Outside the Classroom: An Evaluation of Equine Internships

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Layton, Kaylee
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Middle Tennessee State University
Internships provide opportunities to gain experience. They have been shown to be beneficial in nursing and business, but equine internships have been lightly researched. This study explored student perceptions of equine internships. We hypothesized that participants would report that equine internships were valuable and relate that value with compensation, skill acquisition, networking, and job offers. An online survey distributed to equine and animal science programs included demographics and questions to determine respondents’ perceived value of their equine internship. Participation in an equine internship within ten years and completion of 75% of questions were the criteria for inclusion. Of 228 respondents, 186 met the criteria for inclusion. Further, 92% gained new horse-related skills and 83% gained soft skills. Of respondents, 47% percent said their internship resulted in a job offer from that organization and 83% stated they were able to network within the equine industry. Overall, 91% of the respondents felt their internship was a valuable experience and 87% would recommend their internship to other students. The perceived value of the internship positively correlated with gaining new equine skills (R=0.49; P<0.0001) and networking (R=0.75; P<0.0001). These results suggest equine internships are positive experiences and valuable for students.
Equine, Equine Education, Equine Internships, Teaching, Agriculture