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High School students learn what it’s like to work in a design studio through Companies for Causes partnership program

While most students lounge by the pool, hang out with friends and do other typical summer-vacation activities, a select group of students from Eastern High School in Washington, D.C. got a chance to see what it’s like in the working world.

As part of Companies for Causes’ ongoing partnership with Eastern High School, students spent one day a week with professionals from six different CforC partners—OPX, Gepetto, Catering, Anybill, Terpsys, Raffa and OmniStudio. Students who passed all of their classes were eligible for the program, in which students see what a professional environment is like as they develop skills and knowledge about what it takes to succeed in today’s workplace.

Two soon-to-be sophomores, Mia and Miles, selected OmniStudio as the place where they would spend one day a week for four weeks and learn what it’s like to work in a design studio.

“I chose to come to Omni because I saw that it’s creative and I’m used to creating all types of things,” said Mia, who says she wants to be a writer and restaurant owner, and makes her own jewelry. “I’m glad I chose Omni because you can use your imagination and the things that I’m good at.”

Over the course of the four-week mentorship program, the students learned about how a project goes from conception to completion, mocked up their own cover designs for a real Omni assignment, learned what’s involved in designing and creating websites, and explored the importance of branding.

“I learned that making a website takes a lot of work and that not just anyone can do it,” Mia said.

But the challenge didn’t stop them; the students created their own blogs based on subjects that mean something to them; Mia’s blog aims to help give teens encouragement in challenging times and inspire them to be confident young people, while Miles’ blog focuses on some passions of his own: sports and cars.

And in one of the learning sessions, Eileen Kessler, president of Omni, talked about logo design and showed the students examples of the types of branding our studio provides for nonprofit organizations.

“Just by chance, we are working on a logo branding refresh for the Washington Teachers’ Union. When they heard that we were hosting Eastern students, they suggested that we include them in our design process, “ Eileen said.

Mia and Miles had a chance to see Omni’s work for WTU and give their feedback on the design options we presented.  “This was a great way for students to feel even more connected to our work, and for WTU to share in the experience. We love this type of synchronicity,” Eileen added.

When Mia first came to Omni four weeks ago, she said she wanted to own her own restaurant or be a writer—but she may want to add to those ambitions being a designer, because her work brought lots of oohs and ahs within our studio.

“Mia’s cover design was very well thought out and executed, and she did it with no guidance—that’s the sign of a creative mind and I think she has some great potential in the design world,” Eileen said.

Miles, who wants to go to the University of Miami and major in marine biology and minor in design when he graduates, also enjoyed being able to play on his strengths while at Omni.

“I like computers and technology and design,” he said.

After the program ends, Miles says he’ll continue to blog and share his knowledge of sports and cars with his friends and social networks, and will leave Omni with more knowledge of non-profits—one of Omni’s main client bases—and design in general.

For more information about Companies for Causes and its Eastern High School project, visit the Companies for Causes website.