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IDEA Student Experience

 Semester 1: You Are Here
The program begins with an immersive co-curricular experience that works with your first-year curriculum. You will be introduced to Rutgers faculty researchers that are tackling society’s largest challenges. You will explore your own interests, learn how to frame a problem, and begin to design your unique path through Rutgers.

 Semester 2: Innovation and Design Byrne Seminar
During the second semester, you will work with leading Rutgers Faculty to investigate an important national or global problem through a 1-credit Innovation and Design seminar.

This out-of-the-box learning experience will challenge you to discover new areas of study beyond your intended major and better prepare you for the careers of the future by focusing on the development of an adaptive and entrepreneurial mindset.

 Summer
The first-year experience culminates in a full-time, paid 8-week internship that brings together the classroom and the workplace.

You will work in small project teams and harness the power of innovation and design to tackle a real-world problem while receiving valuable mentorship from faculty as well as local alumni entrepreneurs, and business and non-profit leaders.

 Semester 3: Innovation Labs
In the first semester of your sophomore year, you will have the opportunity to develop and test your own ideas through faculty-mentored research or by joining an Innovation Lab, where you will learn successful entrepreneurship strategies and how to start your own venture.

 Semester 4: Design Your Story
Storytelling is one of the best ways to communicate your findings with impact, and also helps you uncover new insights. At the end of the semester, you’ll be asked to share your story about your experiences and the work you’ve accomplished through IDEA with others in a creative way (consider a video, pitch, documentary or podcast).

Your story will be defined by the grand-challenge solutions you worked on with your teams, work-study assignments you participated in, cross-discipline collaborations, and your partnership with mentors from academia and the business community.

You will also work with advising staff and counselors to help identify the kinds of problems you are most interested in solving. When it’s time to officially declare a major, you will feel confident that the path you select will empower you to reach your fullest potential.

 What Comes Next
In your junior and senior years, mentors and advisory staff will help you access faculty research positions, corporate and nonprofit internships, entrepreneurial opportunities, and other experiences in your areas of interest.

Have an innovative idea? You will be able to build a startup team and work on the concept and solution through the various entrepreneurial programs on campus and apply for co-working space in "The Hatchery," a dedicated space where you can meet, create, and receive mentoring support from our featured "entrepreneur in residence."

By the time you graduate from Rutgers, IDEA will have developed you into a visionary thinker, change agent, and innovative leader who values diverse ideas and finds solutions.

 Pay It Forward
You will be encouraged to continue engaging in IDEA through several leadership opportunities. IDEA Undergraduate Innovation Fellows will help to design and shape the future of IDEA, and become familiar with the entrepreneurial ecosystem at Rutgers–New Brunswick. Learning Assistants and Peer Mentors will serve as mentors for IDEA students, both inside and outside the classroom.