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12-Month Alternative Higher Education Program Equips Students with Real-World Experience Through Coaching, Apprenticeships and Travel
There is little doubt about the power of education. But there is certainly doubt about the return on investment of a traditional higher education or post-graduate degree program – many of which can leave students deep in debt and without clarity of where they fit or real-world skills applicable to the rapidly changing economy.
Now entering its third year, Experience Institute (Ei), a Chicago-based education startup, provides a transformative, experience-based education program that offers students a year-long journey of discovery, apprenticeships, coaching and travel. Ei participants must apply or be nominated by a peer, family member or teacher. The deadline for applications and nominations is Friday, May 22, 2015.
The Ei curriculum includes a series of three experiences, mentoring from top business leaders and group meetups. Students develop critical skills in community building, storytelling, self-awareness, operations and design thinking, and track their journey through blogs and journals. Firms including Leo Burnett, DIRTT, NBBJ and Threadless have teamed up with Experience Institute to support students and provide apprenticeships.
April Soetarman, a graduate of Ei’s inaugural 2013 program, said: “The skills that you learn at Ei are lifelong skills that you can apply to any field that you go into.” During her year at Ei, April was a project lead at a digital creative agency in Chicago, a sound and architecture designer in Seattle, and a creative strategist for one of the largest ad agencies in the world, Leo Burnett. April is currently working as designer for the architecture firm NBBJ.
Ideal candidates for Experience Institute are bright self-starters who are contemplating graduate school but learn best through hands-on experience and real-world challenges. Students attending Ei gain creative confidence as well as professional experience and a portfolio that helps them understand the world, their skill set, and how they best work with a team.
Applications are available online and due by May 22, 2015.
“Our alumni are the best example of Ei’s impact. As students, they divided their terms between monasteries and creative agencies, built earthships in the Philippines, and developed design strategies in corporate ad companies. Now, as graduates, their experiences have led them to work as freelancers, launch new ventures, and accept job offers from some of the companies they apprenticed with during their year at Ei,” said Victor Saad, who founded Experience Institute after doing his own 12-month, experience-based program. “To see what Ei alumni are doing today and how they are changing the world has been by far the most rewarding part of starting Experience Institute. We are incredibly excited to welcome a new group of students this fall.”
For more information and to apply or nominate a student visit: http://expinstiute.com/apply/.
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About Experience Institute
Experience Institute (Ei) is a 12-month higher education program based on real-world experiences. EI provides a unique opportunity for graduate and undergraduate students to learn within their industry of preference through an immersive, portfolio-building experience, all while building personal character and professional relationships. Ei students are pioneers in experience-based higher education, navigating new ways to learn and become problem solvers in a rapidly changing economy. Learn more at www.expinstitute.com and join the Ei community on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.