Tourism and Hospitality Internships in Barbados: Students’ Perspectives
The primary purpose of a tertiary educational institution (the College) in Barbados is to train potential workers for the tourism and hospitality industry. This is accomplished in part through internships. The purpose of this study was to examine, from the students’ perspectives, the winter internships organized by the College at multiple placement sites on the island. A convergent mixed methods design was employed to conduct the research. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected concurrently using the methods of surveying, interviewing and document analysis to provide comprehensive information for the three research questions which were used to investigate the phenomenon. Analysis, interpretation and merging of the quantitative and qualitative data yielded some interesting results. Major findings in the study were that overall the students’ expectations of the internships were realized. There was a significant relationship found between the quality and satisfaction of the student internship; however, some misalignment existed pointedly in one of the associate degree programme specializations.