How Simternships take Students From Classroom to Career

How Simternships Take Students from Classroom to Career

Millions of students start their higher education journey every year to expand their knowledge in their chosen field as well as prepare for a successful career.

A growing number of these students are voicing their desire for coursework beyond traditional lectures. They’re looking for practical experiences that directly relate to their future professions.

Data from Wiley’s State of the Student 2022 survey highlights this trend, with 81% of respondents indicating their preference for academic programs that offer real-world projects and preparation for professional certifications.

Traditional internships have long been a key component of higher education, providing students a glimpse into the professional world. However, an innovative approach to experiential learning is gaining traction in academia: Stukent® Simternships.

These digital simulated internships offer a unique blend of theoretical knowledge and practical experience, making them an engaging and enjoyable learning tool for students. But what exactly are Simternships, and why do students value them?

The Simternship Experience

Simternships provide students with the opportunity to step into the roles of marketing managers, PR officers, entrepreneurs, accountants, and more. This hands-on approach allows students to apply their textbook knowledge to real-world tasks, bridging the gap between classroom learning and professional practice.

The power of Simternships lies in their mimicry of real-life situations. Students can experiment with various strategies, make decisions, and see the impact of their choices, much like they would in a real job. This not only enhances their understanding of the subject matter but also builds confidence in their ability to tackle challenges in the workplace.

Kate Wildenthaler, a student from Baldwin Wallace University, said, “The skills I have gained through Stukent’s Simternships will be directly transferable to the workforce. Even if I take a position in which I do not handle social media or advertisements, I can still apply that knowledge to understand how these elements will impact any PR campaign I am a part of.”

Role-Specific Training & Real-World Projects

One of the key benefits of Simternships is the role-specific training they provide. Each Simternship immerses students in the day-to-day tasks of a particular professional role, offering a hands-on experience. For example, in a marketing Simternship, students might develop marketing plans, conduct market research, and analyze campaign results, all within a simulated environment.

This approach has been positively received by students for its practicality and relevance to their future careers.

“Stukent’s contribution to my understanding of real-world practices has been monumental,” said Carter Bagley, a Utah Valley University student who used the Marketing Principles Simternship. “The Simternship helped me learn and master concepts that textbooks alone couldn’t provide.”

Each Simternship includes real-world projects designed to be challenging yet achievable. These projects simulate the tasks students will encounter in their first jobs after graduation and provide them with valuable experience and a better grasp of what it’s like in their field.

For instance, the Digital Marketing Simternship includes hands-on projects for SEO, content marketing, and social media advertising. William Moreau, a student who completed a marketing audit project as part of this Simternship, shared: “One of the most impactful aspects of my Stukent experience has been the opportunity to work on diverse projects that simulate real-world scenarios. It was through perseverance and utilizing the resources provided by Stukent that I was able to overcome these obstacles.”

Interactive Learning Experiences

Simternships feature interactive elements that make the simulation feel like a real job. From receiving inbox notifications from clients and coworkers to adjusting budgets and inputting data, students participate in a simulated workflow. The user interface often mirrors real tools and programs, such as QuickBooks and Python, to create an authentic experience.

A screenshot of the Notifications Hub in a Simternship. Messages are lined up on the left, and students can choose a message and select an appropriate response.

Isabel Duntly, a student from Texas State University, spoke to the effectiveness of this realistic approach: “My favorite tasks were running and reporting the sales reports at the end of the month and responding to questions in the Notifications Hub. It gave me an opportunity to think about questions I hadn’t considered before.”

Isabel used the Financial Accounting Simternship in her class. Learn more about her experience by clicking here: Why Students Value the Financial Accounting Simternship.

Explore Career Paths and Practice Skills

Simternships offer a unique advantage to students: the ability to explore various career paths without having to commit to one or the other. It also gives them room to make mistakes without the real-life consequences. This safe, digital environment allows students to practice skills before they step into the workplace with deadlines to meet and problems to solve.

Lisa Kuhlman, a professor from Southern Adventist University, shared her perspective on the value of Simternships in career exploration. She observed that Simternships enable students to discover the wide range of opportunities available in the business world.

“They go through the Simternship and figure out all of the areas of business they can work in,” Lisa said. “It allows them to customize their career path, perhaps encouraging them to add a business minor as part of their schooling. It could even open their eyes to become a business owner themselves.”

One of her students, who now runs a marketing agency, credits the Intro to Business Simternship with helping her prepare for her entrepreneurial endeavor.

Jaala James, a senior marketing student at Howard University, started using Simternships her junior year. She shared: “I started to enjoy school so much more because the classes felt directly applicable to my major and what I eventually wanted to do for my career. One of the ways this preferred educational structure was made possible was through the use of Stukent’s Simternships. I was first introduced to the Marketing Analytics course, where I learned the importance of tracking data from our consumers and how to apply that data to our marketing campaigns.”

Towards the end of her junior year she started her own marketing agency, Blue Jaa Management, which became her main stream of income. Jaala shared that the experiences and knowledge she gained from the Marketing Analytics Simternship were incredibly beneficial for running her business.

“If I wasn’t able to have similar real-world experiences through the Simternship, I don’t think I would have known what to do or what to look at when trying to understand my target audience,” Jaala said.

A Win-Win for Students and Educators

Another significant advantage of Simternships is the auto-grading and immediate, individualized feedback provided to students. This feature allows students to receive constructive criticism and guidance, helping them to learn from their mistakes and improve their performance. This helps students fine-tune their skills and lightens the load for educators.

Simternships also seamlessly integrate with preferred learning management systems (LMS). This integration reduces stress for both instructors and students. It simplifies the process of assigning, tracking, and assessing student progress, making it easier for educators to manage their courses.

As higher education continues to adapt to the evolving needs of students and the job market, Stukent’s Simternships offer a unique approach to experiential learning. These digital simulated internships — available for courses in marketing, business, communication, and accounting — provide a practical and accessible way for students to apply their theoretical knowledge and experience potential career paths. Explore Simternships today!

A screenshot of a Stukent web page that prompts users to find their Simternship match. It displays the available Simternships below.

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