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Intern Job Responsibilities  

Respondents input the percentage of time interns spend performing 17 tasks (see Table 2). To ensure the average time spent on these tasks was not underestimated, means were calculated based only on those organizations in which the task was performed. The most frequent tasks include data analysis (23%), developing training courses (19%) and/or selection assessments (15%), project management (16%), report writing (16%), and job analysis (15%). Other tasks (written in by respondents) included general consulting, survey administration and analysis, and other miscellaneous research. The most infrequent tasks performed were making and developing presentations and test administration.  

Furthermore, interns in external consulting organizations spend the majority of their time analyzing data, conducting validation studies, writing reports, developing training courses and/or selection assessments, and directing client contact (e.g., conduct focus groups) while interns in internal consulting organizations conduct job analyses, analyze data, manage projects, collect data, write reports, and develop selection assessments. While there is some overlap in the most frequent tasks, the differences are notable. 

Table 2. Mean Percentage with Interns Performing Task (Number of Organizations in Which Task is Performed)  


Overall Sample

External Consulting

Internal Consulting

Library research, benchmarking, literature reviews

13.17 (n=63)

13.08 (n=26)

11.29 (n=21)

Data entry

10.46 (n=37)

12.19 (n=16)

8.77 (n=13)

Data analysis

23.14 (n=69)

20.38 (n=26)

19.28 (n=25)

Proposal preparation

10.00 (n=18)

8.89 (n=9)

11.67 (n=6)

Job analysis interviews and observations

14.90 (n=31)

10.62 (n=16)

23.00 (n=9)

Test administration

8.60 (n=15)

9.18 (n=11)

7.67 (n=3)

Direct client contact, such as facilitating SME or focus groups

13.41 (n=44)

14.79 (n=19)

12.89 (n=19)

Report writing

15.91 (n=55)

15.87 (n=23)

16.47 (n=17)

Developing training courses

19.20 (n=15)

15.20 (n=5)

13.14 (n=7)

Developing presentations

9.79 (n=38)

9.18 (n=11)

9.79 (n=19)

Making presentations

6.36 (n=22)

7.67 (n=6)

4.92 (n=12)

Conducting validation studies

14.04 (n=26)

16.15 (n=13)

13.33 (n=9)

Developing survey content

10.34 (n=29)

8.57 (n=7)

11.25 (n=12)

Developing selection assessments, such as interviews and paper-and-pencil tests

15.34 (n=29)

14.58 (n=12)

16.36 (n=11)

Conducting interviews

11.15 (n=13)

11.67 (n=9)

10.00 (n=2)

Project management

15.91 (n=33)

10.71 (n=7)

17.27 (n=22)

Other types of data collection not listed above

14.00 (n=15)

7.00 (n=5)

17.00 (n=5)


24.00 (n=15)

36.43 (n=7)

14.17 (n=6)


What does this mean for internship seekers? Intern job responsibilities vary from organization to organization, but at a minimum, expect to analyze data. Depending on the nature of the internship, you may also develop training courses, conduct job analyses, manage projects, write reports, and develop selection assessments. You will probably not be involved in test administration and developing or making presentations. Understanding the differences between the tasks performed by interns in internal and external consulting organizations may help you make a better decision about your internship experience.


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