Internships in marketing: Goals, structures and assessment – Student, company and academic perspectives


Work-integrated learning in the form of internships is increasingly important for universities as they seek to compete for students, and seek links with industries. Yet, there is surprisingly little empirical research on the details of internships: (1) What they should accomplish? How they should be structured? (3) How student performance should be assessed? There is also surprisingly little conceptual analysis of these key issues, either for business internships in general, or for marketing internships in particular. Furthermore, the “answers” on these issues may differ depending upon the perspective of the three stakeholders: students, business managers and university academics. There is no study in the marketing literature which surveys all three groups on these important aspects of internships. To fill these gaps, this paper discusses and analyses internship goals, internship structure, and internship assessment for undergraduate marketing internships, and then reports on a survey of the views of all three stakeholder groups on these issues. There are a considerable variety of approaches for internships, but generally there is consensus among the stakeholder groups, with some notable differences. Managerial implications include recognition of the importance of having an academic aspect in internships; mutual understanding concerning needs and constraints; and the requirement that companies, students, and academics take a long-term view of internship programs to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes.


peer-reviewed, internships, marketing education, survey research

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