Graduation Year

2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Granting Department

Mass Communications

Major Professor

Scott Liu

Keywords

Advertising, Experiential learning, Internship, Public Relations

Abstract

This qualitative content analysis examines the nature of experience of public relations and advertising interns. Three decades of scholarly inquiry into the internship experience has provided little insight into the actual experience of the interns themselves. Yet what is learned directly from their individual experience can provide both educators and professionals valuable insight for enhancing the learning process. The following study is a qualitative content analysis of journals and focus groups of undergraduates enrolled in public relations and advertising internships/practicums. The interns' experience follows four themes: (1) the perception of importance; (2) perceived learning benefits; (3) influence of supervisors; and (4) the quest for meaningful work. Through these themes, the experiential learning cycle is evidenced as students reflect, conceptualize, and experiment through their experience.

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