I-School Sparks Grand Ideas

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On the campus of Texas A&M University, there’s a group of people dedicated to the impossible. New ideas are thought of, and these men and women make it their mission to bring them to life.

At the School of Innovation, dreams become reality, problems are solved and the world’s next big thing is just a step away.

Also known as the I-School, the School of Innovation is designed to discover and unleash the creativity of the students, faculty and staff at Texas A&M to solve the world’s problems.

Texas A&M has long been a recognized institution for research. From fighting world hunger to better understanding consumer perspectives, the university has a deep history of groundbreaking discoveries from its top tier researchers and professors.

With the introduction of the I-School, the university is placing a focus on the potential of its students. It serves as a place where everyone can come together, merging strengths to create opportunities.

For Omar Guzman, a senior communications major at Texas A&M, it all started with an idea.

“One of my friends had an idea for a video podcast station that would be available for all students at A&M,” he says. “He brought me along to the meeting with the School of Innovation to see if they wanted to take it on.”

Over the summer of 2018, Guzman and his friend worked on the details of what this studio would look like. After meeting with I-School faculty, the idea was accepted and plans were put in place.

“We just got our first bit of equipment in,” Guzman says. “We moved our furniture in, and now we have our cameras and microphones in there and are setting it all up.”

The need for such a space on A&M’s campus was high, says Guzman. Existing studios were fine to complete assignments, but something new was necessary for the authenticity of actual podcasts. High-quality studios are present on campus, he states, but most of them are restricted by majors.

“We wanted to create a space that was completely open to everyone,” he says. “You just have to be a student at A&M, that’s it.”

The studio is still being constructed, but Guzman hopes everything will come together for it to open by the end of the fall semester.

From this partnership sparked a new adventure for Guzman. While designing the studio, I-School faculty members discovered Guzman’s videography skills and asked if he would lend his talents to one of their projects in Mexico.

“They asked me if I wanted to go with them, saying all I’d have to do is shoot some video,” Guzman says. “Of course I accepted.”

The seven-day trip to Mexico helped solidify Guzman’s career goals as well. Focusing on strategic communications within his degree, he plans to ramp up his video production gig.

“Before the trip, I was just doing videos for people who would hire me,” he says. “After I went to Mexico and I had to shoot videos for 12 hours a day, every single day, it kind of made me see what I wanted to talk about­­­–my vision.”

Guzman’s experience with the I-School was more than he could have imagined.

“It was incredible,” he says. “I’ve interacted with a lot of faculty and staff at A&M, and the group at the School of Innovation are without a doubt some of the best people I’ve ever come in contact with–in general and in the university system.”

It can be intimidating to talk with faculty at the university, Guzman noted, but the people at the I-School are very welcoming and always open to new ideas.

“They are very approachable people who aren’t really worried about titles,” he says. “They are just there to help students out.”

To learn more about the I-School or to find out how to get involved, visit innovation.tamu.edu.

 

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