guidelines. Online internships have become more popular in this context, and yet there remains a lack of research investigating how these internships are perceived across stakeholders. The purpose of this paper was to begin to address this research gap by exploring academic, student and employer perceptions of online internships with a focus on employability.

Design/methodology/approach

The research explored 156 stakeholders (53 students, 50 academics and, 53 employer/professionals) perceptions via a mixed-methods online study encompassing quantitative responses to internship vignettes, alongside open-ended questions designed to explore stakeholder attitudes in more depth.

Findings

Stakeholder groups reported similar attitudes towards online internships. Overall, online internships were viewed as valid, flexible, work experience, linked to skill development and likely to enhance student employability. However, concerns were raised regarding communication protocols and development, intern isolation and a lack of organisational immersion.

Practical implications

Based on the research, the authors make three recommendations to continue to enhance and develop the online internship experience: ensure multiple methods of regular communication between student and organisation, attempt virtual immersion in the organisation and assign each intern additional support beyond their immediate supervisor.

Originality/value

Based on a holistic and novel analysis of key stakeholders' viewpoints, this paper provides much needed insights and evidence on how to design and quality assure effective online internship practice.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

Keywords

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