Higher education programs prepare students for careers in the horse industry by increasing knowledge, offering hands-on experience and networking with other students, instructors and professionals. Before selecting a particular program, however, it’s a good idea for students to consider what they want to do so they can find a program tailored to their career path.
Carla Wennberg, International Horse Shows Association Equestrian Coach and Instructor at St. Andrews University in North Carolina, has spent the majority of her career coaching students in horsemanship and horse judging, as well as helping them determine their career direction. She offers three tips for students choosing a career.
- Seek internships. “I’ve found internships in fields of interest to be the best key for students to discover what they want to do when they graduate,” says Wennberg. “They also, get to network with professionals in that field and it could lead to future job opportunities
However, she adds, students shouldn’t be disappointed if their internships don’t go well.
“It’ll probably teach them more about what direction they want to go,” she explains. “You have to make mistakes to be better. I swapped jobs a lot in my 20s before I realized I didn’t really want to be a horse trainer; I wanted to teach people to work with horses.”
- Consider goals and ethics. “Find a career path with goals and ethics that match your own,” advises Wennberg. “We find in this day and age more so than ever that people are very particular about finding the right the group with which to work. If you have strong feelings, you need to find a group of people that support them and share the same goals and ethics.”
- Assess strengths and weaknesses. “When we get to know students during their college years, we try to help them understand their strengths and weaknesses,” says Wennberg. “You have to be honest with yourself and capitalize on your strengths to find job opportunities.
Click here to see an open career opportunity for the Morris Equine Group.