Students in the studio: real-world experience for Cambrian graphic design students thanks to industry partnership.

AuthorMyers, Ella

When Reagan Chisolm graduates from Cambrian College this spring, he'll have a head start on the real world.

For the past few weeks, the third-year graphic design student has been honing his skills working at Fuel Multimedia as part of a partnership between the Sudbury college and local design studios.

Cambrian has been pairing students directly with clients as freelancers through their Voucher for E-Business and Technology Adoption program since 2013. The program is funded through Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE). It matches students with eligible businesses that want to scale up their development, adoption, and implementation of online tools.

So far, local businesses from a microbrewery, a wellness store, a chiropractor, and a ski club have benefited.

This year, though, they started including local design studios in the process so students would have more guidance and learn how to work in a studio setting.

"It's an opportunity for students to actually get some real-world experience presenting to clients," said Sean Grant, a graphic design professor at the college. "We've been trying different models to optimize it and make it the best as possible."

Chisolm had the opportunity to work both with a client directly under the freelance model, and under the new studio model at Fuel.

He said there are benefits to both models.

The freelance model allowed him to work intensively with one client, but at Fuel, he works with their entire portfolio.

He's worked on a women's health project, with an electric motor company, and on the newly opened Kivi Park.

"It highlights the variety of clients out there ... it gives you so much experience and confidence, you learn things you can't learn in school," said Reagan. "It's a different atmosphere freelancing."

Jeff MacIntyre is the marketing manager at Fuel and helps Chisolm learn the tricks of the trade.

"You really can't mimic what...

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