Understanding Student Work Experience: A Content-Analytic Approach

Ellen J. Kennedy, Leigh Lawton


There has been little research to date dealing with the process student’s go through in attempting to make sense of their Initial work experience. In an exploratory study, content analysis was used to track student’s reactions to their socialization to the workforce over a three-month period. While pragmatic concerns dominated student attention throughout the experience, emotional and analytical dimensions emerged toward the end of the experience. It appears that content analysis offers a useful methodology for examining changes in student reactions over the course of an experiential situation.

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