Students Receive High Marks on Internship Performance Factors
CoB faculty members long ago realized the significance of an internship to students’ career development and marketability, requiring all CoB students to complete one, three-hour credit internship. Through the Portfolio Program, students find assistance with internship searches, how to interview for the internship, and tips on how to make the most of the experience.
As important as CoB students finding a meaningful internship that fits their career aspirations is the supervisor’s assessment of the intern’s work. “With more than 120 students interning annually, individual site visits are not possible. Thus, it is important to have a measurement in place that allows for collection of feedback from site supervisors as to the performance of CoB interns,” says Kathy Barnett, Ph.D., director of the CoB Internship Program.
The Internship Supervisor Evaluation tool currently in place was designed by Nate Straight, M.B.A. ’08, assessment coordinator for the College of Business. The evaluation asks supervisors to assess interns on eight different factors: 1.) Ability and Willingness to Learn; 2.) Business Etiquette and Basic Work Habits; 3.) Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving; 4.) Dependability and Character Attributes; 5.) Effective Written and Oral Communication Skills; 6.) Professional and Career Development Skills; 7.) Organizational Knowledge and Skills; and 8.) Interpersonal and Teamwork Skills. Each factor consists of five statements that are descriptive of the factor being evaluated and supervisors are asked to evaluate the intern on all 40 statements, using a scale of 1 – 5.
CoB students score consistently high on evaluations with the average on each of the eight factors at 4.5 or higher on a 5-point scale. Student interns scored a 4.72 on Organizational Knowledge and Skills, followed by a 4.69 in Business Etiquette and a 4.68 in Interpersonal and Teamwork Skills.
Supervisors are also asked to give an overall score of the interns’ performance, if they would supervise the intern again, and if they would hire the intern if they had a position available. The results for those questions are all extremely positive. Finally, the assessment tool includes space for supervisors to add additional comments—oftentimes the most helpful feedback for the student as it provides a more detailed level of feedback. Most supervisors find that students need to gain more confidence in their own abilities but recognize that this will come with experience.
“We are pleased to see our students doing so well in their internship work experiences especially considering so many are interning in high visibility sites,” says Barnett. The internship remains a valuable tool for students and employers alike. CoB students recognize the value of interning with many now pursuing two or more internships while at Loyola in order to enhance their knowledge and level of marketability. Our student interns are great ambassadors for the College of Business and we are pleased to see so many proactive in securing internships.
View the complete spring 2013 issue of Loyola Executive.