Soft skills of business students in relation to higher education internships

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University internship is the transition between higher education and the labor market. The study was motivated by the fact that research on the effectiveness of internships is on the rise in many countries but is less widespread in Hungary, especially from the students’ perspective. The aim is to determine how students in business education choose a workplace for their internship, whether they consider their own employability or the management aspects of the workplace. The questionnaire was conducted in Budapest, Hungary, covering covering higher education institutions of economics (7 in total), with 406 participants. The focus is to build a model of the interaction between different variables: the development of students’ skills at the university, the specific internship placement, and the desirable work students would like to do during their internship. The results show no correlation between the type of skills students develop during their studies and the type of work they want to do during their internship. Moreover, the correlation between the soft skills they develop at work and those they acquire at university is only coincidental, therefore not supporting their employability. These results can be important for workplace management to effectively lead and inspire their teams, manage conflict, and communicate. The study offers implications for education policy, i.e., recommendations for changes to output requirements, which will also allow for developing training structures that are more responsive to employer needs.

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    • Figure 1. Research model
    • Figure 2. Professional practice in the light of desirable job opportunities and soft skills
    • Table 1. Characteristics of the sample
    • Table 2. Mean and standard deviation of the desired type of work
    • Table 3. Mean and standard deviations of soft skills during university studies and internships
    • Table 4. Standardized factor weights, VIF validity, and reliability results
    • Table 5. Direct relationships
    • Conceptualization
      Imola Cseh Papp, Csilla Molnar, Tímea Juhász
    • Investigation
      Imola Cseh Papp, Csilla Molnar, Tímea Juhász
    • Methodology
      Imola Cseh Papp, Csilla Molnar, Tímea Juhász
    • Project administration
      Imola Cseh Papp, Csilla Molnar, Tímea Juhász
    • Resources
      Imola Cseh Papp, Csilla Molnar, Tímea Juhász
    • Supervision
      Imola Cseh Papp, Csilla Molnar, Tímea Juhász
    • Validation
      Imola Cseh Papp, Csilla Molnar, Tímea Juhász
    • Writing – original draft
      Imola Cseh Papp, Csilla Molnar, Tímea Juhász
    • Writing – review & editing
      Csilla Molnar
    • Data curation
      Tímea Juhász
    • Formal Analysis
      Tímea Juhász
    • Software
      Tímea Juhász
    • Visualization
      Tímea Juhász