The University has chosen to fund an innovation project selected from the Investment for Growth Program that aims to foster connections between industry partners, faculty and students.
The Hub for Brand Innovation and Advertising Technology is a new initiative launched in collaboration with the Department of Advertising and the Siebel Center for Design and Technology Services at Illinois.
“The idea is that the education is transforming and giving a place where students have a place to practice what they learn, interact with industry partners and (work) on innovative projects, things that the kinds of activities that typically do not show up in the classroom,” said Mike Yao, department head of Advertising.
The Hub will be used as a connection-based atmosphere where a vast array of projects will develop and create relationships between university contributors and industry partners through different projects and programs.
This Hub is founded upon four goals that will allow the initiative to develop over time and create more opportunities for the campus community. The four goals are experiential learning, professional development, innovation and entrepreneurship and research and consulting.
“We’re developing an alumni speaker series for those that are working in the industry,” said Susan Muirhead, visiting associate director of the Hub. “We have some time to talk with the students to give them their feedback. We’re trying to integrate them into the classes so that they can provide feedback on the projects that students have developed.”
The following steps for these new initiatives are creating a signature program for each of these goals, establishing a reputation and garnering support to receive potential brand recognition for future opportunities.
Creating internship opportunities for freshman and sophomore students, in particular, is a crucial aspect the Hub is looking into since there are very few programs available for underclassmen, which they are attempting to change.
“We’re trying to work with our industry partners to find these internship experiences that we can provide and create those paid internship opportunities at the Hub to allow students to work in these kinds of projects that are really backed by the real corporations and partners,” Yao said.