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Student Internship: Its Process and Benefits

SERDANG - Internship, however, is not compulsory for certain programmes at university.

For example, at Universiti Putra Malaysia’s (UPM) Faculty of Economics and Management, only Bachelor of Accounting students undergo industrial training as an integral component of its academic programme while it is an elective for Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) and Bachelor of Economics (BE) students.

Faculty dean Professor Dr Azali Mohamed said: “Accounting students undergo six months’ industrial training during their sixth semester (of the eight-semester programme).

This is in line with the requirement by the Education Ministry and Malaysian Institute of Accountants. For BBA and BE programmes, students who opt for industrial training undergo two months of it during the inter-semester break at the end of the third year of studies.

“However from the September 2016 intake, industrial training is compulsory for both programmes. BBA and BE students go for industrial training in their final semester for five and four months respectively.”

Generally, students find the placements by themselves through the Internet, newspapers, advertisements and career talks organised by the faculty and university.

“While we encourage students to find placement on their own, the faculty through the Industrial Training Unit facilitates internship placements and vet their choices before the final decision is made by students.

“We prefer to place accounting students in large- and medium-sized accounting firms (or audit firms) and also organisations with an internal audit department. We discourage students from internship in firms that do not provide an allowance. The amount of allowance should reflect the nature of work and the size of the client base.

“BBA and BE students go for industrial training at well-established organisations in the public or private sector. Preference is for organisations which provide an allowance and are related to their programme,” added Azali.

To ensure that students get good internship experience and relevant tasks, the lecturer/supervisor monitors students through daily reports which interns, particularly accounting students, must submit every two months. The lecturer will also communicate with the students and industry supervisor to check on the students’ progress and solve problems should they arise.

“For students undergoing internship within the Klang Valley, we encourage faculty supervisors to visit students as this will also help the faculty to understand the intern and the firm better. Students are happy and feel that the faculty cares for their well-being when lecturers pay them a visit.

“We hope students take advantage of internships to develop skills such as communication, teamwork, problem-solving and critical thinking. We hope they gain confidence, mature in their thinking, are able to apply what they have learnt in class and be more prepared for the workplace.”

Date of Input: 12/09/2018 | Updated: 19/09/2018 | nurzatul


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