Martin, A. J., & Rees, M. (2019). Student insights: The added value of work-integrated learning. International Journal of Work-Integrated Learning, 20(2), 189-199.
Work-integrated learning (WIL) has attracted considerable attention as an instrument for enhancing professional practice and developing work-readiness in graduates. It is widely considered as a point of difference in developing graduate employability by enhancing skill outcomes through an authentic learning experience. This paper focuses on student insights of the added value of WIL and their development of personal and professional graduate attributes. Thematic content analysis was undertaken of students' reflections (n=271) of their perceived learning outcomes and overall experiences from their sport management and coaching WIL experiences at Massey University, New Zealand. The findings show that enjoyment, achievement and reinforcing career decisions added value to the student’s experiences. Gratitude for the support and mentoring of workplace and academic supervisors was also evident. Development of personal attributes involving self-management, enterprise, and effective communication were important learning outcomes. Professional development of a community of practice and leadership responsibilities were also highlighted.