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Walter de Gruyter GmbH
Internships continue to be an important part of the journey into employment. They are “temporary (non-permanent) work placements that reflect a period of transition from higher education to the world of work” (Bayerlein & Jeske, 2018a, pg. 29). This entry introduces computer-mediated internships: eInternships (also known as virtual internships). These internships emerged about ten years ago (see van Dorp, 2008). This development was fostered by the emergence of new software and virtual collaboration tools. As in the case of traditional internships, eInternships serve to provide a learning experience to the eIntern, often as a means to qualify the person for new roles, a new career and employment. However, some characteristics set eInternships apart from traditional internships. First, eInternships are not necessarily location bound nor are they by default a transition from education into employment (they may also represent a transitional period between different careers). Second, eInterns may be trained entirely online by a supervisor or peers. Third, almost all work is completed using online platform, shared software and tools. And fourth, many eInterns are not enrolled in educational institutions (although the majority of eInterns are students). eInternship formats are therefore particularly suitable to roles and tasks that are heavily computer-mediated in real life as well. To date, there is no evidence that suggests eInternships are any less effective than traditional internships in teaching new cognitive and technical skills, although affective learning outcomes may be harder to obtain (Bayerlein & Jeske, 2018a). The current entry will briefly introduce the two forms of eInternships that exist, but will focus specifically on the second form (applied eInternships with employers). Following this introduction, the entry will outline the unique value proposition and challenges that arise for managers who wish to run the organisationally-applied eInternships.
Computer-mediated internship , eInternship , Virtual internship , Applied eInternship , Employer
Jeske, D. (2020) ‘Introducing eInternships’, in Bondarouk, T. and Fisher, S. (eds) Encyclopedia of Electronic HRM. Berlin: Walter deGruyter GmbH, pp. 150-154. doi: 10.1515/9783110633702-025
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