What Can Cardinal Launch Do For You?
Business owners and startup entrepreneurs frequently come to ConVerge and ask something along the lines of “I’ve got this short-term business need and wonder if you have student resources that can help out?” These needs have ranged from social media to evaluating the viability of a new offering, to designing marketing collateral and conducting analyses of shipping and manufacturing costs.
In response to the growing number of these requests, ConVerge introduced Cardinal Launch. Cardinal Launch opportunities are student-powered, faculty-managed short-term projects for ConVerge members. Generally, these projects last anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks and require 3 to 5 hours per week for the student. Cardinal Launch projects have proven to be a truly unique offering for ConVerge. They are a win-win-win.
For North Central College students, Cardinal Launch provides the opportunity to apply what they’re learning in the classroom, get exposure to solving real-life problems, and engage in business experiences. These opportunities have proven to be a differentiator for North Central College students on their resumes and provide a steady stream of skilled workers to fuel business growth.
For the business owner, Cardinal Launch provides a creative, and affordable solution for the time-stretched entrepreneur. One member recently said to me,
“I love working with your students because they bring such a fresh perspective and creativity. I’m amazed at their knowledge of technology – apps, social media, and online sources of data. And, I like it that faculty members know the students and oversee the day-to-day work.”
In many cases, our members have been so impressed with the caliber of student outcomes that they offered students internships.
For North Central College, Cardinal Launch has proven to be a win as well. The program cultivates relationships between campus and the larger business community. Cardinal Launch provides students with enhanced, high impact learning opportunities, a topic of much interest in higher education today: https://blogg.hioa.no/fpksatsing/2016/11/21/the-power-of-integrated-learning-summary-and-video-of-william-sullivans-lecture/
Here’s what another ConVerge member said about his Cardinal Launch experience:
“Back when we first launched the Cardinal Launch project, we were all a bit unsure how it would go. After all, we’re working with students who have many demands on them both inside and outside of the classroom. This turned out to be a great experience for all parties. I met with the students 3 times during the 8-week project. I challenged them because I wanted to give them a taste of the real world. North Central’s faculty representative kept the students on task and the student team over-delivered. I was so impressed I created an internship and one of my Cardinal Launch students joined my firm last summer. From the first day and throughout the three months of his internship, the student not only continued to demonstrate a desire to learn, it was his ability to grasp complex concepts that enabled us to give him projects which had tangible impacts to our business and clients.”
If you know anyone in the western suburbs of Chicago who would benefit from Cardinal Launch and other ConVerge services – send them our way.