Have you ever been in the right place at the right time? That’s how I felt last week when I attended the Innovation Celebration, an awards ceremony at Krannert Center hosted by the Champaign Economic Development Corporation. Somehow, little old me ended up at an event with important people and a mashed potato bar (YES). How? By taking some chances.
Last year, I took the chance to enroll in the Graphic Design program at Parkland. Last semester, I took the chance to start an internship with AMP (Applied Media Promotions), a student-run communications firm sponsored by the Department of Fine and Applied Arts. And last week, it paid off: AMP won the award for Innovation in Engagement at Parkland College. As I sat through the awards in awe of the visionary people that live and work in this community, I couldn’t believe that I was a part of the group.
To be honest, I felt slightly out of place. I just started as a graphic designer at AMP two months ago, and my most recent innovation? Getting my five-year-old to stop spitting indoors. However, when I considered the journey that landed me in a room full of amazing people, I realized that, like them, I had leaped into the unknown. The spirit of innovation is risk, after all. And the Innovation Celebration honors not only achievement, but courage, positivity, open minds, strength, wisdom and all the other abstract values that characterize innovation. That evening, I, my colleagues and our leaders at AMP were right where we belonged.
AMP is new, and there’s a lot of “Fail Better” happening in our little
space in the basement of the D building. It’s an invigorating,
collaborative atmosphere, and I’m so glad our hard work was honored publicly. If you’re looking for resume-building-experience and fun, and even some pizza here and there, we’re always looking for students who aren’t afraid of the exciting work of innovation.
[Featured image: Faculty advisor Kendra Mcclure and students from AMP display their Innovation in Engagement Award at the recent Innovation Celebration. The event is hosted by the Champaign County Economic Development Corp. Photo by Cindy Smith. ]