Carnegie Mellon University

Integrated Innovation Institute

Engineering + Design + Business

Integrated Innovation Institute

MIIPS students on the trek

February 05, 2019

Destination Innovation: MIIPS students visit New York City

By Elizabeth Donaldson

New York City is home to many of the world's most impressive innovation and design firms.

“These companies are thought leaders in their field," says Shawn Koid (MIIPS '19). "We’ve been following what they’ve been doing and reading what they’ve been publishing.”

Students from the Master of Integrated Innovation for Products & Services (MIIPS) program wanted to meet their heroes—the visionaries behind iconic products and experiences. They decided to travel to New York City to get to know the country’s top innovators face-to-face.

The students organized a trek, planning stops at nine different companies across the boroughs. From January 17 to 19, the students introduced themselves to the teams headquartered at Frog, Free Association, Pensa, DesignIt, Smart Design, Local Projects, Method, WeWork, and IBM. The designers, engineers, and business professionals of the MIIPS program decided on each of these companies based on their interest in the organizations’ work and missions as well as the opportunities available at the companies.

Use the map below to explore the MIIPS industry trek.

“We had some goals in mind for the trek,” explains Lama Alfulaij (MIIPS '19), who organized the trek with her classmate, Shawn Koid. “We wanted to get some face time with the company and we also wanted to showcase our program.”

Students discovered that the innovation companies were equally interested in learning about the MIIPS program and found that the problem-solving skills taught in their classes closely aligned with those applied in industry.

“One thing that I took away from the experience was to never be afraid to reach out to people,” says Sisi Yu (MIIPS Advanced ’19), who found that the conversations with her innovation idols were natural and mutually informative. “People were intrigued by our program and wanted to find out who we are and what we do.”

Students on the trek experienced a day-in-the-life at each company.

“You can tell a great deal from the studio energy and culture,” says Yu. “It’s so different to browse a fancy website than to actually be at the studio in person and interact with the people who are making everything happen.”

As students in the MIIPS Advanced Study program search for summer internships and May graduates prepare to enter the workforce, they can reach out to their newly expanded network and tailor their search based on authentic industry insights. Some students may even find themselves back in Manhattan.

“New York is amazing,” Alfulaij reflected after the trek. “It’s one my favorite cities and I can’t wait to go back.”