An investigation into the engagement of undergraduates in work experience: sport development focus.
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The purpose of this dissertation is to establish an understanding of the capability work experience has upon sports undergraduate students for various aspects; with emphasis placed on the importance of work experience engagement in regards to employability. Qualitative methods were used throughout the research with interviews used to gather information on specific samples to aid the discovery of specific data. Specific samples were drawn from the sport industry with a focus on sport development; the sample consisting of three individuals with experience in the sport development field, and specifically with the employment of recent sport development graduates and assisting with engagement of work experience with both sport development students and many others. The study outlined its main themes in the literature review, drawing upon the importance that work experience has and the benefits it can bring to an undergraduate. Other aspects are elaborated including barriers to participation in work experience and criticality. The literature review found that work experience is key to the development of an undergraduate and that it holds a variety of benefits ranging from personal skills to career specific skills therefore adding value to an individual with very little experience in the work place (Costley & Lester, 2010; Russell, 2014) Field research for the study was conducted in Cardiff and Newport, South Wales. Interviews were conducted with the view of collecting information from individuals with a wealth of knowledge on both sport development and the sports industry as well as work experience and work placements. The participants are all graduates from sport degrees, work in the area of sport development and have a vast experience of employing recent graduates, adding to the value that their opinions can bring. Based on qualitative analysis, results show that work experience is vital to undergraduates, providing them with growth that cannot be attained within an academic environment whilst bringing a range of benefits. However, it is agreed that work experience can become more prominent in coming years through the joint effort of universities and relative organisations.
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