Impact of Student Intern Engagement on the Operations of an Organization

Student Intern Engagement
Student Intern Engagement

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Student Intern Engagement Research: VIVA Interview

  1. Reasons for carrying out research on impact of student intern engagement on the operations of an organization 

The research question is the impact of student intern engagement on the operations of an organization. The reason why I choose to research on it is the fact that most supervisors complain that they do not feel the impact of engaging interns in their organizations. After theoretical studies, students get attached to an organization to take have practical experience before taking on real jobs. However, interns influence a firm’s productivity differently thus the research was intended to find out how part-time, temporary, and paid interns affect the production of an organization so that managers can provide terms and conditions that will motivate the interns to be highly productive.

  • What I did to carry out the research

First of all, I reviewed works done by other researches on the particular topic in order to find a gap and improve their studies. Since little research has been carried out on intern engagement, I decided to find a solution to the research question by engaging managers and interns through one on one interview and questionnaires. Apart from the managers, the other respondents had prior intern experience which they used to answer the questions. The questions explored the different aspects of intern engagement and the respondents had either been part-time, temporal, paid, or a combination. The responses formed the basis of concluding the research question.

  • Result of the research

After a thorough literature review and data collection through interviews and questionnaires, I found out that the different levels of intern engagement influence the productivity of the interns in organizations. One of the findings is that paid interns tend to be more productive than the unpaid interns. When there is monetary compensation, interns are motivated to work hard and also have peace of mind since they can take care of their personal financial needs.

Monetary compensation and peace of mind motivates them to give their best to the organization and thus end up increasing the productivity of the organization. On the other hand, unpaid interns are not motivated and only try to finish up the assigned tasks so that they can be given a positive recommendation letter.

Additionally, I found out that part-time interns are more productive compared to the temporal interns since the part-time interns have few hours to work at the organization thus do their best so that their work can sell them to the managers and be retained after the internship. The temporal interns tend to feel comfortable at the place of work since they mingle with the other employees and only work on given tasks instead and do not put extra effort. Overall, paid and part-time interns are the most productive in an organization. If organizations paid their interns and utilized more of the part-time interns, they would have an increase in productivity.

  • How the research changed my thinking on the topic

Prior to doing the research, I thought that intern’s productivity in organizations is the same and they normally work hard so that they can be retained irrespective of working conditions. However, while carrying out the interviews I realized that majority of people consider the conditions given by a firm for engagement and organizations that offer monetary compensation are the most sought after. The common belief that interns only need a positive recommendation and do not mind about the working conditions is not the case anymore but working conditions and motivation play a key role in the engagement process.

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  • How the research changed me as a researcher

I have gained confidence after interactions with different stakeholders during the research process. As a researcher, I realized that people have different views and perceptions about a certain topic or situation thus it’s important to involve many data samples in order to get a complete analysis of the research question.

  • Originality of my thesis and what I did before doing the dissertation

My thesis is original since I used real life situations and samples to conduct the research instead of relying on the already published works. I identified a problem as far as intern engagement is concerned and that formed the basis of my thesis. Before writing the dissertation, I read books and articles concerning internship engagement, I then wrote a draft of literature review as a guide on the questions I would ask during interviews and in the questionnaires to avoid duplication of previous research, I identified the methods to use to collect data, then carried out the research. It was after successful research that I wrote the dissertation since I then had all the needed information.

  • Practical and theoretical implications of my research

The findings of the research can be utilized by managers that take up interns in their organizations. Firms that want interns to contribute productively to their operations should consider monetary compensation so that the interns are more motivated. Also, more supervision and encouragement should be given to the temporal interns while part-time interns should be given the most productive sections of the firms operations since they normally give their best. Theoretically, the research forms a foundation for future research where it can be based on specific industrial sectors instead of generalizing it.

  • Reasons for not answering vocally during the first VIVA interview

Though I have improved my confidence after the research, I find presenting my ideas in writing simpler than oral communication. It’s easier to write than communicate amiably in English but I am in the process of engaging myself with people and situations that will enable me improve on my oral communication.

            Carrying out the research helped me to view internship engagement in a different perspective and I realized that motivation is essential in ensuring there is productivity of interns in the organizations. Future research should be carried out in different industrial sectors since my research was general and assumed all sectors offer the same internship environment.

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