Professional Immersion Internship
All students enrolled in the Master in Sales Management alternating work/study programme at HEC Liège carry out an internship in a company, known as "professional immersion", in each year of the Master's programme, up to a maximum of 24 credits per academic year (i.e. 40% of the total training).
This professional immersion, though different from a classic internship, is a pedagogical activity in its own right and is part of the student's training process. It is also a condition for enrolment in the Master's degree in Sales Management.
The student must therefore have found a host company to carry out the alternating work-study training before enrolling in the Master in Sales Management.
Professional immersion takes place during the academic year, spanning it from beginning to end. The student is present in the company 3 days a week on the basis of a tailor-made academic calendar for this programme.
Objectives of professional immersion
Professional immersion is a personal experience enabling students:
- To act in the field in a supervised manner and to progressively evolve in the professional practice of a sales executive career in order to acquire the professional skills, know-how and interpersonal skills targeted in the pedagogical commitments of the Master in Sales Management alternating work/study programme, but also to demonstrate personal skills, called Key Learning Outcomes or KLOs (adaptativeness, listening, autonomy, integration, stress management).
- To acquire and consolidate the theoretical and methodological knowledge acquired through their training at HEC Liège by confronting it in real-life professional tasks;
- To exercice their capacity for critical analysis, synthesis and making recommendations, as befits any university education.
The outline of the mission in the company covers a "major project" attesting to the mobilization of the skills to be developed within the framework of the programme of the Master in Sales Management alternating work/study, while reconciling the needs of the host structure.
The project must:
- On the one hand, deal with the professional practices related to the sales function and the skills referential of the Master in Sales Management alternating work/study;
- On the other, respond to the pedagogical objectives of the training and aim at developing level 7 competencies (university master's level) in accordance with the European Qualifications Framework (EQF).
Specifications for companies are drawn up for this purpose and can be sent to the company.
The definition of the professional immersion internship project is done via an online registration platform.
This must be sent to the coordinator of the Master in Sales Management alternating work/study on the Friday preceding the start of the academic year by 12:00 at the latest so that it can be analyzed and validated by the Director of the Programme.
Search for a host company
The search for an internship in professional immersion must primarily be the result of the student's personal approach to companies.
Therefore, to maximize the chances of finding a work-study contract, it is important that the student start well ahead of time to be able to submit Annexe 3 in due time.
Field of activity and location of training
The professional immersion internship can be carried out within a B to B or B to C (commercial, financial or industrial) company, whose vocation is the sale of products or services. It may be established in Belgium or in the Euregio or in any other framework of activities, subject to the approval of the Director of programme of HEC Liège.
In the case of an internship in the Euregio, in accordance with the Work-Study Decree, the company must draw up an internship contract equivalent to the CIP (Professional Immersion Agreement). This is a social document under Belgian law.
It is important to bear in mind that the chosen location of professional immersion must be compatible with the alternating work-study training schemes in allowing for periods of training in the company alternating with periods of training at HEC Liège.
The Final Work Assignment
As part of the requirements of the Master in Sales Management, the student must complete a so-called "Final Work Assignment". This paper is a personal work assignment carried out at the end of the Master's degree and is worth 15 credits.
This paper aims at demonstrating that, on completing their training, the student is capable of using the knowledge acquired to conduct a personal, methodological, reflective and rigorous approach to a research question or the formulation of a problem in relation to Sales Management or its related fields.
More precisely, the Final Paper must fulfill the twofold requirement of a thesis (scientific work) and a project (practical work). The student must also give proof of critical thinking, and demonstrate their ability to structure their reasoning, support a critical position, rationalize their practice and communicate the results of their research in an argumentative way.