Digital design and development students at North island College (NIC) gained access to a new online career experience and learning platform through support from the RBC Foundation’s Future Launch program.
NIC was able to access the platform, known as Riipen, thanks to a $15,000 donation from the RBC Foundation, which covered a one-year subscription.
Riipen allows students, instructors and partners from businesses and non-profits to collaborate on projects, giving students the opportunity to get industry experience as part of their coursework.
“It created the conditions of working in the industry with a real-life client,” said Megan Wilson, digital design and development program coordinator at NIC. “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.”
She said the platform allowed instructors to post a project, match with organizations across Canada and use built-in checkpoints and feedback loops to bring the project to completion.
RBC Future Launch is a 10-year, $500 million commitment to helping Canadian youth build meaningful careers. With a focus on networking, skills development and experience, the initiative aims to help solve problems facing young people due to the changing landscape of the workplace.
“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, RBC branch manager. “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 and 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,” Aujla said. “It was an invaluable experience as I transitioned from my program into the workforce.”