Are internship programs an opportunity for students and fresh graduates in the search of employment or are they a corporate excuse to optimise a cost-effective, pro-active, and eager human resources’ capital without fees and benefits? Are internship programs beneficial and relevant for students and fresh graduates to leverage themselves to limited opportunities in a highly competitive market? This paper is a critical review of the state of internship programs which actually take their root as practiced as an apprenticeship system since time immemorial (Haire & Oloffson, 2009, p. 1). This apprenticeship system practice is institutionalised in modern times as part of the academic requirements to immerse students in the community, companies and in multinational organisations to provide a practical dimension to the theories learned during their undergraduate. Every year, thousands of youths and fresh graduates flock to the job market in the search of opportunities to hone their knowledge and to gain competitive leverage in the job market despite there being limited opportunities for millions of job seekers. This year, there are about ‘370,000 graduates who will be competing for limited jobs in the market’ (Grunwald, 2012, p. 1). However, the economic recession became an impetus for companies to accommodate interns to maintain their operations in a cost-effective measure. For the companies, the jobless attempting to secure a place on an internship program is a remedial opportunity in response to economic depression. Recently, youths began complaining that their rights and welfares are being abused as they are unpaid workers of the company.
Internships are an opportunity to gain experience in a specific field. For certain degrees such as medicine, nursing and hotel, internships are an academic requirement (Loretto, 2012, p. 1). Others undertake internship programs to gain personal leverage for employment. Most of those who embarked on this system are fresh graduates of colleges and universities who seek to improve their organizational management communication, and interpersonal skills in addition to their academic achievements (Loretto, 2012, p. 1).
These interns are generally supervised by an individual who assign them to certain tasks and monitor their progress. Those undertaking internships with credited hours for academic grades, the faculty closely relates with the company’s management to ascertain that the desired outcome of the training is achieved. Those interns with genuine interest to learn may find this experience a relevant part of understanding the career path they have chosen and hopefully develop a service-oriented culture based on excellence and professional relation with the management and clienteles (Beard, 2007, pp. 207-220).
This review will critically discuss the correlation between internships and the employability of graduates.
Internships and Opportunities
In this post-modern period, students and graduates are encouraged to undertake work placements at workplaces to value knowledge earned from these on-job trainings that are either paid or unpaid. Experts believe that this is a valuable mechanism for those who are willing to undergo practical training and those who want to increase their chances to secure a job post-graduation. Human resources experts have already advised students to make their job portfolio and experiences early on. They believe that learners should not be dissuaded from undertaking part-time jobs as an added value of work experience in their curriculum vitae. This adds to their credentials as potential employees. Nowadays, there are many universities and colleges that offer internship programs and placements to hone their skills and abilities. This promotes their employability after graduation as companies these days would prefer human resources that have attained positive records...