February 14, 2024

Now Open: Stanford Project Portal

Today, I’m really excited to share a piece of technology and programming we’ve recently (re)-launched!

Working at Stanford

Over the past 11 years, I’ve been supporting projects at Stanford’s Institute of Design (d.school). A few years ago, thanks to the nudging of David Kelley and Bill Burnett, I focused my efforts on a specific part of the college experience that needed work: Summers.

The quality of college summers is all over the place. There’s such little scaffolding and support. How might we change that?

With the help of amazing instructors, we got to work by designing a class called Design Summer. The 1-credit course focused on helping students learn to tell their stories, build their portfolios, connect with leaders, and create a summer that aligned with their studies and interests.

The class went so well that it recently became a CORE class. Now called Design Formation, the course is hosted for all undergraduate students in Stanford’s new Design Degree — an amazing step!

But that’s not all.

Building Bridges

An integral piece of the class is to build bridges from the Design classroom to Design experiences. To help with that, a few friends and I built technology that allows companies and leaders to post summer projects for students to find and pursue. It’s not a “job board” where students get constantly ghosted — it’s a project portal where real connections are made throughout the spring.

These projects, posted by teams and companies of all sizes, can range from a traditional full internship to short-term roles to project-based work. Our students (usually rising seniors) are being trained across design and engineering skills. Prior projects have included:

  • Digital UI/UX
  • Machine Learning / AI design
  • Physical Product Design & Manufacturing
  • Customer Research & Needfinding

Prior projects have included: conducting a 5-week research project with a large office furniture manufacturer, creating a Human Centered Design workshop series for an edu institution, developing drawings and producing prototypes of medication packaging alongside a non-profit, redesigning branding and messaging for an innovation team within a Fortune 50 company, etc.

Really, students have done it all over the past 5 years.

Now, here’s where you come in

If you’re leading a team, a project, a company, etc — this is your chance to work with talented Stanford students on one of your sticky challenges. Just post your projects for students here within the next 2-3 weeks. It only takes a couple of minutes to start and you can share as many projects, roles, or ideas as you’d like. Your posts don’t need to be fully formed — just enough to start a conversation with a student.

Also, there is no cost to participate. We just ask that you offer compensation for students’ work. A good starting rate has been $15-20/hr, but the exact details can be determined between you and the student.

If you have any questions, just reply or send an email to vsaad@stanford.edu.

Thanks for taking time to consider this. I’m excited to see who joins us in this Stanford project with us!


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