ArtCenter’s dynamic relationships with industry bring transformative opportunities to our students and alumni. To maximize the possibilities for collaboration and expand the educational impact for these key partners, we have aligned the offices of Career and Professional Development, Educational Partnerships and Exchange and Study Away to provide a seamless experience. Through diverse programs and services, we provide customized curriculum, academic connections and support networks to prepare our students for their creative careers while also creating enriching opportunities for our alumni and industry partners to engage with the College.
Educational Partnerships facilitates exceptional programs and experiences that bridge academic and professional practices through hands-on collaboration.
These hallmark programs simulate professional studio environments and expose students to a broad spectrum of industries, global cultures and professional practices. Over the course of a single year ArtCenter collaborated with 25 different corporate partners and civic organizations to explore a diverse range of topics from the future of air travel to new medical devices and services to branded experience for the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games.
Sponsored Projects have evolved over the years, but the intention and promise is always the same: high-quality, professional experiences that bring current industry challenges and opportunities into the classroom and provide students the context for imagining future solutions. This flagship program gives our partners the opportunity to sponsor studios in which select groups of upper-term undergraduate and graduate students work in multidisciplinary teams to explore a broad range of topics.
DesignStorms are three-day immersive workshops that leverage ArtCenter’s skilled faculty, with the support of our sponsors’ expertise, to guide multidisciplinary teams of upper-term students through an intensive design process. Over the course of the three days, the teams apply various methodologies to identify areas for deeper exploration and reveal new opportunities related to the topic at hand.
Many ArtCenter students and graduates are interested in working for themselves. DesignFlashes are one-week design challenges that simulate entrepreneurial or freelance work by allowing students to work independently on real issues facing start-up organizations and new brands. Sponsors receive an exclusive license for selected concepts and those students whose ideas are chosen will receive a cash award and royalty options when applicable. To ensure continuity, students whose ideas are selected may also have the opportunity to continue working with the sponsor on the development of their idea through an internship or freelance contract.
ArtCenter offers unique and comprehensive Professional Development programs comprised of both open-enrollment workshops and customized curriculum. Both models deploy content modules developed by ArtCenter faculty and alumni that leverage the College’s capabilities and pedagogy. Professional Development programs at ArtCenter extend the College’s reach and impact, demonstrating the power of design across industries and providing ongoing value to alumni and partners through hands-on workshops.
Both inside the classroom and out, ArtCenter fosters a campus-wide appreciation for human diversity and its critical role in defining and maintaining educational excellence. As the world’s ideas, languages and cultures become more interconnected, ArtCenter’s curriculum gives students the opportunity to address design challenges and explore artistic opportunities wherever and however they occur. At the same time, we place a steady emphasis on Humanities and Design Sciences, enabling students to develop and refine their artistic voices or design sensibilities.
To enhance the learning opportunities we offer students, ArtCenter provides a number of unique exchange and study away experiences for students, both domestically and abroad.
The Office of Career and Professional Development (CPD) is dedicated to providing resources and programming that empower ArtCenter students and alumni to navigate their creative careers and establish meaningful connections with industry professionals globally. Through the delivery of professional development workshops, career counseling, alumni mentorship and experiential education, we strive to provide an environment that nurtures the individual curiosity and creativity of our students.
DOT Connect is ArtCenter's online career portal, housing the job posting system and career resources. CPD promotes DOT Connect globally to employers and the creative community, welcoming them to post internships; full-time, part-time and freelance positions; residencies; fellowships and more. The career resource library houses documents related to professional development as well as job search sites and websites for residencies, professional organizations and overall creative career support.
Individual career counseling is available through CPD to support students and alumni in achieving their professional goals. Appointments are available with a career counselor to assist students and alumni in the career exploration and development process by providing a wide variety of services and resources. Career counseling assists students and alumni with career exploration, career interest assessments, major/career decision-making, resumes, interviewing, job searching, and networking. ArtCenter alumni are provided the same resources as students up to one year after graduation excluding internship opportunities. Beyond one year, services include two in-person appointments for alumni at no cost.
ArtCenter has a rich history of building strong industry partnerships globally. Alumni of ArtCenter become part of this professional network, creating a strong pipeline into companies and studios across all disciplines. This network provides students with access to internship opportunities in some of the best studios across the country and around the world. Students are strongly encouraged to engage in these off-site experiences that allow them to work directly with professional mentors and gain first hand knowledge of the industry and their craft.
Internships are a fundamental way for undergraduate and graduate students to enhance their ArtCenter education by being exposed to real-world experience in their desired industry. The internship application process is competitive and companies base their selections on several factors including resume and portfolio reviews, and candidate interviews. Students are advised to familiarize themselves with the Internship Program Guidelines early on in their ArtCenter education so they can properly take advantage of the enriching internship opportunities that are available to them. Undergraduate students may register an internship through CPD as of their fifth term (with a 2.5 cumulative GPA) and graduate students may register an internship as of their fourth term (with a 3.0 cumulative GPA). While international students studying under an F-1 Visa may complete internships, they must meet with the International Student Advisor in the Center for the Student Experience to establish their internship eligibility based on immigration regulations prior to applying for any internship.
ArtCenter has established relationships with employers globally and actively seeks opportunities to expand its network of professionals across various art and design industries. CPD works to cultivate these partnerships with employers as an effective way to increase the realm of possible opportunities for ArtCenter students. While students benefit significantly from these partnerships, our professional partners benefit as well by receiving creative support, innovative ideas and fresh perspectives from our students.
Employers who would like to hire an ArtCenter student as an intern are asked to abide by the Employer Guidelines to ensure that the opportunity being provided is educational and an invaluable real-world experience for the intern. CPD greatly appreciates companies who have previously hosted an ArtCenter student and looks forward to further developing new relationships in hopes of creating additional internship opportunities for the ArtCenter College of Design community.
Dot Exchange is a mentoring program hosted annually by CPD during the summer term. This summer mentor program connects ArtCenter students to ArtCenter alumni and industry partners (employers) for a 10-week exchange. The Dot Exchange mentor program assists student mentees in building relationships that broaden professional networks. CPD encourages students to utilize this 10-week interaction to gain insight, ask relevant questions and further develop skills and networking capabilities within industry.
Acceptance into the Dot Exchange program is by application and interview only. To be eligible to apply, students must have a 2.5 or higher cumulative GPA and be in their fourth term of study. Mentors and students are matched accordingly.
If you are an ArtCenter alum or an employer, looking to provide a 10-week mentorship experience for an ArtCenter student, please contact CPD at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
CPD hosts industry professionals on campus throughout the year to recruit students for internships and employment opportunities. Each term, graduating students are given the opportunity to network with design professionals from top companies and studios looking to identify talent for current or potential job openings. Participating students receive feedback and critique on their work and are introduced to valuable industry contacts.
Career Chats, CPD’s professional speaker series, gives students access to top industry professionals who present on a variety of topics, from the state of the interaction design industry to design research, creating compelling narratives, self-promotion advice and more. CPD invites speakers based on topics of current interest to students.