Importance of Industrial attachment/internships for students or interns

By Susan: An Industrial Attachment is a structured, credit-bearing work experience in a professional work setting during which the student applies and acquires knowledge and skills. It involves the application of learned skills in an organization related to the students’ major. An Industrial Attachment should challenge the student to examine the values of the organization involved in the experience, and to assess the student’s education as it relates to the Industrial Attachment.

Other benefits of an Industrial Attachment include: 1) exploring career interests, 2) learning new skills, 3) gaining work experience, 4) developing a professional network and 5) understanding workplace expectations.

Internship Overview
At the end of their 3rd year of undergraduate study, students participate and complete a minimum requirement of 8 weeks at one service site. They must:
Collect an Introduction Letter from their Faculty attachments coordinator.
Fill in the both sides of the Details Form and present it to the Faculty attachments coordinator prior to commencing your attachment using the available channels indicated.

Students who have just completed their 2nd year are encouraged to participate for their benefit, however, this will not count towards their Industrial Attachment to be undertaken at the end of their 3rd year.

Characteristics of a  Industrial Attachment

A site supervisor (a qualified professional) and a faculty supervisor (usually from the department of the student’s major) are responsible for supervising the intern. The faculty supervisor, in consultation with the site supervisor and the student, is responsible for maintaining the academic quality of the Industrial Attachment. Maintaining the academic nature of the Industrial Attachment is essential because academic credit is awarded for the experience (i.e. volunteering and work-for-pay, although worthwhile experiences may not be academically sound).

Industrial Attachments may be paid or unpaid. Any payment should be arranged in a separate agreement between the site and the student intern.

The Industrial Attachment Relationship
Industrial Attachment Site: The organization providing the Industrial Attachment opportunity.

Site/Host Supervisor: The person at the Industrial Attachment site who is directly responsible for the intern and his/her substantive work experience.

Student interns are supervised by a staff person employed by the site organization. Typically, the site supervisor has experience and expertise in the area in which the student is interning.

Host supervisors are responsible for interviewing interns, determining qualifications for the position, orienting interns to the organization, supervising, directing, and evaluating their work. The ideal host supervisor will serve as a mentor, sharing the pros and cons of a career in the field and giving suggestions for entering the profession. S/he will also have sufficient experience in the field to draw from and will share that experience with the student intern. The host supervisor meets with the intern on a regular basis to guide performance, answer questions, and provide background information and resources related to the intern’s work. No written forms are required by SU for this periodic feedback, but they are encouraged to provide an evaluation in written form at the end of the internship. A host supervisor may also help by recommending ways to enhance the intern’s learning.

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The role of an Intern

Intern: The student intern is responsible for selecting the attachment. The intern is also responsible for meeting with the host supervisor prior to the internship to clarify expectations and responsibilities, complete a Details Form, working the required number of hours, seeking out supervision on site as needed, and completing the academically-related tasks which are agreed upon by the university and intern (such as a journal, supplementary research, and a paper). In addition, the intern maintains high standards of professionalism while at the internship site.


Industrial Attachment Supervisor

Faculty Supervisor: The faculty member responsible for visiting and addressing issues raised by the attaché and/or site supervisor based on the student’s performance and completion of previously agreed upon assignments and marking the Industrial Attachment Report.

The relationship among the student, the site supervisor, and the faculty supervisor is perhaps the most influential factor in determining the success of the Industrial Attachment experience. This partnership exists in order that the attachee will achieve the learning and the rewards that result from this experience.

Faculty Attachments coordinators Role
The Faculty attachment coordinator ensures that students are supervised during the internship and updates the assessment marks.

Termination of Industrial Attachment
If the intern, site supervisor, or faculty supervisor is unable to continue or complete the internship, participants must be notified immediately. Cancellation of a credited internship is processed by the Faculty attachment coordinator.

Internship program is designed to help you:

Contribute to local industry
Develop work-based skills
Establish industry networks and contacts
Improve your cross-cultural communication skills
Learn about work culture

Source: Strathmore University Internship Guide. Apply for Strathmore University Intakes now.

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