Letters to the Editor

Real-life work experiences for students

With graduation season upon us and a new set of eager, bright-eyed millennials ready to enter the workforce, South Florida universities and businesses have an opportunity to work together to offer young people real-life work experiences before they even send out their first resume. And the seasoned professionals who collaborate with them may find these young students are an excellent gateway to understanding key drivers for their generation.

Recently, as part of an experiential learning program, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County and Uber partnered with Florida International University’s Integrated Marketing Communications course. Seniors were tasked with creating and presenting full-fledged campaigns for Uber and for the Arsht Center’s UTIX program, which offers a deeply discounted ticket rate to full-time college students.

Working together in teams of six or seven, each group was to pitch Uber or the Arsht Center as prospective clients, hypothetically hoping to win our business with a thrilling campaign. The presentations were impressive and each brought to my attention something different. As a judge, I was really pleased to find multiple outreach strategies that could be applied toward our own marketing efforts at the center.

Universities with these types of experiential programs allow students to prepare work for large entities, mirroring the real world and facilitating opportunities after graduation. They also help them develop concrete portfolio materials — all vital tools to help these students as they enter today’s competitive workforce. At the same time, companies like Uber and the Arsht Center have an opportunity to cultivate a strong talent pool and possibly uncover fresh, new ideas.

As a community, it is a win-win for universities and high-profile corporations to collaborate toward building the future generation of professionals, the ones who will be building an even more diverse and culturally dynamic South Florida.

Andrew Goldberg, vice president, Marketing, Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County