April 25, 2014

From the Philippines to an Architecture Firm: Nearing the End of Ei’s 2nd Term

Ei was started with the idea to equip individuals with the tools necessary to transform their world. Our students are the center of this school. They are why we do what we do.

And, with less than a month left in the second term, we continue to be amazed by our students.

Back in September, our small pilot class of students embarked on a year-long journey of apprenticeships, meetups, and real-world experiences. They came from different disciplines and different places: writers, designers, engineers, business strategists and social entrepreneurs from San Francisco, Austin, Fargo and Chicagoland.

Since joining Ei, they’ve developed practical skills in design, business development, strategy, architecture, marketing, writing, social entrepreneurship, user experience, and public speaking. They’ve established meaningful relationships with each other and industry professionals, and gained the creative confidence and credibility to launch themselves into the next phase of their careers.

What’s more, they have remarkable stories to tell. Their experiences have taken them all over the world, introducing them to circumstances and people they’d never anticipated.

Check out what they’ve done over their first two terms:

  • April Soetarman, whose focus is in Experiential Design, first worked as a project manager, gaining new insights into the design process and communicating with clients at Doejo, an award-winning digital design firm in Chicago. Now, in the final leg of her second apprenticeship, she’s exploring the relationship between sound and design at NBBJ’s Studio 07, the experience design studio of the international architecture firm, in Seattle.
  • After studying engineering at Olin College, Carissa Leal joined Ei to explore new fields of design, branding, and business. For her first apprenticeship, she developed marketing and advertising strategies with Skoop, a startup in Boulder, Colorado that aims to empower people through plant-based superfoods. Now she’s embarked on an in-depth personal project that focuses on Web Design, Development and UX. She’s designed a curriculum that integrates Ei’s core competencies with online courses such as Web Design and Development through Treehouse, User Experience Introduction through UXApprentice, and The World of Design through HackDesign.
  • Another student, Dane Johnson, began by jumping on board with DevBootcamp where he developed and produced a video campaign that focused on female developers in a male dominated industry. Currently, he’s on a fully immersive writing project at an Orthodox monastic community in the deserts of New Mexico where he aims to refine his storytelling skills and further investigate the source of Christianity and the human psyche.
  • Our youngest entrepreneur, Joe Burgum, first tackled the ins and outs of event production with Redmoon Theatre, a nonprofit company that aspires to transform streets into places of public celebration. For his second apprenticeship, he traveled to Santa Monica to gain experience in business development and strategy with SapientNitro, an award-winning creative agency.
  • Sustainability- and business-enthusiast Muffadal Saylawala followed his first apprenticeship to the Myco-Halo Foundation, an eco-cultural initiative based in Australia, where he ideated and implemented solutions to local challenges. His second apprenticeship led him to rebuild a village in the Philippines through Earth Village Project where he’s not only getting his hands dirty by participating in the actual process of construction, but he’s also helping to organize their efforts, work on finances, and share their story through his blog.

Their experiences have been disparate, but they’re united by a strong community and common cause. Our team at Ei has worked to create the network of mentors, connectors, and advisors who encourage and guide our students, as well as the framework and curriculum that enables them to achieve their objectives.

As we prepare for our third Meetup and final round of apprenticeships, we’re reminded of how much what we do depends on the ingenuity and resilience of our students. We’re a pretty lucky team and they’re a pretty awesome bunch.

The Spark You’ve Been Looking For

Visit our store to find award-winning education tools used by individuals and teams around the world.