Internship programmes – bridge between school and professional life

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Abstract

All stakeholders involved in the academic educational process (e.g. students, universities, organizations, state institutions) have a direct interest in developing appropriate skills among students aimed at increasing their employability chances on the very competitive labour market and in the same time lessening the transition from school to professional life. Qualitative internship programs are considered a useful instrument which can be used in order to achieve the aforementioned objective. In the last years in Romania this field boomed, many internship programs emerged and were developed and tailored according to specific needs of certain domains. This growth was triggered of one hand side by the initiatives of the socio-economic environment but also by incentives offered by the public sector in form of financing the development of such programs in universities. Which are the main characteristics of internship programs? How are they identified and structured? Which are the factors that influence their quality from students’ perspective? What strategies and measures can be adopted in order to improve the quality of internship programs? The present paper aims at addressing the above questions by analysing the responses of over 450 students which were surveyed within a questionnaire based research conducted in the Bucharest University of Economic Studies in Romania. Various research methods – starting with the analysis of descriptive statistics and continuing with factor analysis and regression analysis- were used in order offer an overview – as comprehensible as possible- of the situation of internship programs in various sectors in the field of business, economics and administration. The outcomes of the study can be of interest for several groups of stakeholders and can be taken into consideration when formulating and proposing improvement recommendations of the policies, regulations and operational measures in this field.

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