Reinforcing the Importance of Maintaining Internship Support for College Student Engagement and Anticipated Employment

  •  Gary Blau    
  •  Corinne Snell    
  •  Daniel Goldberg    


The Covid-19 pandemic has created many challenges for universities around the world, including how to keep students engaged in their professional development, despite the challenges of remote learning and virtual student services. The goal of this study was to demonstrate the continued importance of Career Professional Development Center (CPDC) support (pre-pandemic to early stages of the pandemic) for business-related internships influencing student professional development engagement (PDE) and anticipated employment upon graduation. PDE encompasses typical CPDC resources (e.g., internship search support; involvement in student professional organizations (SPOs); professional development coaching; and job search assistance). A survey, the Senior Student Satisfaction Survey (SSSS) was deployed prior to graduation to business students. Using the SSSS, two separate samples of graduating business undergraduates at a Mid-Atlantic University in the United States were surveyed, in late Spring 2019 (pre-pandemic) and late Spring 2020 (early pandemic). Pre-pandemic survey results showed that students having at least one internship experience (versus none) were more likely to: join an SPO sooner; attend more SPO meetings/semester; complete their professional development sooner; and anticipate “by graduation” full-time employment. Despite the drop in survey participation due to the pandemic onset, results consistent with this were found with the early pandemic survey. Like other academic-related and campus services in the face of the pandemic, the business school CPDC is adapting to the new remote ways of operating and successfully transitioned their delivery mode to a 100% virtual model to meet the resource challenge of supporting student PDE. It is hoped that the ideas discussed will be useful to a wider audience.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1927-5250
  • ISSN(Online): 1927-5269
  • Started: 2012
  • Frequency: bimonthly

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