Gap Between Student's Expectations and Managers

Mark had just been told stories on how sweet the internships were by his colleges who were ahead of him in class and he also felt that he would enjoy the same when his time comes. He was taking his Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering and all he had in mind was to meet an employer who had a challenging mind. After having finished his third year of study, he matched to the Dean of his Faculty and demanded to be given a recommendation letter which he got.

He was very lucky to have found an opportunity in one of the governmental institutions in the Ministry of Environment. His happiness and eager were however killed by his first encounter with the human resource manager Mrs. Brown. She asked him very obvious questions like “can you use Microsoft PowerPoint, Word, Excel, Access and Publisher?” and “have you ever heard about Adobe Reader?” these are not the kind of questions he expected with his strong systems development background so, he answered them diligently but while asking himself “Am I at the right place?”

The interview was so easy to the extent that he had no option but to pass with flying colors. He soon forgot that experience and waited to report at the office he was assigned – the Climate Data Management Division. On the first day, he was given a lot of data entry job. He never minded but when this continued, he raised the question “why?” to the supervisor who unfortunately never replied to him throughout the internship period because he didn’t read the mail he sent. The data entry chore became a routine and its only substitute was a typing job by other members of the staff.

With time, Mike became worried about what he could write in the internship report. This was not for long as he later realized that he could find the offices locked if he reported early where early in this time meant three hours after eight, the official reporting time. He soon forgot his stress and could report to work as late as 2 pm, three hours to the time the governmental offices were officially closed.

When his internship was about to come to an end, he was in situations that he himself got into. He had nothing to write except data entry and typing for the other staff in his report. He decided to physically approach the supervisor. “Well son, it’s too late, we can’t change anything,” the supervisor started after hearing from Mike. “I never knew that you could do that much. I perceive you guys as typists and have been giving you the data entry jobs to improve your typing skills. The name of your field of study suggests that you are either one or a Microsoft Package user”

Study Questions

  1. Who is to blame for Mike’s ruined internship?
  2. What does Mike’s story teach you about the leadership that an organization embarks on?
  3. Assume that you are an auditor. Where would you start from: recommending change in the managements’ view of other fields? Changing the institutions working system? Giving the students and visitors more power to speak? Any suggestions?
  4. Is there any way you as the director of the governmental organization could change staffs view of their jobs and that of their college?
  5. Comment on the supervisor
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