Open Journal of Nursing
Vol.08 No.08(2018), Article ID:86854,21 pages

Avoiding the Gap of College Students’ Internship Expectations and Perceptions― A Case Study in Taiwan

Yi-An Hou

St. Mary’s Junior College of Medicine, Nursing and Management, Taiwan

Copyright © 2018 by author and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution International License (CC BY 4.0).

Received: July 8, 2018; Accepted: August 21, 2018; Published: August 24, 2018


Internship is believed to be vital in bridging the gap of theory and practice because of its providing students many realities they couldn’t find on campus. In fact, successful internships can play the role of “win-win-win” triangular partnership among schools, students, and industries, especially to benefit students to well equip themselves for good opportunities in the future career development. However, internship experiences that fail to meet students’ expectation may also discourage them or turn them away from entering the industry. Hence, to be aware of and to avoid the potential gap of students’ expectation cannot be underestimated. The study aimed to explore students’ expectation of internships from an aspect of gender and multiple intelligences expecting to avoid the potential gap beforehand. Subjects were eighty college Hospitality students who were ready to conduct their internships out of campus. They helped to fill out the questionnaires dealing with their personal demographic information, multiple intelligences, and expectations of internship. Findings revealed that genders and multiple intelligences did make a difference in students’ expectations of internship which may bring about frustration or disappointment in their real internship world. Suggestions and implications for the triangular partnership of schools, students, and industries were provided with a better understanding of factors relevant to students’ expectations for a more appropriate internship program to avoid the potential gap in advance.


Internship, Expectation, Satisfaction, Gender

1. Introduction

To provide students with an experiential learning experience that they couldn’t find on campus, to bridge the gap between theory and practice, and to help students well equip themselves for good opportunities in the future career development, many higher education institutions have been offering their students some type of internships for decades. Hence, internships are vital to bridge the gap between schools, and industries. More specifically, a successful internship program can benefit the three stakeholders as a “win-win-win” situations [1] , including the main benefit of being more marketable for students, having risk-free-trial access to potential future employees for industries, and being able to strengthen the connections to business community for schools [2] . Due to the mutually beneficial nature of internships, the effectiveness of the latter has been widely supported by such as those of studies [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] . For instance, Gisela, et al. [5] analyze studies relevant to possible variables that may affect the outcomes and satisfaction of students’ internship experience, including the quality of mentoring [8] [9] , challenging assignments [8] , ongoing feedback and greater autonomy [10] ; keeping a journal [8] [9] , a dedicated supervisor [9] [10] , and appropriate prerequisite [9] , as well as a positive attitude [6] [8] . On the other hand, there are still many drawbacks related to an internship experience, especially when students’ expectations differ from that of their employers [6] , or even when students’ expectations and perceptions are unmet, which may bring about their frustration or dissatisfaction, and discourage them to stay in the field. Hence, the present study intends to find out the possible factors relevant to students’ expectations of internship, hoping to avoid the gap between their expectation and perception of internship in advance.

1.1. Aims and Purpose of the Study

The study aimed to investigate Taiwanese college students’ expectations of internships and factors relevant to their expectations from an aspect of genders and multiple intelligences.

1.2. Research Questions

The study expected to provide answers to the two main research questions:

1) What are Taiwanese college students’ expectations of internship?

2) How genders and multiple intelligences relate to students’ expectations of internship?

