CEWIL Research Matters: March 2018

Article #1: Quantifying the impact of entrepreneurship on cooperative education job creation (2018)

Author 

Andrew Andrade, Shivangi Chopra, Baha Nurlybayev and Lukasz Golab

Journal 

International Journal of Work-Integrated Learning (IJWIL), 19(1), 51-68

Source 

International Jounal of Work-Integrated Learning (PDF)

Purpose

To explore the impact of entrepreneurship on co-operative job creation in a large North American postsecondary institution.

Methodology

Two unique datasets were analyzed from the post-secondary institution: A list of companies started by the institution’s engineering students and faculty, and a database of the institution’s co-op work terms.

Key findings

There is a high economic impact with the creation of over 9,000 co-op work terms in the past 10 years. Furthermore, students working for these companies were more likely to receive higher performance evaluations than their peers and were more likely to be satisfied with the co-op experience.

 

Practitioner's thoughts by

Dave Drewery (Research Coordinator, WatCACE, University of Waterloo)

What insights did you gain from reading this article that were useful to you?

There is little doubt regarding the economic value generated by founders (alumni who start their own companies). There are, however, questions regarding which students are most likely to become founders. Fewer than half of founders participated in entrepreneurship courses or in entrepreneurship work terms. And yet, they outscored their peers during work terms on several dimensions (e.g. interest in the work). Is there something unique about founders that the university can affect? Do they seek out specific opportunities that inspire their entrepreneurial outcomes? Are those who become founders fundamentally different from their peers before coming to Waterloo? Answers to these questions have significant implications for student recruitment, and also for how we think about entrepreneurship education.

Are these findings relevant for other stakeholders (e.g. students, employers, faculty)? If so, in what ways could this information be shared with them?

A key implication of this study is that encouraging founders to hire our students is a good thing. Findings suggest that the dynamics between founders and co-op students are quite positive, and that there is significant economic value to supporting founders in co-op. Therefore, the study highlights the important role played by our colleagues in alumni relations and co-op business development. Communicating to founders the benefits of their participation can create more satisfying co-op work terms and can generate significant economic returns.


Article #2: The influence of values on supervisors’ satisfaction with coop student employees (2018)

Author

Colleen Nevison, Lauren Cormier, Judene Pretti and Dave Drewery

Journal

International Journal of Work-Integrated Learning (IJWIL), 19(1), 1-11

Source

International Journal of Work-Integrated Learning (PDF)

Purpose

To investigate how supervisors perceive the role of the co-op student in the workplace and understand how these perceptions influence satisfaction of a hired co-op student.

Methodology

A self-report survey was administered to supervisors who hired co-op students from one Canadian academic institution.

Key findings

There was a significant correlation between attributes valued by the supervisor and supervisor rating of the co-op student when those attributes were exhibited. Setting clear expectations between students and supervisors is very important in creating a successful work term.

 

Practitioner’s thoughts by

Olivia Teasdale (Research Assistant, WatCACE, University of Waterloo)

What insights did you gain from reading this article that were useful to you?

An insight from this article that I found particularly useful was that students are underperforming on certain attributes that are important to supervisors. Students are also performing well on attributes that are of particular importance, but this suggests to me that there are many areas students can still concentrate on to improve the supervisors’ satisfaction with the students.

How might the results of this work impact how you do your job?

The results of this work reinforce how useful it is (for both the supervisor and the employee) to determine what employee attributes are important to the supervisor at the beginning of each work term. As a co-op student, I can attempt to maximize my supervisors’ satisfaction with my performance by engaging in conversations with them about their performance expectations and values.