Undergoing internship is a commonplace and, nonetheless, vital for future employability practice, that gives students an opportunity to test their knowledge in a practical environment. For students at Frederick University, Cyprus, the internship turns into 100-hour experiential learning at a business, government or community-service positions. Interns confront day-to-day work-related issues when working on real company’s projects, and at the same time, they are exposed to situations like deadlines, budgeting & team building.
The “Why” of the internship
The internship in Marketing with Digital Technologies aims to fill the gap identified in the industry-academic programs of the respective filed. In its turn, the gap is framed by the growth of digital marketing trends that are expected to significantly change the way business is done. These trends include the provision of top-notch quality content, voice recognition technologies, incorporating live videos on web platforms, etc. To embrace the trending changes and test their knowledge, students are expected to try their hands in various business areas and see how they can both contribute to the development of the organisation they are placed at, and gain some valuable insights for the advancement of their own skills.
The “What” of the internship
Before embarking on such a lively experiential journey, students have to successfully pass three academic courses, i.e. Introduction to Digital Marketing and Social Media, Digital Media Technologies I & II. After that, future interns get registered for the internship at their department that works in close cooperation with the Careers Office and the Industry Liaison Office. Careers Office and Industry Liaison Office provide students with information about potential hosting companies and help them select the best available option.
During their placement period, interns are guided by a lecturer, coming from the university side, and an on-site supervisor, coming from a hosting organisation, who observe and evaluate students’ performance during their real-time visits. Lecturers usually hold direct meetings during internships, what helps student find answers for their ongoing inquiries. An on-site supervisor makes sure that there are no issues rising from the interns’ participation, such as behavioural issues i.e. consistent lateness to work. Also, the on-site supervisor becomes an intern’s mentor, who provides additional support, if needed.
Upon completing their internship, students submit a final report to their lecturer for grading. The final grade is also shaped on the basis of the feedback provided by the on-site supervisor.
Students, for all intends and purposes, are the main beneficiaries of the internship values. They gain invaluable experience from the cooperation with their on-site supervisor and their university lecturers when fine tuning their knowledge and skills.
Apart from personal gains, students increase their employability prospects. As the collected feedback shows, there is a small percentage of excellent students that have been asked to work after the completion of their studies for the company where they had served their internship.
This article is based on a case study originally written by Novatex Solutions Ltd, developed as a part of the WEXHE Project.
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