2. Literature Review

2.1. Internship and Expectations

Internship can be defined as short-term practical work experience where students have the opportunity to apply theory into practice by merging their learning gained in a classroom-based environment with real-life working environment [11] . It is a carefully developed program and supervised work experience under special guidelines and attention with the aim to close the gap between academic theory and industry practice work-based learning [12] [13] . In fact, it is a triangular partnership among students, schools, and industry; as long as the triangular network runs well, a successful internship program can be ensured and benefit the main three stakeholders. For students, internship provides them the practical learning experience and future foundation for their career development, strengthens their problem-solving ability, social skills and professional skills, as well as develops the good relationship with people in the field to enhance the employability upon graduation [5] [7] . On the other hand, the industry not only saves on recruitment cost and receives a source of inexpensive and qualified labor [6] [8] and provides workplace training to reduce the uncertainty in the later process of hiring potential talented individuals, but also strengthens bonds with academic institutions and incorporates new ideas [6] . In addition, schools realize the need of integrating theory and practice, emphasize the importance of practical training, and make efforts to organize successful internship programs for students, thus, schools can appear to enhance reputation and visibility [4] [7] ; more importantly, schools can receive feedback from the industries and students as input for curricular assessment, and even build up closer ties with local relevant business community. Hence, internship can be regarded as one of school’s positive strategies to compete for a larger intake of students by promoting a comprehensive curriculum with a successful internship program [4] [7] . However, there are still some drawbacks of internship experience, especially for those students who are not fully aware of the workload, job demands, and requirements in advance, and are not ready to work in the real world situations. The worse is some students may decide to turn away from the hospitality industry after graduation because during internship, what with the image that service jobs were normally not perceived as high in social status, and what with the dissatisfaction about their internship experience of lacking the development of job skills, relation skills and technical skills [6] , as well as other poor treatment of staff, effort outweighing rewards, and even some other personal reasons, such as interest and personality. Another reason why some students were dissatisfied with their internship experience and became pessimistic about their career development was because of their expectations and perception being unmet [14] . As Kandampully, et al. [15] mentioned that a person’s expectation and perception had a close relationship with evaluation of quality and satisfaction levels. The former represents how people perceive before experience, while the latter indicates how people feel after experience. The gap happens when students’ perception fails to meet their initial expectations, which may bring about their dissatisfaction and even discourage them to enter the hospitality industry in the future. On the other hand, some employers may not satisfy, either, due to their different expectations about the student interns; they especially value positive and responsible attitudes, good communication skills, and believe that students should be willing and enthusiastic participants [4] [6] [11] . Obviously, it becomes crucial to bridge the gap between students’ expectations and perception, and even the gap between employers’ and students’ expectations, and to keep potential students in the hospitality industry to avoid the employee turnover being a continuous challenging in the field. Nevertheless, it takes two to make it work; in the case, not only students need to know more about themselves and realize some of their own expectations are unrealistic and try best to enhance themselves to be matured, but also the employers had better be aware that the young generation was regarded as Generation Y (born between 1981-2000) and provide students with more tolerance and chances. Normally, the Generation Y was regarded as those who “tend to highly value their personal lives, pay, promotion, flexibility, and challenges in their job; value their non-work time for leisure and vacations and consider their job a source to fund their lifestyle” [16] [17] . Members of this generation were more independent, entrepreneurial, challenge-taking, creative, technologically savvy, and knowledgeable [18] . It is hard for them to retain in the workplaces because they not only value their personal life and are willing to leave their current jobs if the change is more beneficial for them, but also they experience the biggest age gap in the workplace, which can be crucial determinant of intention to leave the jobs [19] [20] . As a result, to have a better understanding of the characteristics of the young generation is necessary for both educators and employers, and even students themselves, and trying to encourage them/themselves to remain and to reduce turnover intention of those who complete hospitality management programs and transition into jobs within the hospitality industry. Overall, it has been agreed that internships are satisfactory and beneficial experiences for all the involved parties of students, schools, and industries in many ways, though some improvements still need to be improved for more successful internship programs.

