Research Update: Perceived Value Of Equine Internships - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Research Update: Perceived Value Of Equine Internships

Internships can contribute to student learning by providing hands-on experience, skill building, and opportunities to network with professionals. However, little research has focused on the value of internships for students seeking equine degrees. Researchers at Middle Tennessee State University evaluated student perceptions of equine internships and factors that affected the perceived value of internships.

The researchers developed a survey that consisted of 35 questions regarding the type of internship completed, prior experience, and skill development. The survey was available online from December 15, 2020, to February 4, 2021. Of responses, 186 were used for analysis.

The majority of respondents (53 percent) completed an equine internship to fulfill their undergraduate degree requirements. Internships focused on breeding (28 percent) and western training and performance (18 percent) were most common. Eighty-seven percent of respondents worked with horses daily during their internship. Most respondents (92 percent) learned new skills related to horses, which positively correlated to the perceived value of the internship. Other skills gained by respondents included soft skills (83 percent), customer relations (63 percent), business management (51 percent), and administrations (33 percent). Most respondents (67 percent) applied these skills to their current job and 47 percent of respondents received a job at the farm or company they interned at. Networking opportunities strongly correlated to perceived value of the internship. Many respondents (90 percent) felt their internship experience contributed to their education outside the classroom.

The results of this survey highlight the importance of internships for individuals pursuing an education and career in the horse industry.

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