Our clients make the program work! Innovations for Industry (I4I) would not function without clients that enjoy working with and mentoring students. We take no money for providing our services to clients. The investment in the I4I teams is not monetary, but is an investment of time and education for the students involved.
Realizing that our I4I teams are students who are on the cusp of starting a career, with client and faculty mentorship, they can tackle some of the toughest of IT projects.
Ways I4I can help:
- jump start that side project that no one has had time to work on yet
- have the team research vendors and solutions and provide a recommendation
- try out an employees management skills by having them mentor a student team
- demonstrate proof of concept
- have them work on a real technology issue that your business or organization could really use
- use students fresh ideas and understanding of new technologies to help your organization
- get insider access to our top students, possibly allowing for an easy hiring decision or intern for the summer
Some examples of projects include:
- NBCUniversal - "bug tracking/portals for use in provisioning physical and virtual servers and execute operational automated tasks" - Two projects over two semesters allowed NBCUniversal IT to provide technical services to its clients in a faster and more reliable way, worldwide.
- New Pig - "corporation conversion of IBM DB2 databases to MySQL" - New Pig Corporation had several systems running against a DB2 database. By transitioning to MySQL, those systems were brought inline with the architectures of the corporation's newer systems, providing a single, consistent platform.
- Videon - "android voice activated media player" - Videon's products include streaming media software, media encoders/decoders, DVD and Blu-ray players, and most other AV technologies. They were looking for a working prototype of an Android voice activated media player to incorporate into their various technologies.
- comScore - "research of bot traffic patterns and trends" - comScore desired to understand more deeply how bot traffic may affect their analysis of internet traffic.
- Mutual Benefit Group - "desktop virtualization project" - MBG has used I4I to explore ways to more efficiently deploy personal computer resources to their user base.
See our past projects page for more examples of I4I projects.
The clients that get the most benefit from the I4I program are also those that put the most into the program. While we will not accept money for working on client projects, we do expect an investment of time from out clients.
- clients and projects are carefully identified, choosing the ones that are willing to invest time to mentor students and not just use them as "free labor"
- sometimes it would be easier for clients to do the project themselves, but our best clients want to give to the students as well as receive from the students - they are mentors
- clients may require students to sign non-disclosure agreements as is necessary
- clients do not need to be near the college, but regular communication between the teams and clients is vital
- projects need to fit into the college's semester system - our faculty can help clients to shape the projects and provide understanding of the ups and downs of a student during the semester
- clients are asked to write up a one page project description prior to the start of the semester and make a presentation about their organization and the project to the class - this may be done remotely if needed or can be recorded
- students are expected to meet regularly with clients and ask questions as needed to progress on their project - clients should have a primary contact person in mind to be the teams client mentor
- students will present on the progress of their project twice during the semester and may be asked by clients to present at their site as well - clients are invited to attend the final presentations and are invited to attend the I4I celebration reception and dinner in the spring
See out student page for more information on what we expect of our students.
Facilities and Resources
The ITCS Department has a few resources that are important to the I4I program.
- faculty access - if there is a need in a project, students can approach any member of the faculty that may have the skills to help with that need
- a dedicated space - the I4I room (BAC C229) is a large, secure room with a lounge, coffee service, tables, conference room, whiteboards, projection system, and storage for specialized hardware
- within reason, the department has the budget to buy specialized software and hardware for I4I teams