2.2. Multiple Intelligences (MI)

According to Gardner [21] , intelligence is the ability to find and solve problems and each of the intelligences is present to different degrees in a person, with some intelligences being better developed than others. Multiple intelligences (MI) are believed to be autonomous but also interactive [21] [22] . Since Gardner’s Frame of Mind (1983) [21] , many studies referring to MI, together with other factors relevant to learning performance in many fields, have been blooming worldwide, such as Visser, Ashton, & Vernoon [23] , in Canada; Akbari & Hosseini [24] (2008) in Iran; Kim [10] in Korea; Dastgoshadeh & Jalizadeh’s [25] in Singapore; Carlin, Salazar, & Cortes [26] in Mexico; Saeidi & Karvandi [27] in Iran; Maria del Mar Palenzuela Perez & Noemi Reina Ruz [28] in Spain; and Taiwan is not an exception. Recently, many studies dealing with MI and other factors relative to learning performance were conducted in Taiwan, for example: focusing on genders [29] [30] [31] , majors [29] , learning behaviors (motivation, attitude, belief, learning styles, strategy, anxiety, and ambiguity tolerance) [31] [32] [33] [34] [35] , and even students’ birth rank, caregivers’ education, family atmosphere and parenting styles [31] . Not surprisingly, in light of gender difference, findings revealed that males were stronger in Logical/Mathematical intelligences and Bodily intelligence, while females were with stronger Verbal/Linguistic intelligence and Musical intelligence [30] [31] [35] . As for majors, language majors were stronger in Verbal/Linguistic intelligence, while Math majors and Physical Education majors are with stronger Logical/Mathematical intelligences; and Arts majors are stronger with Visual/Spatial intelligence [28] . In addition, MI were found to be relevant to students’ learning behaviors, strategy use, learning styles, as well as tolerance of ambiguity, and led to English performance [2] [9] [32] [33] [34] [35] [36] . Particularly, Kuo [31] reveals that concerning with development of MI for Taiwanese higher grade primary students, there are significant differences on birth rank, education of caregivers, family atmosphere and parenting styles. Additionally, students’ learning attitudes are found to be positively relative to both motivation and the development of their multiple intelligences. Together with the findings mentioned above, some other studies reveal that intelligences are correlated with personality traits of Big Five dimensions and predict academic performance and work [37] [38] [39] [40] . The personality traits of Big Five [40] , including “OCEAN”: Openness to experience (O), Conscientiousness (C), Extraversion (E), Agreeableness (A), and Neuroticism (N). Among the Big Five (OCEAN), Conscientiousness (C) has been found to be strongly and positively related to intelligence and predictive to academic performance of Languages (foreign language, Swedish, English), Social Science (Social), Math/Science (technology, math, science), Practical (art, music, home/ consumer, crafts), and Sports (sport) [37] [39] . Based on the findings, to take MI into consideration, it may be predicted that students with stronger Verbal/Linguistic intelligence perform better in Languages; while students who are stronger in Logic/Mathematic intelligence have higher scores of Math, Technology, and Science; and students with stronger Musical intelligence have higher grades in Music; as well as students who are stronger in Bodily intelligence perform better in Sports. However, the findings of Farsides & Woodfield [38] and Rosander, et al. [41] were quite different from that of Ackerman and Heggestad [37] , who found the strongest link between intelligence and Openness (O), and weaker links between intelligence and the other four personality traits of Neuroticism (N), Extraversion (E), and Agreeableness (A). Additionally, another study conducted by Heaven & Ciarrochi [39] indicates that personality plays an important role in facilitating learning and performance in the school context, while intelligence is also a strong and consistent predictor across all subjects, in particular, there is a significant interaction between intelligence and Openness (O) for Religious Studies, English, Math, Science, History, and Geography. The same situation as that of Farsides & Woodfield [38] and Rosander, et al. [41] , the findings of Heaven & Ciarrochi [39] can be used to predict that a student with stronger Existential Intelligence will be quite potential to perform better in his/her Religious subject. Undoubtedly, MI theory has successfully provided a framework for teachers to be more aware of students’ individual differences, reflect on their best teaching methods and to understand why some methods work or why they work well for some students but not for others. It also helps teachers expand their teaching repertoire to include a broader range of methods, materials, and technique for teaching and ever-wider and more diverse range of leaners. The same is true in the industry site, when employers provide training to the student interns in work, if they have a better understanding about the characteristics of the young generation and keep more aware of the interns’ individual differences, in particular, their personality and multiple intelligences, it may function better and enhance the relationship between employers and student interns in work and lead to a more successful internship in the end.

