Chapter 5. Conclusion and Discussion Conclusion
This study makes three contributions. First, it highlights the importance of task goal clarity and mentorship in designing internships for both learning and job acceptance intention.
Second, it demonstrates the factor of intern’s autonomy in the relationship of task goal clarity and learning and Third, it emphasizes that learning is the key to job acceptance intention for interns.
Based from the results of regression analysis, it was found that task goal clarity and mentorship influenced the intern’s learning during the internship program. Interestingly, mentorship partially mediated the relationship of task goal clarity and learning. On the other hand, the relationship of task goal clarity and learning is expected to be stronger when autonomy is high and weaker when it is low. With regards to control variables such as educational level, gender and internship duration of the intern, educational level of the intern only becomes a significant factor in learning when autonomy is higher or lower. The remaining control variables never became a factor in learning for interns.
With regards to job acceptance intention, task goal clarity and learning both had significant influence. Also, learning mediated the relationship of task goal clarity and job acceptance intention. No control variables were a factor to the interns’ job acceptance intention. The summary of the findings of the research hypotheses are shown in Table 9
Complete Findings of the Research Hypotheses
Number Hypotheses Research Finding
Task goal clarity is positively related to learning Mentorship is positively related to learning
Mentorship mediates the relationship between task goal clarity and learning.
Autonomy moderates the relationship of task goal clarity and learning
Learning is positively related to job acceptance intention
Learning mediates the relationships between task goal and job acceptance intention
Partially supported Supported
With regards to task goal clarity and learning, the clearer the task goal is when given to the interns, the higher chance of them learning more. The design of the task goal by their line managers or the employer is critical to the interns’ learning. If it’s communicated clearly to the interns, they would be able to exert more effort and understand the scope of the task.
Thus, pushing them to focus on the right aspects to complete it. Also, learning more.
Mentorship also plays a critical role in the learning of the intern. Mentors are referred to the line managers or reporting managers of the intern. When the mentor and intern has a great collaborative relationship, the interns learn more. In the results, mentorship mediates the relationship of task goal clarity and learning. Thus, it is safe to say that mentorship plays a major role in the nurturing of young talents like interns. Mentors would work closely with the interns and directly affects the performance, learning and definitely the results of the task goal of the intern.
Autonomy or the freedom given to the interns plays a factor in the relationship of task goal clarity and learning. Interns could learn more by having a clearer task goal if freedom is high. If the task goal is clear, line managers could give more freedom to the interns in completing the needed task.
Finally, with regards to job acceptance intention, learning during the internship program is the key factor to interns accepting a job offer. When interns learn more, they
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envision more learning opportunities in the future after they receive the job offer. By learning and improving their skills during the internship program, they could envision their career and skill advancement in a positive way in the company.
Limitations of the Study
Interns were targeted to be the sample of this study. Internship experiences could vary in terms of functions and durations. A limitation would be students may also have had part-time jobs that would be similar to an internship experience or internships without the involvement of the university.
Another clear limitation was that respondents’ educational background are not so diverse and balanced. Most of the respondents are in graduate school business programs.
80% are taking grad school programs while the remaining 20% are in undergraduate programs. The capability of interns would differ in educational background thus also differ in internship performance.
Finally, another limitation is the location of the universities of the interns. Over 90%
of respondents are from north universities. This situation might risk the study to be focused only on interns in one location rather than Taiwan in general.
Suggestions to Future Studies
According to the scope and limitations, the following suggestions were made for future researches. The suggestions are as follows:
1. Since this study only focused on Taiwanese students and mostly with business majors and did not consider other majors such as hotel management, tourism or engineering majors which also sets internships as a mandatory course. Future
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studies could use other backgrounds such as mentioned above to check whether the results will still be similar with the results found in this study. This way, it can be useful to different industries and not only focused in the industries mentioned in this study.
2. Majority of the respondents of this study are from national universities in Northern Taiwan. Future studies may include private universities and
technological universities all over Taiwan. In this way, the study could be cover more scope and contribute more in a nationwide matter.
3. This study only considers variables to be linked to job acceptance intention such as task goal clarity, mentorship, autonomy and learning. Future studies could include more factors such as colleague relationship, company culture and etc. to find out which factor has the most effect towards job acceptance intention.
4. The limitation of this study includes respondents who are in graduate school take up 80% of the respondents. Only 20% are in undergraduate. Thus, future studies could focus more on undergraduates who have had internship
experiences. The future study could compare the results of undergraduates as majority of the respondent to the present study which has graduate school students as the majority.
