Purpose: This thesis studies students' motivations for accepting internships, and how companies can better their internship programs to retain interns for full-time employment. The purpose of this thesis is to produce ways for companies to increase the return on investment of their internship programs by increasing their conversion rates of interns to full-time employees. Methodology: In addition to research of existing literature, a survey was given to undergraduate students at Arizona State University to determine students' motivations for accepting internships, interest level in working for the company full-time before starting their internship and upon completion of their internship, what factors are important when seeking an internship versus a full-time job, what different companies offer in their internship programs, and how companies stay in contact with interns following their internship. Findings: Through my research I found that upper and lower division students have different motivations for completing internships, and that upper division students have more of a motivation for working full-time for the company they intern for. I also found that students' interest in the company will shift throughout the course of their internship, but those students that are satisfied with their internship will be more likely to want to work full-time with that employer. Students also found different factors important when seeking internships versus full-time jobs; students looking for internships are most interested in work that they enjoy, industry, and pay, while students searching for a full-time job find pay, work, that you enjoy, and location most important. I also found that students would be most satisfied with those internships in which the program centers on engagement, meaningful work, and feeling a part of the team. Finally, students who accept return offers from the company they intern for receive minimal communication from the company after they receive their offer. This may be the reason so many former interns continue to seek other job opportunities following the acceptance of their return offer.
- Increasing Return on Investment: How to Get the Most Out of Your Company's Intern Program