2.3. Gender Differences

In light of gender differences, the study would focus on discussing relevant to multiple intelligences, education, and job satisfaction. Firstly, regarding to gender differences in multiple intelligences, males were normally found to be stronger with Logical/Mathematical Intelligence, Spatial Intelligence, Bodily Intelligence, and Interpersonal Intelligences; while females were stronger in Verbal/Linguistic Intelligences and Musical Intelligences [42] [43] . Secondly, males, especially in many Asian countries, are expected to have higher education to take more responsibilities for their family; hence, many parents are ready to invest more cost relative in their sons’ education, as Hou [35] pointed out that “gender matters from the beginning”, when early in elementary schools, boys were provided with more parental homework guidance, but girls were found to have stronger motivation and better English performance as well. Thirdly, as more and more females have been entering into the work force, it has generated considerable interest in the issues relevant to gender differences in the job market, for example, salary, position, performance, satisfaction, etc. To take job satisfaction as an example, job satisfaction is the degree to which an individual feels positively or negatively about his/her job, and the overall job satisfaction depends on what one expects and what he/she receives [44] , such as the tasks, leadership, peer relationships, organizational politics, as well as other physical and social conditions of the workplace. Generally speaking, in the society, females are not like males to be expected to take more responsibilities to support a family, consequently, as Clark [45] mentioned that more females are happy at work and outperform [46] , because they tend to be less likely to identify earning as the most important aspect of a job. In fact, to identify social relations at work is one of the benefits for many female employees, consequently, there is a significant gender difference in expectations about jobs which correlates with levels of job satisfaction, and many findings reveal that females have higher satisfaction about jobs [47] [48] . However, there are still some cases that males are found to have higher levels of satisfaction about jobs in which their expectations and perception are met [49] . Hence, as Ehrman [50] pointed out that to enhance the success of both males and females, attention to such variables may suggest ways as interests, culturally determined gender roles, sex-related personality differences, and learning circumstances.

3. Methodology

Methodology included 1) research design, 2) subjects of the study, 3) research instruments, and 4) procedure. They were described below:

The study was a quantitative design, and a case study was used for the research methodology because it focused on a case not the whole population. In addition, a case study has the advantages of combining qualitative and quantitative data in a complementary way [51] and in providing a depth study of a special case as well. “Some case studies are highly impersonal and statistical” (p. 256) [51] . It is the study of a bounded system, which is in a particular circumstance and with a particular problem, and also gives readers “space” for their own opinions.

3.1. Subjects of the Study

Subjects were 80 Hospitality Management major students in a private five-year junior college in North-Eastern Taiwan, including 34 males (43%) and 46 females (57%). They were the whole population of the fourth graders who were ready to do their off-campus internship mainly in restaurants starting from the following semester for one year. Furthermore, like many other schools, for conducting English homogeneous grouping instruction, based on their English scores of Junior College Entrance Exam, the students were divided into two classes of Regular level (52.5%) and Advanced level (47.5%). Among them, 56% of the males were included in the Advanced Class, while 50% of the females were equally included in the advanced class and Regular class.

Based on students’ self-reported information, 29.9% of their fathers had junior high school (or below) education, 49.8% had senior high school education, and the rest 20.3% had college (or above) education; while 27.7% of their mothers had junior high school (or below) education, 59.8% had senior high school education, and the rest 12.5% had college (or above) education. As for their parents’ occupations, more than half of their fathers (53.9%) worked in the field of industry/business, 14.0% worked as public servicers, and the rest 32.1% did other stuff, while 38.4% of their mothers worked in the field of industry/business, 8.1% worked as public servants, and more than half did other stuff (53.5%). In addition, only slightly higher than one third (37.5%) of the students had the chance to go abroad for cross-cultural exchange experience; in particular, among the items dealing with students’ demographic information, a significant gender difference only existed in students’ going-abroad experience, while males had higher mean than females (p < 0.05). Students’ demographic information was presented in Table 1.

3.2. Research Instruments

The research instrument is a 168-item questionnaire, including eight items dealing with students’ background information, Multiple Intelligences (MI) (90 items), and Expectations of Internship (70 items). The reliability of Multiple Intelligences (MI) and Expectations of Internship, was Cronbach’s Alpha 0.984 (n = 90) and 0.994 (n = 70), respectively. The research instruments were displayed in Table 2.

Table 1. Students’ demographic information.

Table 2. Instrument of the study.

