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Preparing future-ready graduates through experiential entrepreneurship

Margarietha Johanna de Villiers Scheepers (School of Business, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore DC, Australia)
Renee Barnes (School of Communication and Creative Industries, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore DC, Australia)
Michael Clements (School of Business, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore DC, Australia)
Alix Jayne Stubbs (School of Business, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore DC, Australia)

Education + Training

ISSN: 0040-0912

Article publication date: 27 March 2018

Issue publication date: 12 April 2018

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1013

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose an experiential entrepreneurship work-integrated learning (EE WIL) model recognising that the development of an entrepreneurial mindset enables graduates to manage their careers in uncertain labour markets. The model shows how students develop relationships with their professional community, and not only a few employers.

Design/methodology/approach

The pedagogical underpinning of the conceptual model, attributes associated with the entrepreneurial mindset and relationships between the student, professional community and university are explained, and illustrated through a case study at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

Findings

The EE WIL model enables students to develop agency through structured engagement with a professional community, facilitating the development of bridging social capital. Bonding social capital can be developed through intense, sustained interaction between students and their professional community.

Practical implications

WIL curricula should be scaffolded and directed towards developing sustained interaction and information sharing, underpinned by professional community norms. This approach enables students to develop an aligned professional identity and emotional attachment to the professional community. The experiential development of an entrepreneurial mindset enables students to solve career challenges, by viewing these as opportunities. Professional communities and universities both share the responsibilities of preparing the future graduate workforce.

Originality/value

The conceptual model draws on effectual entrepreneurship pedagogy and contributes to the WIL literature, showing that an entrepreneurial mindset can be cultivated experientially through an intensive, emotional and authentic learning experience.

Keywords

Citation

de Villiers Scheepers, M.J., Barnes, R., Clements, M. and Stubbs, A.J. (2018), "Preparing future-ready graduates through experiential entrepreneurship", Education + Training, Vol. 60 No. 4, pp. 303-317. https://doi.org/10.1108/ET-11-2017-0167

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited