Investigating BBA students' conceptions and perceptions of internship: A case study from Bangladesh


  • Md. Mehzabul Hoque Nahid American International University - Bangladesh
  • Nazia Farhana American International University - Bangladesh


Career orientation, thematic analysis, business education, conceptions, internship, student perceptions


The purpose of this qualitative case study is to explore BBA students' conceptions and perceptions about internship programs prior to being offered a placement opportunity. The study used thematic analysis and quantitative dominant mixed-method design. A structured interview was performed with ten academics who supervised BBA students' internship programs during the past year. To improve the quality of instruments prior to participating in focus groups, interactive qualitative top-down information was gathered from these academics regarding their own views of students' expectations, preparedness, and preconceptions about internship programs. The findings were examined to create research instruments for conducting focus groups, which were then analyzed using Braun and Clarke’s thematic analysis method to generate final themes. Twelve online focus groups were conducted; each focus group consisted of about 30 students, and 356 BBA students from different semesters participated. Although all the academics and BBA students from different semesters agreed that internships are invaluable, the research found that they had misconceptions about internship programs and were profoundly uninformed of the requirements that would prepare them for employment. The results indicate another pattern, both positive and negative, regarding the influence of social media, the web, and digital platforms. The results of this research can be used as a reference by education strategists to understand the role of university environment, social environment, and popular culture to nurture their self-perception and self-conception about career orientation. This is the first research to analyze Bangladeshi BBA students' misunderstandings about the purpose of their education and their employability, which contributes to their continued under-preparedness for the employment market.




How to Cite

Nahid, M. M. H., & Farhana, N. (2021). Investigating BBA students’ conceptions and perceptions of internship: A case study from Bangladesh. AIUB Journal of Business and Economics, 18(1), 113–132. Retrieved from