The Efficacy of Simternships: Why You Should Use Them in Your Classroom

In today’s job market, the demand for practical skills and real-world experience is at an all-time high. Traditional internships have long been a staple of higher education, offering students a taste of the professional world.

However, a new and innovative approach to experiential learning is taking academia by storm — Stukent’s simulations. A Stukent simulation, often called a Simternship™, is an internship redefined. It offers students the opportunity to step into the roles of marketing managers, PR officers, entrepreneurs, SEO specialists, and more, all within the safe confines of a digital learning environment.

During ProfCon 2023, educators Lisa Kuhlman, Ryan Russell, and Rebecca Cooney kicked off a panel discussing the efficacy of Stukent Simternships in higher education. If you missed the discussion, watch it below or read on to learn more about Simternships.

Students Explore Career Paths in a Risk-Free Environment

Simternships allow students to apply their theoretical knowledge to real-world tasks, bridging the gap between classroom learning and professional practice. Through these simulations, students can experiment with various strategies, make decisions, and see the immediate impact of their choices — much like they would in a real job.

Lisa, from Southern Adventist University, described her experience using the Intro to Business Simternship in her classes during the panel discussion. She believes that Simternships are great tools to allow students to explore jobs. One of Lisa’s students, who now runs a marketing agency, said that experiencing the Simternship helped her prepare for starting her own business.

“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.”

Lisa believes it’s important for students to make mistakes and have a safe place to learn from them. She said that with a Simternship, students can enter the workplace more confident in their skills.

Watch this video to see how your students can land their first job leveraging their experience with a Simternship:

Students Apply Real-World Skills that Last a Lifetime

One of the most remarkable aspects of Simternships is their power to cement student learning for a lifetime. The hands-on experiences gained through these simulations are deeply ingrained in students’ memories and skill sets. This practical knowledge isn’t easily forgotten, making it an invaluable asset when students enter the job market.

Baelei Jo Christensen, a former digital marketing student at Mountainland Technical College in Lehi, Utah, shared her experiences with the Stukent Social Media Simternship in an interview with Stukent.

“I have applied the skills I gained in the Social Media Simternship to all aspects of my current job, specifically with creating content strategies, conducting market research, and targeting detailed buyer personas,” Baelei said.

Additionally, Simternships encourage critical thinking, problem-solving, and adaptability — skills that are not only essential in the classroom but also highly sought-after by employers. The ProfCon panel of educators all expressed that those who engage in these simulations are better prepared to tackle complex challenges and navigate the dynamic landscape of their chosen industries.

Ryan, from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, shared how Simternships have opened doors at top agencies for many of his students. Some of his favorite teaching moments have been when students check in with him after graduation to share where they are in their careers.

Rebecca, from Washington State University, shared an experience she had when walking through one of the Simternships with her class. She had struggled to engage her students, and they had struggled to fully understand the concepts. So she told her class to open up their Simternships, and they walked through a few rounds, or levels, together.

“It switched on something,” Rebecca said. “I watched the lights come on in these students. From that point forward, we ran every round together, and my ‘sim days’ were really awesome on attendance.”

A Win-Win Situation for Students and Educators

A significant advantage of Simternships is the auto-grading and immediate, individualized feedback provided to students. This feature ensures that students receive constructive criticism and guidance, allowing them to learn from their mistakes and improve their performance. This helps students fine-tune their skills and lightens the load for educators. With Simternships, instructors can focus on facilitating learning rather than spending excessive time on grading, creating a win-win situation for both students and teachers.

Another noteworthy feature of Simternships, particularly for educators, is their seamless integration with preferred learning management systems (LMS). This integration sharply 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.

Ryan also discussed how Simternships level the playing field for lower-income students. These students often face challenges networking and applying for internships. “It allows [students] to fail,” Ryan said. “And it allows them to fail in a safe place.”

Simternships are revolutionizing how students gain practical experience and preparing them for the demands of the modern job market. These immersive and engaging simulations offer a unique opportunity to bridge the gap between theory and practice, helping students develop critical skills while cementing their learning for a lifetime. 

With the added benefits of auto-grading, immediate feedback, and stress-free integration, Simternships are a powerful tool for educators and a game-changer for students aspiring to succeed in their careers from the moment they enter the job market. Simternships are available for marketing, business, communication, and accounting courses.

Find Your Simternship Match

Stukent is here to help educators help students help the world. To learn more about our first-in-the-world Simternships™ and courseware, or to get FREE instructor access to our products, visit us online.

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