Few days ago I met my niece who is a fourth year student at one of our universities. I knew that she was going to have an internship for the rest of the term. To my question how was your internship going she replied without any enthusiasm – “It is fine but actually I do not go there every day. I went there just to introduce myself and to settle with organization authorities that they put stamp in my report at the end”. “How will you write report then?” – I continued. “I will write something” – replied she playing with her mobile.
I tried to encourage her and started to list the benefits that she could get from internship. First of all, students could gain experience and in addition to specialized skills of field, they could gain transferable skills which are required at any job (e.g. communication, computer proficiency and team work). Secondly, gain practical experience or finally, network, meeting with people, communicate and find new opportunities for future job. Unfortunately, I could not convince her to go and have her internship. She was confident that attending internships is waste of time and nobody would spend time on student.
I was not shocked because this situation is very familiar and it is not phenomenon that students may have a false internship. I do not state that all students are in the same situation but I know many students who even do not have a desire to take a “real” internship, attend it every day and learn new things.
The question is “Why is it happening?”
I would assume that students are not interested in future career and they chose their profession because of parental influence or they did not get enough UNT scores. Students are just lazy and prefer spend time watching TV or conversely, they have to earn money and do not have time for internships. Next could be the attitude of employers to students. They really do not have time to teach them, it is easier to put stamp and let them go.
Unfortunately, it is happening and government, universities, employers themselves should somehow motivate students to change their attitude to internships, especially those who study medicine and technical specialties.