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Administrative Issues Journal

Abstract

Despite the learning advantages of internship opportunities, many former interns bitterly complain about the dull tasks they had to perform during the internship. We argue that students’ satisfaction ratings with an internship are influenced by the current descriptive approach of final reports. When students list the tasks that they performed (i.e., what did you do?), they only engage in concrete thinking, missing the big picture. We contend that when an introspection approach is used (i.e., why did you do it?), students engage in abstract thinking, realizing the implications of the tasks they performed and hence, rating the internship experience more favorably. An experimental study supports our contention. We propose that colleges should include introspection questions rather than descriptive questions in their final report outlines. By so doing, students will better realize the value of internship opportunities.

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