RBC Foundation helps NIC students gain vital industry experience

NIC DIGITAL Design + Development instructor Ashley Blacquiere (left) and Courtenay RBC Branch Manager Rick Eigler at NIC’s Comox Valley campus.

Students in NIC’s DIGITAL Design + Development program gained access to a new online career experience and learning platform, thanks to support from RBC Foundation’s Future Launch program.

The online platform is called Riipen and it allows students, instructors and partners from businesses and non-profits to collaborate on projects, allowing students to earn industry experience as part of their coursework.

DIGITAL Design + Development program coordinator Megan Wilson said Riipen allowed instructors to post a project, match to organizations across Canada, and use built-in checkpoints and feedback loops to bring the project to completion.

“It created the conditions of working in the industry with a real-life client,” said Wilson. “And best of all, our students will graduate with job experience already under their belts, which is a huge benefit in getting started in this fast-changing industry.”

NIC was able to access the Riipen platform thanks to a $15,000 donation from RBC Foundation, which covered a one-year subscription.

“When experience is so important to getting a job, but so hard to come by, young people are left feeling uncertain about their futures in the new world of work,” said Rick Eigler, Branch Manager, RBC. “We hope that through our partnership with NIC on our RBC Future Launch initiative, we can help young people get those all-important first jobs and break the ‘no experience, no job’ cycle.”

NIC DIGITAL Design + Development alumna Ghislaine Aujla used the Riipen platform to connect with a non-profit organization that provides art-based activities to support mental health. Aujla rebranded the organization as her capstone project.

“It was great to be able to work directly with a client and apply the skills I’d learned in my program to help them achieve their branding goals,” said Aujla. “It was an invaluable experience as I transitioned from my program into the workforce.”

RBC Future Launch is a 10-year, $500 million commitment to empowering Canadian youth to build meaningful careers. With a focus on networking, skills development and experience, the initiative aims to help solve the problems facing young people due to the changing landscape of the workplace.

To support students and education in your community, visit https://foundation.nic.bc.ca or call 250-334-5074.

Seats are available for the January start for NIC’s Communication Design diploma and the Advanced Digital Design and Development diploma.

For more information, visit www.nic.bc.ca/digital-design-development.


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