Exploring the Impact of Stimulus Events on Intern Career Intentions and Well-Being
Internships are crucial in many sport management students’ path to the sport industry. The purpose of this sequential mixed-methods study was to understand the nature of stimulus events occurring within sport management internships, and the impact of stimulus events on two main outcomes: student career decision making and well-being. Pre-post internship surveys (n=23) and follow-up interviews (n=21) were used to identify stimulus events, if intern expectations were met, and if career intentions or well-being changed (i.e., increased or decreased). Stimulus events occurred related to many areas of the internship (e.g., tasks, supervisor, social interactions, inclusivity, and the environment) and had a range of impacts on the outcomes of study. Importantly, contributing to the Unfolding Model of Employee Turnover, participants outlined that these events influenced well-being not only as a result of the influence on career intentions, but also on its own. At other times, the impact on well-being was discussed in isolation or in the opposite direction of the impact on career intentions. The findings here have important theoretical and practical implications for both sport management educators and organizational internship supervisors in sport.