5. Finally, this study only links its variables to job acceptance intention. Future studies could link the variables in this study to other possible outcomes such as increase in GPA of students after internship programs or increase in
performance for students. In this study, learning was vital to job acceptance intention. Undeniably, learning could also be linked to different outcomes such as the examples mentioned above.
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Suggestions to Employers
Since employers put a lot of resources in internship programs for them to find potential employees, it’s best that employers design an internship program that would help bring out the best out of the interns and assist them in reaching their potential. And also, to let the candidates accept a potential job offer from the employers. The suggestions are as follows:
1. When assigning a task or a project to an intern, companies should provide a well-design project and communicate it clearly to the intern. Specifics including the needed deliverables, scope of the project and objectives should be clearly communicated in order to let the interns understand what skills are required for him/her to finish this task.
2. Mentors are critical in the learning of the intern during the internship program.
Employers should select managers that are proven great mentors and line managers for them to guide the interns into bringing out their best and thus, contributing and learning more in the process. Furthermore, studies mention that the more similar the characteristics of a mentor and a mentee, the greater the chances for better psychosocial support, career development, and role modeling.
3. In regards to autonomy, mentors should provide a higher freedom if the task goal is clear. In this way, interns could learn more. If the task goal is vague, line managers should provide extra guidance and mentorship to the interns in
completing the needed task.
4. Since learning is one of the critical factors for job acceptance intention,
employers should ensure that their interns receive the best learning. In this case, interns could have a higher chance of accepting job offers when offered to them after the internship program.
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Thank you for agreeing to take part in this survey measuring the relationship of business internship experience and job acceptance intention. Through the questionnaire, our aim is to understand your tasks and goals during your internship, the impact of your line manager or mentor in your performance and learning, your autonomy in the completion of your internship goals and finally a job acceptance intention after the internship in the future. The results of this study would be beneficial to enterprises offering business
internships. It could help improve the quality of business internships offered by enterprises.
This survey should only take you 4-5 minutes to complete. Be assured that all the answers provided will be kept strictly confidential. Thank you and I’m looking forward to your valuable responses.
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不同意 普通 同意 ⾮非常 同意
1. 我完全理解我在實習過程中的⾓角⾊色定位為何 I fully understood what my internship role was.
2. 我完全了解我處於哪⼀一個功能部⾨門（例如財務部⾨門、⾏行銷 部⾨門等）
I fully understood which functions (e.g. finance department, marketing department and etc.) to support in my internship.
I fully understood what my daily task and routines were.
I was given clear objectives of what I needed to accomplish in my internship
I was given clear descriptions of work deliverables I needed to complete in my internship
I received a clear explanation of what I needed to accomplish in my internship.
I knew what the criteria would be for my performance evaluation.
My mentor or line manager shared with me the values, norms and the culture of the company.
My mentor or line manager assisted me in improving my skills in the internship
3. 我的業師或直屬主管給予我反饋，幫助我進步並達到 實習的⺫⽬目標
My mentor offered feedback to help me improve and attain my goal in the internship
My mentor offered useful resources for me to complete my task in the internship
5. 我的業師或直屬主管會與我定時檢視我的⺫⽬目標與績效 My mentor or line manager and I had regular reviews of my goals and performance
6. 我的業師或直屬主管在實習期間提供諮詢與發展友誼 My mentor or line manager offered counseling and friendship during the internship
7. 我的業師或直屬主管充分了解我的績效考核標準 My mentor or line manager fully understood my performance evaluation criteria
My mentor or line manager and I have similar personality and characteristics (e.g. both are extrovert)
9. 我的業師或直屬主管對輔助我的實習有正⾯面的影響 My mentor or line manager had a positive affect in assisting me in my internship
My mentor or line manager and I have a healthy work-relationship
‧I have limited flexibility in how I do my task in the internship
I have the freedom on how to plan and execute my task in the internship
3. 對於如何完成我的任務，我擁有很⼤大的彈性 I have a lot of flexibility in how I complete my task 4. 我有⾃自主權選擇如何做我的⼯工作 I developed my analytical skills 2. 實習時我強化了研究能⼒力
I developed my research skills 3. 實習時我強化了⼈人際關係能⼒力
I developed my interpersonal skills
4. 實習時我強化了⼝口頭表達與溝通的能⼒力 I developed my oral communication skills 5. 我學會⾯面對問題時如何策略性思考
I learned how to think strategically about business problems