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An internship may be paid, unpaid or partially paid in the form of a stipend. Paid internships are most common in the medical, architecture, science, engineering, law, business especially accounting and finance, and technology and advertising fields. Internships in non-profit organizations such as charities and think tanks are often unpaid, volunteer positions and may be part-time or full-time. Internships exist in various industries and settings and here are two primary types of internships:

  • Work experience internship: Most often this will be in the second or third year of the school period and the placement can be from two months to sometimes one full school year. During this period the student is supposed to use the things that he/she has learned in school and put it in a practice. This way the student gets work experience in their field of study. The gained experience will be helpful to finish up the studies of last year.
  • Research internship (graduation) or dissertation internship: This is mostly done by students who are in their last year and with this kind of internship a student does research for a particular company. The company has something that they feel like they need to improve, or the student can choose a topic within the company themselves. The results of the research study put in a report and often have to be presented.

The value of student internship experience is enhanced when that experience is systematically and carefully assessed. The evaluations of the accounting internship experience describe "provide information about students' traits, knowledge, skills, and behaviors as well as perspectives on activities, coursework and suggested curriculum changes." The challenge is finding those assessment mechanisms that work very well to assess internship experiences. Obviously, a multiple-choice exam is not always useful. In the accounting internship, students begin by identifying a set of goals and objectives for their internship experience. These goals are used to help placing the students in appropriate internships and provide the overarching framework for the assessment of their performance in the internship.

Student internships in this program complete a weekly diary or journal that logs their experiences and insights gained from them. They also send regular emails to their on-campus internship supervisors. At the conclusion of the internship, they prepare a paper that includes an overview of the accounting field, an overview of the company where the internship was completed, a reaction to the internship, and an evaluation of it that is based on its relationship to previously completed coursework. This paper is accompanied by an oral presentation and all these materials are assessed by the on-campus internship supervisor. A student's performance during the internship is evaluated by the on-site supervisor.

Both students and on-site supervisors are given opportunities to assess the internship program and the associated experience with it. This feedback helps those people who are responsible for the program to adjust course content, assignments, and activities so that the degree programs curriculum and the student internship are coordinated and integrated learning experiences.

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Emiley David has 1 articles online

Emiley David acts as a consultant for Dreaminternship who are one of the largest provider of student internships, MBA internships and internship Australia.

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This article was published on 2011/01/06