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Learning in Reverse

It may be more beneficial for students to compete degrees in tandem with an internship so they can better assess their goals.

Photo of Mariah Green
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Who is the target audience for your idea and how does it reimagine the cost of college?

Students ages 17-24 are my target audience. Companies students intern for will pay a portion of college expenses.

Most of us are attending college because it leads us to healthy full-time careers. We choose a major (sometimes on a whim without having real knowledge of its industry or relevance to the "real world") and some people seek internships to help narrow down their ambitions. 

Usually after an internship, students have a much better idea of what their major is truly setting them up for and they may make adjustments to their degree plan to ensure they are headed in the right direction and not wasting time on a major that doesn't suit their interests. 

I propose that companies (especially those who often participate in on-campus career fairs) contribute funds to a pool that will help students pay tuition. Those companies who donate to the pool will be "advertised" to students who will be funneled to work for said companies. Large corporations already sponsor many student organizations on campus (such as NSBE (National Society of Black Engineers)) by funding their student organization events and having HR representatives speak during meetings...why not use those funds to their full advantage and increase students' loyalty and excitement for large companies? 

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

Have companies who frequent my university's career fair opt into contributing funds to a pool that will help students who intern for such companies pay college expenses.

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

I need to know how effective internships were in deciding full-time career paths. I also need to know what benefits companies would like in return in order for them to be willing to contribute to such a "risky" pool of funds.

This idea emerged from

  • A group brainstorm
  • An Individual

Are you interested in the Path to Pitching track we've developed for this challenge?

  • No

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Add tax incentives to companies, and diminish the advertising. This should bring more balance to the funding and public perception in my opinion. Best of luck Mariah!

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