EduShare is an educational platform for teachers, students, and parents that provides students and their support systems with the fundamental skills, tools, and resources necessary for classroom success. EduTutor is under the umbrella of EduShare and runs small group and private online tutoring sessions for K-12 students.
Through the Level UP remote internship program, the founder of EduShare and EduTutor, Chris Ujimoto, partnered with Bianca Garcia to conduct product market research and graphic design projects.
A design student at the University of Alberta, Bianca researched and wrote product market research reports and created graphic design deliverables for EduShare/EduTutor.
Over almost two years, Bianca did a wide range of projects for EduShare and EduTutor through the Level UP program. She helped create extensive product market research reports and graphic design projects that added value to her portfolio.
The experience facilitated the advancement of the design skills she was learning in school.
“We grew our design skills. We were able to apply design to new forms of media. That really helped us grow,” Shared Bianca.
The time Bianca spent at EduShare and EduTutor increased her confidence in her leadership and communication skills.
“It helped me become more confident in my leadership abilities. I feel confident in expressing and sharing my ideas in my current role.”
Chris attributes his focus on soft skills like leadership and communication to his background as a teacher. His role is more than just a business owner and manager. He sees himself as a mentor to Level UP students.
“So, as an employer, I know my skill set and my strengths, and the Level UP program allowed me to fill those gaps and reward those students with the [Level UP] grant. But they were also able to get a mentor. I think it's essential that we mentor these students.”
Chris likewise believes in showing Level UP students that they are making a real difference in his business.
“It can’t just be theoretical. We want to make sure that the students can use their skills and that the students can see that they’re making a difference.”
Bianca and her fellow project cohort members made a difference for EduShare/EduTutor. For a social media project, they designed consistent social posts that took EduTutor’s Instagram following from less than 100 to over 600, attracting new clients and tutors.
Bianca is grateful to have worked with Chris. She attributes her Level UP experience to helping her land her current role.
“Having that experience on my resumé helped me get my current job. It was an excellent starting point for my career. I owe my getting this job to Riipen.”
Chris went above and beyond to ensure students like Bianca were ready to work in the business world.
“For students, working with an employer who cares about them and their development…it can be an amazing experience, 100%,” he shared.
Chris is a mentor Bianca won’t forget anytime soon.
“It was such a good experience that really helped us. And Chris made sure we got what we needed and were ready for the workplace. We are very grateful to him for that. We would donate our time for free to help him in the future.”
Chris is just as grateful for the resources Level UP provides.
“I think it's important to know that this benefits small employers such as myself. Everything I've done so far would've taken years to achieve these goals. So we were able to expedite the process, and without a doubt, I wouldn't have that social venture right now. So, as a sole founder, as the only person running this business, it's been fantastic. It's been great working with Level UP and Riipen.”
It’s unsurprising that Bianca would recommend this learning method to others.
“I think it is a really, really good opportunity. I was so lucky even to be a part of it. I think hands-on learning and applying it to a real business are critical. You can see what it’s like to be in a workplace.”
Thank you to Bianca Garcia for sharing her experience on Riipen. To learn more about how you can get started with the Level UP remote internship program as a student or employer, visit the website here. Stay updated with the latest in higher education, experiential learning, and the future of work, and subscribe to our bi-weekly newsletter, The Riipen Report.
Riipen Level UP program is funded by the Government of Canada's Innovative Work-Integrated Learning (I-WIL) Initiatives program. The opinions and interpretations in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Government of Canada.