INTERVIEW AN INNOVATOR PROGRAM
Explore Your Career Interests, Learn Critical Digital Communication Skills & Establish a Professional Digital Footprint
Eight short dynamic videos (5-10 minutes each), a student workbook and an accompanying curriculum guide that can be customized by each educator.
Students interview an "innovator" - someone who seems to be doing innovative work in an area that is personally of interest to the student. The interviews are open-ended but should generally focus on the innovator's career journey and how they plan to innovate in the future. Students identify the innovator they would interview through one of five possible ways: 1) a family member, 2) a friend, 3) someone selected through online research or 4) via the school's alumni network.
Students create content that is published on the Global Innovators Academy public facing blog, a content platform that aspires to be the go-to resource for how young talent view entrepreneurship and innovation. Content can also be published on the school's Career Center blog or other institutional asset.
The timing will vary, but it would be expected that students could go through the entire process of identifying and interviewing an innovator, writing the story and ultimately getting it published in about 2-3 months.
Feedback would come not only from students' teachers, but also from a global audience.
Separate versions of the curriculum are available for both high schools and universities.
Benefits for educators
The course is a resource to support:
High school guidance / college counselors who want to expose students to careers that are of interest to them. As a result, students can make more informed decisions about colleges to attend and majors to pursue. By creating professional content that is available online, students are able to share a public-facing content asset that can be used in college applications.
Leadership and staff working in university career centers who want to expose students to different internships to explore during college and jobs to pursue post-graduation. By creating professional content that is available online, students are more marketable during their job search.
Students can interview alumni. Thus the Interview an Innovator experience can be a valuable way to connect graduates with students. We work with schools to customize the content. Options include additional live and virtual in-person sessions, proactive support for students and incorporating school branding and messaging in all course materials.
Video: The world needs innovators like you!
Related Experiential Activity: Students to identify areas of entrepreneurship and innovation that they would like to explore at a personal level.
Video: Connect with an individual of interest.
Related Experiential Activity: Students to identify individuals to interview, rank them in order of preference, and then begin reaching out to them to arrange an interview (understanding that rejection is possible and they need to work their way down their preference list before identifying the right individual).
Video: Conduct a successful interview.
Related Experiential Activity: Students to use practical video conferencing tools (like Zoom) if they will be conducting the interview remotely; how to prepare questions.
Video: Write a compelling article.
Related Experiential Activity: Students to write an article based on the key learning and takeaways from the interview.
Video: Edit your article and incorporate visuals.
Related Experiential Activity: Students to deploy self-editing tactics and then send the article to a classmate for their feedback. Students would also learn how to incorporate visuals to complement their writing.
Video: Gain approval from the interviewee.
Related Experiential Activity: Students to send article to the individual they interviewed and get their feedback.
Video: Publish and promote your content.
Related Experiential Activity: Promote your published content through your individual networks, the school's various communications channels and the interviewee’s networks.
Video: Interpret feedback.
Related Experiential Activity: Students would evaluate feedback from their teacher, classmates and the public readers of their article and identify opportunities for improvement in the future.
The below illustrates how the curriculum can be leveraged at the high school level. The process is essentially the same at the college level, except that the application would be sightly different.
Georgia is a senior in high school and is considering majoring in physical education. By going through the course, Georgia initially gains clarity about a topic that she would like to explore: how to start a business around a hobby (part #1 of the curriculum noted above).
Next, Georgia comes up with a list of individuals she would like to interview, both in her direct network as well as new potential contacts (part #2 of the curriculum). She identifies an entrepreneur named Victor who started a business around his passion of cycling.
As a result of going through part #3 of the curriculum, Georgia prepares questions for Victor and schedules an interview.
Next, Georgia goes through the interview and has it transcribed using free software like Otter.ai. The curriculum provides guardrails, but not specifics, so Georgia can explore whatever angle she is most interested in (because as we know, students learn best when they guide their own learning, see a purpose to it and are able to apply it personally). Part #4 of the curriculum provides her with guidance on writing a first draft. Part #5 provides her with guidance on fact-checking and editing it.
Part #6 guides Georgia through the process or sending the article to Victor for approval and then, by going through part #7 of the curriculum, she would share with the editors of the Global Innovators Academy for publication. Here is her piece. Next, she would promote the content leveraging the recommended tactics covered in the course.
Georgia’s work would be evaluated by her teacher, peers in her classroom and random website visitors who provide constructive feedback in the comments section of her article. Georgia would interpret this feedback and identify opportunities for improvement (part #9).
As a result of this experience, Georgia has more clarity about whether to pursue physical education. She ideally has made a positive impression on Victor can can consider him a mentor down the road. She has established a positive digital footprint through the article and can include this in her college applications.
n the future. Video #9 would guide her through this process.