May 21, 2014

Meetup 3: A Glimpse

After converging on Chicago last Sunday, our students hit the ground running for two weeks of intensive workshops, meetings and projects before they depart again for their final round of apprenticeships and experiences. We’re one week in and so far it’s been a wild ride.

Here’s a glimpse of where we’ve been and what we’ve been up to:

- Chicago Portfolio School (CPS) provided us with a beautiful loft space to serve as our home base for most of the Meetup. Huge thanks to Jeffrey Epstein and the crew behind CPS.

- Students worked on the next steps for their final trimester of apprenticeships: successful phone calls with innovative entrepreneurs, rebuilding portfolios, lively pitches for student partnerships with Leo Burnett, and several interesting opportunities on the horizon. We'll share where they land next week.

- Expert instructors and industry leaders guided students through workshops incorporating Ei’s curriculum. A day-long workshop on self-awareness, led by Kim Crutcher, ended in spoken word presentations. An interactive presentation on personal and small business finance gave students valuable insights into entrepreneurial operations.

- At Leo Burnett, Charles Adler, co-founder of Kickstarter, led a "Fireside Chat" on the Storytelling of Things. An abundance of smart, thoughtful conversations between Leo Burnett staff, Ei students, facilitators, and Charles Adler led to valuable insights for all.

- Students embarked on a design thinking project at Threadless headquarters where they interviewed staff, artists, and community members in order to assess the strengths and challenges of Threadless’ community building efforts. Working together under the direction of Ei's instructor, Aaron Wilson-Ahlstrom, and with staff members from Leo Burnett, students ideated, prototyped and presented solutions to Threadless staff.

It’s been good, hard work. And we’re having a blast. Stay tuned to see how we finish out this third Meetup—students will be conducting video interviews, finalizing their apprenticeships, designing their own graduation (EXPo), and more.

If you’d like to join as a member of our second class beginning in September 2014, you can apply until May 23rd.

To read our follow up post, click here.

(All photos taken by our friend and talented photographer Kevin Von Qualen)

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