3.3. Procedure and Data Analysis

In late 2016, a total of 81 Hospitality Management major students in the private five-year junior college were arranged to join in the study. If they agreed to participate in the study, they would sign their names on the answer sheet and returned. The returned rate was 99%. Along with descriptive statistics of mean and standard deviation, the data were analyzed by using The Statistical Package for the Social Science (SPSS, 18) to perform three other analyses. First, Pearson product-moment correlation was computed to find out the relationship among the subcategories of the questionnaires. Then, a t-test was used to see if genders brought about some differences in students’ MI and expectation of internships. Finally, a Regression Analysis was used to determine what factors predictive to other variables.

4. Findings and Discussions

4.1. Findings

The results revealed that students had a moderate level of multiple intelligences with a mean of 3.25 out of 5.00 and high internship expectations of a mean of 4.22 out of 5.00. Comparatively, only a slightly more than one third of the students had going-abroad experience (37.5%) (Table 3). In addition, except for Existential Intelligence, male students had higher means in the other eight types of intelligence, though the differences didn’t reach significant levels. Specifically, males were stronger with Visual/Spatial, Intrapersonal, Verbal/Linguistic, Interpersonal intelligences, but weaker in Musical/ Rhythmic, Logic/Mathematic, Existential, Bodily intelligence, and Universal/Naturalist intelligences. On the contrary, females were stronger with Existential, Musical/Rhythmic, Visual/Spatial, Intrapersonal intelligences, but weaker with interpersonal, Bodily intelligence, Verbal/Linguistic, Universal/Naturalist intelligences, and Logic/Mathematic. Though there was no significant gender difference in multiple intelligences (Table 4), yet males tended to be significantly stronger with some individual items in Verbal/Linguistic, Visual/Spatial, and Intrapersonal intelligences than females (Table 5).

Table 3. Descriptive analysis of MI, internship expectations, English levels, and going abroad experience.

Table 4. Analysis of gender differences in multiple intelligences.

Table 5. Gender differences in individual items of multiple intelligences.

Moreover, male students had significantly more going-abroad experiences than females (p < 0.05). On the other hand, females had higher overall internship expectations, including the five factors of internship expectations about the school, the workplace, students, satisfaction, and future job intentions, yet the difference didn’t reach a significant level (Table 6).

Furthermore, the nine types of multiple intelligence were strongly correlated to one another (p < 0. 01) (Table 7), and the same as that of five factors of internship expectations about the school, the company, students, satisfaction, and future job intention (p < 0.01) (Table 8).

Lastly, none of students’ genders, parental education and jobs, as well as multiple intelligences was relevant to their English levels (Table 9).

However, students’ going-abroad experience was found to be relevant to their internship expectations about school (p < 0.05), workplace (p < 0.05), and satisfaction (p < 0.05). Furthermore, though overall MI was not predictive to students’ internship expectations (Table 10), yet among individual types of MI, Verbal/Linguistic intelligence was relevant to students’ internship expectation about the company, negatively (p < 0.05) (Table 11).

In particular, students with stronger Verbal/Linguistic intelligences tended to have lower expectations about school’s supporting the budget of teachers’ regular visiting student interns; industry’s providing before-job and on-job training, reasonable payment; self-expectations about their enhancing career morality; building up good interrelationship; having positive belief about the hospitality industry; inspiring the value and ability; keeping in touch with school teachers; participating in the company’s practical assignments; and recognizing the importance of English in the modern era. On the country, students with stronger Interpersonal intelligence had higher expectation about the industry’s providing on-job training, while students with stronger Naturalist intelligence had higher expectation about enhancing their creativity ability, but lower expectation about improving their practical skills (Table 12). All led to the conclusion that students’ MI did predict to their internship expectations to some extent.

Table 6. Analysis of gender differences of internship expectations, English levels and going abroad experience.

Table 7. Correlation among nine types of multiple intelligences.

**p < 0.01, *p < 0.05.

4.2. Discussions

In the study, findings showed that 37.5% of the students had going-abroad experience, among them, male students had significantly higher mean than females (p < 0.05). The reason might due to many Asian parents still have higher expectation of boys and try best to provide them with more chances to go abroad for cross-cultural experience. As for the percentage of students’ going-abroad of the study, it was much higher than that of Shen’s study in 2001 [52] which indicated that only 3.8% of the 1023 junior high school students, in the same neighborhood of

Table 8. Correlation among five factors of internship expectations.

