Gastronomy students’ internship experience: benefits, challenges, and future career
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The aim of this study is to understand the way in which gastronomy students perceive internship. It also explores the relationship between the internship experience and future career perception. The research participants included 25 students of gastronomy and the culinary arts studying in the faculty of tourism in a Turkish university. The data for the research was gathered through a semi-structured questionnaire. Overall, research findings revealed that the internship experience of gastronomy students consists of three major dimensions: benefits (learning about the hospitality industry and the kitchen environment, vocational contribution, and personal development), challenges (the problems related to employees, working conditions, and salary, and other issues such as adaptation problems, difficult customers, work accidents and mistakes, and the incompatibility of theoretical knowledge with the sector), and career perception (negative and pessimistic, negative but optimistic, and positive). Moreover, according to the findings of the study, it can be concluded that the level of benefits and challenges encountered is the key indicator regarding gastronomy students’ career choices. Since no previous studies on the internship experience of gastronomy students exist, it is believed that this study fills a gap in the literature. © 2019, © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.