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Schematic Co

A project based internship platform which creates additional value for students, universities, and partner organisations.

Photo of An Old Friend

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Schematic is a platform for current creative businesses and students to connect via tangible project initiatives. These projects are developed on a case by case basis depending on whether these given projects are derived by the students or by the companies themselves. We involve talented and ambitious students attending art and design universities with corporations seeking to involve talented designers on unique project ventures.

Who is your idea designed for and how does it reimagine higher education to support the needs of tomorrow?

Schematic is designed for students, partner organisations, and Universities. Students and partners enjoy the mutual benefit of collaborating on an initiative that is specific to their area of interest while Universities increase the value of their offering in the way of a student-industry connection program that defies the borders and shortcomings of traditional internship frameworks.

This idea emerged from:

  • A group brainstorm

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

I'm interested in hearing more case by case internship experiences, as well as potential hang-ups or issues that members may find with the framework as I have presented it. Any suggestions from those involved in an organization or industry that could benefit from the framework are invited to share as well. All input positive and negative is greatly appreciated!

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

I have gained some traction with this idea in the NYC area by involving partner organisations and universities who are willing to participate. The idea only needs a bit more development to bring it to market with a full scale prototype at a participating University.

Tell us about your work experience:

I'm currently working as a project manager at an environmental branding firm and I own and operate a small woodshop on the side. I enjoy thinking about and formulating solutions for wicked problems.

Attachments (1)

Workshop_Flowchart.pdf

Observations gathered from workshop focused on the value of education.

20 comments

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Photo of Yiru Yan
Team

Hi Michael,

We've submitted an idea Alumni Mentorship Scheme addressing the same problem area. Thought we could share ideas or maybe collaborate in some ways. We try to solve the problem by positioning students differently in organisations to create added value for both. It's called research-based placement. So students work for a company as a way to do research on their own project or dissertation which will in turn benefit the company. The alumni who work for the same company will be the mentor for students, facilitate the process, align the needs of both sides.

Photo of An Old Friend
Team

Hi Yiru,

Thanks for pointing me in the direction of your project! I think a big part of what we're both trying to do is structure a way to get students interfacing with not only industry professionals but organisations as well!

Photo of Yiru Yan
Team

Yes, totally agree.

Photo of Isaac Jumba
Team

Hi Michael,

Great submission here. I agree that a link between the universities, the students and corporations is the way to go. I have submitted a close idea: Solve4Work Challenge  and some the concerns were on IP rights and protection for maybe the innovations that arise from such framework, do they belong to the companies or the schools? Since you are already prototyping it, would love to hear your insights and see possible areas of collaborations. Thanks

Photo of Mozah
Team

I have asked about this in Saudi and 3 of the lawyers said the company owns the idea/solution as it was created for them, unless they sign on an agreement to state the students right of selling the solution to multiple companies.

Photo of Andrea Zelenak
Team

Hi Michael!
A few things!
I just recently graduated from design school so this is all really relevant to me.
1. One barrier we had was to get our portfolios approved by a full-time faculty member before we could apply anywhere. This was both good and bad because you could be editing forever, but also it wouldn't give a bad representation on the school.
2. For all majors, I think the reverse work idea would be awesome. I have a lot of projects that could be launch points, or maybe you have ideas for branding. If there was a way to protect your ideas when working with a company this would be really helpful.
3. It's not the easiest thing to find work, no matter how good of a designer or whatever you are. Anything helping connect students to jobs I'm a huge supporter of!

Photo of Isaac Jumba
Team

Thanks Mozah for the clarification

Photo of An Old Friend
Team

Hi Isaac, thank you for your interest.

Yes - IP rights would certainly need to be addressed. I believe having a lawyer involved would be necessary to at least draft an express contract and prevent any potential issues from arising.

University/Partner specific agreements (tailored to individual clients) would likely exist but I think it would be most convenient to outline a recommended contract. In situations where students are incubating their own ideas with help from professors and looking for opportunities, it's likely that the University would own it until an agreement is made transfer to a partner organisation. During a partner lead initiative, the partners would most likely request rights.

More research would be required to estimate lawyer's involvement and cost more accurately.

Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Hi Michael.

It is exciting that this idea is already in progress! Will these internships be paid, or be for course credit?

Another way for students to benefit from connecting industry and real life challenges/projects might be within the framework of a course, in which case they would benefit from the guidance of their professor as well as industry feedback, and teamwork. Have you considered this as part of Schematic?

What feedback did you get from the schools you have been in contact with in NYC? How do they envision this being structured and working for their students, and their educational path?

