Designing A New Student Event #MTUCPD

image-forwebWe’ve all seen the scene in the movie where someone grabs a napkin and a pencil and begins sketching wildly.  The scene changes and voilà! — a fully functioning product is working perfectly through the magic of film editing.

To help counteract decreasing student attendance at informational sessions, we created a new model for student engagement this past Fall.  These interactive events were called  “Industry Days.”  Student response was positive.  Students and company representatives that participated both helped each other learn more about each other.  Company representatives were more than generous with their time and life experiences to help students prepare for their upcoming careers.

As we reviewed the success of these events, one of the challenges we noticed was companies that are in the Consumer Products space don’t neatly fit the “Industry” model that we had created.  We use these products every day, but the skills needed to create them don’t exist in a single course taken in school.

As Thomas Edison so famously stated “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.”  Nowhere is this more evident than with consumer products.  Market research is difficult work requiring detailed knowledge of consumer needs, wants, and behaviors.  With an understanding of what consumers think they want, the product innovator needs to blend new technology, existing technology, and design to create a product that consumers may not know that they need!

In April, our students will get a chance to participate in an exciting new event.  During a 24 hour period, student teams will have a chance to showcase their creativity, innovation, intuition, and presentation skills.  “Consumer Products Day” will challenge students to start with a box of disparate parts and combine them into something great.  The highlight will be live presentations in front of a panel of judges and an audience.

In less than a month, there will be a short video of the event.  In fact, it will be just like the movies!

For all the details, please visit: http://www.mtu.edu/career/careerfest/students/industry/consumer-products-day/


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