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Article summary:

1. Internships are becoming increasingly important for educational preparation and are considered a valuable return on investment by recruiters.

2. There is often a gap between academic preparation and the competencies and skills required in the industry, which internships can help bridge.

3. The perceived value of an internship is influenced by factors such as supervisor-intern exchange, prior academic preparation, and positive expectation disconfirmation.

Article analysis:

The article "Internship in a business school: expectation versus experience" by Neelam et al. (2019) provides an evaluation of the value of internships based on the disparity between initial expectations and actual experiences. The study is conducted on a sample of 106 MBA students from a business school in India, and the perceived internship experience is evaluated through the Expectation Confirmation Theory (ECT).

The article highlights the increasing importance of internships as an educational preparation component, with some recruiters reluctant to accept students for placement interviews unless they have some internship experience. The authors cite studies that suggest that internship experience helps interns become less anxious about entering and working in an organization, and post-internship, interns feel more confident about their capabilities.

The study finds that there is a positive expectation disconfirmation between pre- and post-internship evaluations of perceived internship value. The authors also find that the perceived quality of supervisor-intern exchange has a significant relationship with perceived internship value, while prior academic preparation has a weak negative relationship with both perceived internship value and performance.

While the study provides valuable insights into the perception of internships among MBA students, it has several limitations. Firstly, the sample size is relatively small, limiting its generalizability to other contexts. Secondly, the study only focuses on MBA students from one business school in India, which may not be representative of other student populations or geographic regions.

Additionally, while the authors highlight the importance of core competencies essential to succeed in the work environment sought by employers, they do not explore whether these competencies are adequately addressed by current academic programs or if there are any gaps between industry requirements and academic preparation.

Furthermore, while the authors note that industries consider individuals with professional work experience to have better hard and soft skills than those without such experience, they do not explore whether this preference for work experience over academic qualifications may lead to discrimination against certain groups who may not have access to such opportunities.

Overall, while this article provides valuable insights into MBA students' perceptions of internships and their relationship with perceived value and performance outcomes, it would benefit from further exploration of potential biases and limitations in its methodology and analysis. Additionally, it would be useful to explore broader issues related to industry-academia collaboration and how best to prepare graduates for success in today's rapidly changing work environment.