With everyone settling back into school, now is the perfect time for students to begin thinking about their professional development goals for the year. Although some students might secure a formal internship in their chosen field, internships can be time consuming, difficult to find, and challenging to execute when enrolled as a student. A significant amount of college and graduate students aren’t sure of what career path they want to pursue and some don’t even know where to start when it comes to securing the type of internship they really need to gain more clarity. Most full-time students have to balance a heavy course load, part-time work, and other extracurriculars, which can make prioritizing professional development and networking rather challenging.
CapSource is very excited to announce our new student-facing platform! Students who want to gain real-world experience and develop critical 21st century skills in a structured environment with flexible deadlines can now submit experiential learning proposals to companies in our network directly. Through our experiential learning engagements, which are structured like student consulting projects, students can explore new industries and job roles while gaining referenceable work experience and developing meaningful professional relationships. The engagements are designed to be low-stakes and low commitment (5-10 hours/week), but fun, exciting, and high impact.
Here’s a quick overview of how students can now “create their own professional adventure” through the CapSource platform.
How does it work?
CapSource uses a project-based learning approach, which identifies companies willing to offer students the ability to work through strategic research projects for the benefit of their own learning and career development. The projects are done remotely and outside of day-to-day operations and require low levels of oversight by company personnel. Students interact with company project leaders weekly to ensure they have a chance to ask questions and validate their process. With the newly launched student-facing platform, students can now explore our growing directory of companies, select a company they’re interested in working with, and submit a proposal based on the type of learning they’re looking to accomplish. Engagements are structured as one of the following:
- Site-Visit – These one-day sessions are a really exciting low commitment way for students to look under the hood and learn more about new companies while networking and shadowing real business professionals.
- Co-op – Students work as individuals on projects with companies. The co-op is different than a formal internship because it is project-based, done remotely, and designed for the benefit of student learning.
- Live Business Case – Live Business Case Competitions allow students to work in groups and compete to develop the best outcomes for a real company. These engagements are best for student clubs and organizations.
- Capstone Project – Students work in small consulting teams on cross functional projects directly with company leaders over a longer term period. They gain exposure to different business departments, roles, and responsibilities while they develop soft skills and gain real work experience.
The platform is perfect for students who don’t know exactly what they want to do, but want to experience new business models, industries, product-types, and job roles. With any of these options, students will get a chance to work on highly engaging projects based on current business challenges. The engagements require 5-10 hours of commitment per week and have loose deadlines with flexibility to accommodate work and/or school schedules.
What are some of the benefits for students?
Students get direct contact with real company management through research-oriented projects and engage in cross-functional, multi-dimensional engagements that require a blend of technical and soft skills. Students also gain access to exclusive company information and build real, impactful mentorships with host company representatives, which can help open the door to future jobs. CapSource also pairs students with independent expert industry mentors to help with consulting theory, strategy, and project management.
Upon completion of the engagement, students earn an official certificate and credential, which includes the name of the host company, the project synopsis, the business functions covered, the overall performance (based on company, peer, and deliverable evaluations), in addition to a company reference willing to discuss performance. Students can add these engagements to their LinkedIn and attach these credentials to their resumes when seeking new job opportunities to establish credibility. In addition, students can leverage projects as real work experience to secure a job from host companies (or similar companies), or in some cases, earn traditional course credit as an independent study or “Capstone Project.”
Ready to get started?
CapSource has been disrupting the traditional internship model by building experiential learning engagements from the ground up, with student learning and real-world exposure as the top priority. The new student platform is an extension of our mission and is now available to individual students as well as college/university clubs, especially those focused on professional development. To get started, students can register for our platform and submit proposals to the companies that most interest them. Engagements are priced out per student, ranging from $20-$1,500 depending on the format, length of engagement, type of company, and number of students involved.