Table 9. Regression analysis of factors predictive to students’ English levels.

Dependent variable: students’ English levels.

the participating junior college area, had the experience of going abroad. The difference might due to the internationalization and the blooming of oversea traveling for the past years. In addition, students were found to have moderate

Table 10. Regression analysis of factors predictive to students’ internship expectations.

Dependent variables: internships expectation about the school, the company, students, satisfaction, and future job intention.

Table 11. Regression analysis of MI predictive to students’ internship expectations.

Dependent variables: internships expectation about school, workplace, students, satisfaction, and future job intention.

level of MI (M = 3.25/5.00) and high level of internship expectation (4.22/5.00). Particularly, male students had higher means in MI, including Logical/Mathematic intelligence and Bodily Intelligence; on the other hand, females were stronger with Verbal/Linguistic Intelligence and Musical Intelligence, which was consistent with Hou’s [53] , and Hou, et al.’s [42] .

As for English levels, there was no significant difference between males and females which didn’t coincide with many findings of females’ language superiority. The possible explanation might be students’ English proficiency in the study was only divided into two levels instead of measured by their scores. However, for internship expectations, female students had higher means than their

Table 12. Regression analysis of MI predictive to variables of students’ internship expectations.

Dependent variables: internship expectations about school, workplace, students, satisfaction, and future job intention.

counterparts, though the difference didn’t reach a significant level, yet it still supported that more females seem to be happy at work, because unlike males, they tend to be less likely to identify earning as the most important aspect of a job, in fact, to identify social relationships at work is one of the benefits of many female employees, consequently, there is a significant gender difference in expectations about job [44] [45] . Findings revealed that the nine types of multiple intelligence were strongly correlated to one another (p < 0.01), which supported that multiple intelligences are autonomous but they are also interactive [21] [22] . As Gardner [21] claims we all have different combinations of intelligences; what makes individual different is that each of the intelligences is present to different degrees in a person, but with some intelligences being better developed than others. Consequently, if teachers are aware of students’ individual strength and weakness in intelligences, they can realize some teaching methods cannot “fit for all”, and understand why some teaching methods work well with some students but not for some others. In light of students’ internship expectations, the same as that of MI, there was a strong co-relationship among their expectations about school, workplace, themselves, internship expectation, and future job intention (p < 0.01). That is to say, students’ internship expectations about the five factors were strongly correlated to one another, which supported that internship is a triangular partnership among students, schools, and industry [12] ; consequently, the triangular network should cooperate to run well for a successful internship program to benefit the main three stakeholders. The findings revealed that neither students’ demography factors (gender, parents’ education and jobs, going-abroad experience), nor types of multiple intelligences was predictive to students’ English levels (Table 7). The possible reason might due to students’ English proficiency in the study was only divided into two levels instead of being more specific classified by their scores. Regarding to internship expectations, in general, only students’ going-abroad experience was found to be relevant to their internship expectations about the school (p < 0.05), the company (p < 0.05), and satisfaction (p < 0.05) (Table 8), but if all the nine types of MI were analyzed, it was found that Verbal/Linguistic intelligence was negatively predictive to students’ expectation about workplace (p < 0.05) (Table 9). In particular, some negative prediction of Verbal/Linguistic intelligence and Universal/Naturalist intelligence existed in students’ expectations about workplace and students themselves. In other words, students with weaker Verbal/Linguistic intelligence and Universal/Natural intelligence had higher internship expectations about workplace and themselves. In the study, male students were found to be stronger with Verbal/Linguistic intelligence than females, hence, it might bring about some lower internship expectations for male students about workplace and themselves (Table 5, Table 12). In addition, it was found that some items of Interpersonal intelligence and Naturalist intelligence were positively predictive to workplace (p < 0.05) and students (p < 0.05), respectively, indicating that students with stronger interpersonal intelligence had higher expectation about workplace’s providing on-job training, while students with stronger Naturalist intelligence expected more that they could increase their creativity ability (Table 12). On the other hand, both males and females had weaker Universal/Naturalist intelligence, ranked last and the next to last, respectively (Table 4). Consequently, students needed to be aware that it might lead to some high optimistic or unrealistic internship expectations. For example, students’ highest expectation about the workplace was “reasonable payment” (rank 1st out of 12 items), but for their self-expectation, “devoting myself to the work” only ranked 24th out of 30 items). Another example was that students had high expectation about themselves to realize the importance of English in the modern world (rank 12th out of 30 items), but they didn’t self-expect much to try to use time to study English and improve their English ability (rank the last out of 30 items). In fact, students should know that “You reap what you sow,” so they should try their best to devote themselves to the work, then reasonable payment can be expected.

