Program Gives Students Firsthand Look at How Designers Work and Succeed
Global Citizenship Experience Lab School is a private school located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago that’s focused on integrating science, technology, engineering, arts, and math into a cohesive, world-class program. One of the program’s focal points is a commitment to visiting hundreds of companies to give students first-hand experience in a range of careers and team environments.
One such visit recently led them to Beyond Design, a leading Chicago-based product design firm. Students had the opportunity to meet with Michael Prince, Beyond Design’s president, and spend time investigating exactly what it means to be a designer. They discovered the process beyond conceptualizing and designing new products and were introduced to the empathy, patience, expertise, and other central to effective products. Prince and other Beyond Design team members also expanded on the business side of launching and operating a successful design firm.
The relationship between GCE and Beyond Design continued after the completion of the visiting program. Three GCE students received internship positions at the design firm— Meleena Torres, Paulo Aguilar, and Ryan Davis. During their three-week internship and mentoring period, their experience included researching, conceptualizing, and refining designs for a series of pet products with guidance from the Beyond Design team. The project culminated in pitch presentations delivered by the GCE interns to the Beyond Design creative team, who offered feedback, guidance, and encouragement about their work.
This kind of hands-on, real-world experience is central to the GCE experience. Sponsored internships such as Beyond Design offered are a large part of how the school can boast a 100% acceptance rate for GCE graduates at top-tier universities, with 80% of those students earning merit-based scholarships. The willingness of companies such as Beyond Design to host, guide, educate, and encourage these students allows for them to complete a learning process that goes well beyond the classroom and prepares them for successful careers in a range of fields.
GCE and Beyond Design’s partnership stretches back to 2017 when the first GCE students visited Beyond Design. Since then, the two institutions have enjoyed a shared commitment to helping GCE students explore new ways of thinking and understand the world of product design.