Photo of An Old Friend
Team

Thanks so much Mozah!

Photo of An Old Friend
Team

Hi Andrea, thanks for commenting and congrats on your graduation!

1. That sounds like an added value for the students - you may only have a few chances to apply for an internship to the same company so it's best that you go into it with your strongest work. On the other hand, some work that your faculty member likes may not be of interest to you or a company in your industry. Now I'm thinking of Ajay Chowdhary suggestion for an online platform. This would afford students more creative flexibility in that process where industry experts could provide feedback in some way.

2. I think there are many other majors that would benefit as well. It might even be more feasible in other industries where IP delineations are less blurry.

3. That's right! Who you know plays an increasingly relevant role in today's job marketplace. As a student, using a platform like Schematic Co provides a basis (on the web) for introductions and conversation starters that LinkedIn lacks. It revolves around the projects.

Photo of An Old Friend
Team

Hi Bettina!

Perhaps the program could provide class credit at a discounted rate? That may be too idealistic though. I'm gravitating towards paid projects to differentiate the platform from other existing internship programs. This adds another element of excitment for students and could help the platform to catch on more easily. This would depend on the willingness of partner organisations to participate and raises the question of how willing they are to fund ideas or whether they have a need to be fulfilled. This would be specific to each organisation. Based on that, it may be beneficial to target global corporations. These companies have large budgets and more recently it has become a trend to allocate more efforts towards social impact initiates. I believe large corporations would be willing to align themselves with our cause.

A more integrated course that guides students through the process is an option. There would certainly need to be a face to face element. I could see this happening in certain situations but I also like the idea of a rolling process. It isn't always easy to plan on coming up with a great idea.. Perhaps Schematic could create a course for Universities to offer that would give them the advantage you're speaking about. That's plausible (stream of thought, haha).

Pratt and Parsons both showed some interest and were willing to hear more of what we could offer. I think a good first step would be to create an offerings package.. A deliverable that outlines the costs/benefits of the program that we could use as a jump off point. From there, we could tailor the program to suit individual's needs. I think we would need a few clarifications from a lawyer to create a sense of security for all parties on the get-go - anyone know someone who could help?

Thanks for the brain food, Bettina!

Photo of Andrea Zelenak
Team

Have you ever used Behance before? It would be amazing if people provided feedback on there like they do here. I wrote a quick idea too along the lines of other majors showcasing their personalities and work online...it's so hard to show yourself within a resume. Really, at interviews two people of equal skill can be completely different.

Less About Grades: Portfolios & Websites for Experiences 

Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Hi Andrea and everyone.
As an asideā€¦.check out this short listed idea from the Creative Confidence Challenge. It addresses what you mention above about resumes Andrea.
https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/creative-confidence/refinement/the-mullet-resume-business-up-front-party-in-the-back./

What do you think?

Photo of An Old Friend
Team

Thanks for sharing your idea, Andrea. I am familiar with Behance - there are several online systems like this which allow students and industry professionals to connect on multiple levels. I think the main differentiator would be schematic as a potential launching point for primarily implementable ideas. The review process could provide a sort of feedback loop.

I also agree that it would be helpful for employers to have more of a sense of their prospective candidates' personalities and individual traits.

Photo of An Old Friend
Team

Bettina - mullet resume, that's a beautiful idea! I'm going to add a mullet to my resume. Thanks for that!

Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Michael,

Thank you for sharing your idea.

I am going to tag people who are students in design, designers, and lecturers in design/product design or design thinking. Hopefully, they will give you some constructive feedback on the idea and their internship experiences. Anne-Laure Fayard Andrea Zelenak Danyelle Sage Pat Vining Chelsea Badiola Jim Johnson Gregory Wilson 

 What are the next steps for your idea?

Photo of An Old Friend
Team

Thanks Kate! I appreciate the references. I developed this idea while I was attending Parsons as an undergrad. I was able to gain some traction with it but ultimately graduated before going to market with an actual prototype. Several partner organisations and Universities have shown interest in the idea so I think the next step would be implementing a pilot project to crystallize the process and work out any kinks. After that we would have a case study and a tested, revised format for future opportunities.

Photo of Ajay Chowdhary
Team

Hi Michael,
It is really good idea. You can also have Online platform which can make Schematic Co more approachable and reachable.

Photo of An Old Friend
Team

Hi Ajay,

Thanks, that's a great idea! I think an online platform would be a very useful tool to allow members to discover each other's work. It could also serve as a marketing tool for the program by highlighting budding projects -- OpenIDEO is actually a very similar platform!