• Internships and the Story of Success

Internships and the Story of Success

Internships and the Story of Success

In Malcolm Gladwell’s bestseller, “Outliers,” Gladwell explores the “story of success” through an exhaustive study of exceptional achievers. He reveals recurring themes that catapulted these rare careers to a level of success unique among their peers.


In Malcolm Gladwell’s bestseller, “Outliers,” Gladwell explores the “story of success” through an exhaustive study of exceptional achievers. He reveals recurring themes that catapulted these rare careers to a level of success unique among their peers. Gladwell highlights that such success occurs when talent intersects opportunity and when that opportunity provides the 10,000 hours of experience required to develop “mastery” in a given field. This finding is observed in athletes who gained extended game time at an early age, musicians who gained early professional exposure, and technology leaders who accessed technology at a young age. 

The implications of these findings extend beyond individual success. In fact, they point to crucial experiences that, when present, promote successful careers within our society.

Among Gladwell’s examples Steve Jobs held a summer job at Hewlett-Packard, where he often engaged engineers and gleaned important experience. He sighted that the Beatles as mere teenagers left their homes in England for an extended booking in Hamburg, Germany, where they honed their skills as nightly performers. Bill Gates, as a teenager, gained access to a direct computer terminal link when most college students were still handing in punch cards and waiting for results. These early experiences were crucial in their developmental stories and in their opportunity to gain the 10,000 hours of exposure needed to become masters in their field. 

With this in mind, consider the implications for society and the potential value of early, career-focused experience available to develop today’s youth. The evidence shows that extensive experience – the earlier the better – brings mastery and the keys to success. Conversely, if experience is limited and/or delayed, success will be stunted. This leads to a critical question for those of us who are employers: What priority do we place on providing today’s youth with internship opportunities that give them early exposure to a career field?

This is why Cox Manufacturing is a strong advocate of providing internships and co-ops for students. As employers, as parents, and as a voice in the community, each of us has a role and an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of our students and in the future of our society. Giving students an opportunity offers them a priceless chance to gain real career-building experience and contributes to their success and the collective strength of our nation. We are committed to being engaged locally to promote the growth and development of our trade, precision Swiss class machining, and have established a apprenticeship program, approved by the Department of Labor, to assure there is a bright future for the next generation.


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