FORT MYERS, Fla. (April 19, 2012) A new, first-of-its-kind club at the Rasmussen College Fort Myers campus is giving design students vital real-world experience before they graduate. CoDeRe, short for Concept Design Reality, is a student-led design firm that provides design services to businesses, entrepreneurs and individuals. Some of the services they provide include website design, 3D and Flash animation, corporate identity/logos and business cards.
The firm is the brainchild of Jennifer Ayotte, Program Coordinator for the School of Technology and Design at the Fort Myers Campus. In early 2011, Ayotte was charged with the task of forming a club for design students at various stages in their education. She wanted to create a group that utilized their skills and provided students the most benefit once they graduated. As a designer herself, Ayotte knew in addition to a degree, a portfolio and hands-on experience are the most important factors to finding a job. CoDeRe started in June 2011, with Ayotte serving as Art Director. New student officers are elected each term. The firm currently has 15 student employees.
“CoDeRe is a win-win for students and business owners alike who receive quality work at a fraction of retail costs,” said Ayotte. “The fees we charge to companies are intentionally kept low to keep the emphasis on the experience, not the financial earnings. Our students receive a huge sense of accomplishment from all of the work they do.”
Money earned by the group through donations is put into a fund and earmarked for the member who worked on the project. Members can use their funds to help continue or expand their design work and education as long as the expense is approved by Ayotte. Of the more than $1,000 donated to date, students have invested their portion in new software, professional training and equipment.
“My consulting firm has used CoDeRe Design Firm for a logo design and website redesign, and they did a fabulous job,” said Becky Anderson, owner of Anderson Medical Legal Consulting. “I asked for several adjustments and they were patient and helpful in guiding me through the process. Jenn and the students are wonderful, creative, and responsive to their clients. I highly recommend their work to anyone needing these kinds of services.”
Each student is expected to bring in new clients and distribute business cards in the community. The firm has generated business on Craigslist, through community events, and by good, old-fashioned word of mouth on campus.
“No matter how much a student knows about design, if they cannot effectively communicate with a client they will never succeed,” says Ayotte. “This experience has taught them the importance of that, and in the process given them the confidence they need to enter the workforce.”
For more information on Rasmussen College or its School of Technology and Design, visit www.Rasmussen.edu.
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