For all freshman this year, our Spring Semester kicked off with Bryant’s design thinking project IDEA Fair. For 72 hours, me and my fellow classmates researched, brainstormed, prototyped, and presented our solutions to critical questions engineered by the IDEA committee. Topics ranged across industries from zoos, to movie theaters, to museums, to even Gillette Stadium!
I was pretty overwhelmed when I first started the IDEA process. Three straight days grinding out a project was not the way I imagined returning to campus after winter break. But after going through the fair, I realized I had learned a lot of valuable business skills in a very short amount of time. I had gone to a movie theater and interviewed both staff and customers to learn more about the positive and negative customer service traits of the business.
Through IDEA, I worked with my partners to brainstorm creative solutions to improve customer relations in the theater industry. We built prototypes of the actual theaters we sat in, with adjustments and improvements that we had brainstormed. On Day 3, we were able to present our prototypes to multiple judges and other students. One of my favorite parts about this experience was actually going around to friends’ tables and seeing the other ways they solved their critical questions. Everyone had a unique strategy, each one creative and exciting.
So overall, I’d say this was a very successful IDEA Fair. It is a signature event in a student’s career at Bryant, and to me it’s really cool that Bryant is the only school in the country to offer an experience like this. It’s hands on and the most real-world experience a student will have at this point in their academic career. Design thinking is becoming one of the most important skills an employee can have in today’s world, and I can’t think of a better event than IDEA to showcase design thinking in action.