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Steve Gabbitas

Bridging the Gap from Education to Employment

Steve Gabbitas 2023 3MTAbstract

What role do employers play on the pervasiveness and success of internships? Can students improve career success outcomes during internships based on employers’ interactions?
In 1965, Gary Becker published his work on Human Capital Theory which determined that the greatest influences on employability among early career prospects was general work skills: best developed through internships. Internships have since grown in popularity to the point that they are required in some university programs. Recent studies have validated Becker’s theory’s claims. Despite this, internships remain almost an afterthought to the general public, including to business owners/decision makers; less than half of college students (some sources indicate as low as 5%) take part in an internship during their college experience and those that do, don’t always reap the benefits.
Companies, focused on driving internal value to stakeholders, lack resources and an understanding of what these critical experiences need to provide students. Relatively small effort will dramatically improve the value added to students, and to companies. Quantitative and qualitative data collected from companies in the Treasure Valley will be used to validate and inform where these resources should be placed.