Research Papers

Document Type

Conference Paper


This study investigates the learning of engineering students within the context of career-focused education. Often the technical and mathematical sciences on which engineering courses are built fail to explain the entirety of the landscape of practice. The main objective of this study is to capture various constructs produced by an undergraduate student while relating to his social interactions and experiences in an authentic workplace. The study also explores the student’s responses to real-world contexts. This paper details a single case chosen using purposeful sampling, which investigates the phenomena of a student intern transitioning from engineering education to practice. The presented case is information-rich, and the intern’s story provides a detailed insight into the complexity of a student’s first encounter with engineering practice. This study highlights the conflict between engineering practice and engineering education and the corresponding emotional transition for graduate engineers. In particular, this study gives an intern’s perspective of transitioning from education into practice and his emotional journey of self-learning, adapting to new situations, endeavouring to focus on clients’ requirements, and ultimately finding his place on the engineering team. The intern’s story supports the advocacy to reshape university engineering education so students’ values, practices and expectations align better with practice.


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.