Realizing the professional within: The effect of work integrated learning

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Macdonald, K
Cameron, C
Brimble, M
Freudenberg, B
English, D
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2014
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Abstract

With a government agenda to increase university participation, and larger numbers of students being 'first-in-family' to attend university, students have a limited understanding and appreciation of their chosen profession. Adverse implications include reduced motivation towards study and non-appreciation of the required skills to succeed in the work force. Work integrated learning (WIL) can provide these career skills and understanding. This article analyses whether students undertaking an external off-campus internship in their 2nd and 3rd years of a business degree assists in 'realizing the professional' within. Building on prior research for 1st year students, the article examines the effects on students' professional skills and professional identity of an off-campus internship while studying part-time. The results demonstrate the important role of WIL, with WIL students demonstrating greater improvement in professional skills and professional identity. Resources for WIL should be provided to conform to the government's aspiration for greater university participation.

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Asia-Pacific Journal of Cooperative Education
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© 2014 New Zealand Association for Cooperative Education. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
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Education systems
Specialist studies in education
Other commerce, management, tourism and services not elsewhere classified
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