‘I wish to do an internship (abroad)’: investigating the perceived employability of domestic and international business internships

  • Luísa Helena PintoEmail author
  • Pedro Capa Pereira


This study examines the perceived employability of facultative domestic and international business internships, using an experimental between-subject factorial design. A sample of 194 Portuguese business employees rated the employability of six fictitious résumés of business graduates varying in gender and participation in a facultative internship. The résumés were target to an entry-level marketing position and were rated on a set of employability outcomes, such as job suitability, employability skills and starting salary. The results showed that the non-participation condition resulted in the worst rates of job suitability and employability skills, while the outcomes of the international and the domestic conditions were not significantly different from each other. Male interns were the most well ranked in job suitability and starting salary, while female non-interns were the worst ranked. This study provides evidence that an internship experience, even if facultative, is an information ‘good to add’ in the résumé but does not support the prediction that ‘the more international the better’. This evidence suggests that graduates’ employability depends not only on the academic credentials and skills they can bring to the labour market as on the expectations about their unique contribution. This study is one of the first to empirically examine the perceived employability of facultative business internships, exploring the relevance and value of domestic and international experiences.


Perceived employability Business graduates Facultative internships Domestic internship International internship Higher education 

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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EconomicsUniversity of PortoPortoPortugal

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