Purpose – This purpose of this paper is to present EOI as an mechanism for higher education to better prepare students for the ever changing workforce, a collaborative effort from higher education and organizations is needed to support the transition of students from the classroom into industry.
Design/methodology/approach – This viewpoint provides a mechanism to enhance the student outcomes from work related learning (WRL) programs, supported by student reflection. This paper presents one such WRL program that provides a vehicle for EOI to enhance student learning outcomes.
Findings – The positive learning outcomes through student reflection on their experience in the program endorses EOI as a mechanism for students' early professional development.
Practical implications – Involving organizations earlier in higher education transition programs enables both students and perspective employers to maximize opportunities for learning and development. Engaging organizations through EOI will ensure WRL programs better prepare students and manage their expectations for the workplace, leading to greater retention and outcomes of graduates entering the workplace, benefiting the student, higher education and employer.
Originality/value – This paper provides an approach to support students transitioning from higher education into the workforce by engaging with organizations early on in the students' professional education.