They were all nervous. This was the first big critique of the year. Even though Ei doesn’t share many similarities with traditional education programs, we do assign something akin to homework; a documenting assignment that tasks students to synthesize their previous term’s experiences into a story to be shared with the greater Ei community.
For many of our students, this isn’t easy. Knowing what moments to zoom in on and which details to omit can be quite a chore when nearly all of their time has been dedicated to the pursuit of learning through their experiences. And, as we’ve witnessed with our first three classes, a lot of life can transpire in three month’s time.
So, on the first day of their second meetup, after having reconvened in Chicago from all corners of the globe, EXP3 was ready to reveal the stories of their last three months to fellow Ei classmates and instructors. We read them over one by one, offered both praise and pointers, and witnessed how our students are living out their intentions this year. Their learnings filled the room with a renewed sense of possibility.
Now, we hope their stories serve as a great source of inspiration for you as well. Click the student’s name to be taken to their reflection on their first term:
- Michelle Krasny, design research, apprenticed in Chicago with Simple Truth, a brand development and communication design agency, in a way that one of her coworkers summed up as Jane Goodall meets The Office.
- Samir Ahmed, business design, mentored alongside venture capitalists in Hong Kong and was based out of a 14k-sq-ft entrepreneurial incubator called CoCoon.
- Derek Kessinger, storytelling, quickly recovered from a less than ideal apprenticeship in New York and then churned out 50,000 words toward the first draft of a novel.
- Kali Lewis, human centered design and research, used her final semester as a university student to conduct market research for Ei, gathering insights and data on the undergraduate experience. (Oh, and she also delivered a TEDx Talk.)
- Jakes Jones, biomimicry, worked alongside interdisciplinary teams of biologists, ecologists, architects, designers, and urban planners to study biomimicry in one of the world’s biggest concrete jungles. (And also attended a workshop in South Africa.)
- James Paek, design, teamed up with a social innovation center in Detroit called Civilla where he was immediately asked to teach what he’d been taught, serving as a human centered design and storytelling facilitator for a workshop that hosted employees from Google.
- Gareth Gwyn, communications, is driven to bring the depths of the subconscious into awareness. To satisfy this drive she pursued a multimedia project on personal transformation stories, honed her internal compass in Peruvian jungles, and immersed herself in a world where consciousness is merging with technology and science.
- Morgan Bortz, design strategy, was invited by the iconic ad agency Leo Burnett to help their community outreach program, Leo Loves, develop new strategies for growth.
- Kacie McGeary, storytelling and community building, travelled to Bali where she served as lead writer for a newly founded humanitarian outfit that’s using motorcycles, and positive vibrations, to bring medical supplies to Indonesian islands.
- Claire Jencks, experience design, was invited to make and create alongside social impact design consultancy Civilla in Detroit. (Read to the end to learn the 7 Simple Rules she’s now using to guide her into Term II.)
- Leandro Martinez, storytelling, posted up at a hostel in Chicago called Holiday Jones, not to sleep, but to develop engaging marketing strategies that reflect the hip vibe of their business. Along the way, he became well acquainted with an inner enemy, something he now refers to as saboteur.
- Alexandria Duke, designer, took on all visual-making responsibilities for Mercy Machines, a moto-driven marketing collective based in Bali. She also took a big step toward launching her own magazine.
- Lan Nguyen, service design, travelled the world over the course of Term I, as she worked alongside the Veryday team, one of the world’s top-ranking design and innovation consultancies.