5. Implication and Limitation

5.1. Implication

Internship is a triangular network among students, schools, and employers; if it works well, it will become a “win-win-win” program to benefit the three stakeholders, hence, it must be well defined and cohesive. On one hand, both the school and industry should collaborate closely to develop a well-organized quality internship program, on the other hand, students need to be ready and aware of their expectations prior to commencing the internship, their perception afterwards, their overall internship satisfaction level, and the relationship between the gap of expectations and perceptions and overall satisfaction. First, in the network, schools should take the lead to organize the internship programs and involve students and employers to participate in the planning stage. To begin with, schools should help students to nurture realistic expectations regarding to the internship demands and reward. In addition, to arrange the right person in the right place, schools should take the responsibility for all pre-placement activities to prepare students for the internship programs by collecting information about needs and interests of students as well as employers by way of formal channels of questionnaires by mails, e-mails, or interviews, and informal channels of comprising casual talk with students and employers. More importantly, there should be a full-time specialist staff, preferably with industrials experience, to administer the internship program at school, and to serve as the bridge builder among the three stakeholders during the whole process of internship. Second, students should appreciate the valuable opportunity of internship to apply their theoretical knowledge with the actual practice experience for future job. Furthermore, they need to fully understand themselves and to be sure that the internships best fit their personality traits and commit them to the values governing the modern hospitality industry and to nurture realistic expectations regarding to the internship demands and reward. Also, they need to build good rapport with both school and industry as they are the middle source of the internship program. Third, with understanding the purpose and the benefits of the internship program, industries should cooperate with the school closely and actively for a successful completion. In addition to the careful preparation, during the process, managers or industry mentors should have a better understanding about the characteristics of the new Generation Y employees, be aware of the student interns’ expectations about the internship, and to arrange formal or informal meetings with them to discuss various issues related to their observation, training progress, or problems, and try to help student interns to engage them with jobs that are fulfilling significant, and challenging [54] [55] . All in all, in addition to good beginning, supervising process, and expected completion of the internship, there should be a program-end meeting for the three stakeholders again so that the representatives of schools, students, and industries have the chance to evaluate the program and provide some suggestions for the improvement of more successful in the future.

5.2. Limitations of the Study and Suggestions for Future Study

There were three limitations of the study. First, the students’ English levels were adopted from their English scores of junior college entrance exam, and were only divided into two levels of Regular and Advanced, hence, it might not be strong enough to support the findings; therefore, to provide an appropriate English test is quite necessary in the future study. Second, the sample size was small (n = 80), hence, the results may not be representative for other schools. Last but not least, many studies have proved that personality and intelligence are good predictors for performance in school text (and in work site) [38] [39] [41] . However, investigations normally only include the personality traits of Big Five (OCEAN) and general intelligence to be relevant to students’ performance, and exclude the nine types of Multiple Intelligence (MI). If both the Big Five personality traits and the nine types of Multiple Intelligence can be taken into consideration to explore the possible relations among the personality, intelligence, and performance. Hence, it is needed to cover all the Big Five, Nine Multiple Intelligences, and performance in both school and work in the future studies.


Special thanks go to the college’s support and the participating students’ cooperation to make the research possible.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest regarding the publication of this paper.

Cite this paper

Hou, Y.-A. (2018) Avoiding the Gap of College Students’ Internship Expectations and Perceptions― A Case Study in Taiwan. Open Journal of Nursing, 8, 531-551.


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