Volume 11 Issue 1 (2022)

Students’ Authentic Experiences of On-the-job Training Programs

pp. 7-23  |  Published Online: October 2022  |  DOI: 10.22521/unibulletin.2022.111.1

Chi Hong Nguyen, Vi Thanh Tran Thach


Background/purpose – While current research has focused on the potentials and limitations of on-the-job-training (OJT) programs from higher education administrators, as well as employers’ and teachers’ perspectives, this study takes those of students’ on board. It extends the conventional conceptualization of students’ satisfaction of OJT as mere psychology.

Materials/methods – By using Wilt et al.’s (2019) concept of (in)authenticity, this study employed in-depth interviews with 18 students at a private university in Vietnam.

Results – The study found that students’ authentic experiences of OJT comprise four interrelated elements; students’ self-esteem and confidence, psychological changes, collegiality, and realization of possibilities and opportunities that arise from their failure.

Conclusion – This article points out that students authentically experience this program as part of their lives rather than separate entities that are often marked in OJT evaluative frameworks. The way they find their OJT experiences authentic goes beyond their awareness of learning that is forged by OJT evaluative frameworks or supervisors’ instructions to how they make sense of their present experiences in relation to their interactions with others in the workplace to fulfill their future aspirations for work and life.

Keywords: Authenticity, on-the-job training (OJT), higher education, authentic experiences, learning, students’ confidence, students’ psychology


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