For final-year students in Management and Applied Information Technology, the International InnovationLab (IIL) is an alternative to the traditional internship during the final semester of the program. With this alternative internship, which has been around for more than 10 years now, student teams work on genuine business cases provided by UCLL.
They work in teams of 3 to 4 students and in collaboration with international partner institutions. This international aspect is further highlighted during the international weeks where the students visit the partner institutions for a week and the international students visit UCLL for a week. All this takes place with the guidance of four coaches from the program Management.
To see what it looks like from the student perspective, follow IIL on Facebook.
Focus on innovation
As the name of this internship suggests, innovation plays an important role in it. The objective is for students to keep this in mind during the three months they work on the case. To help them do so, the coaches provide several tools intended to stimulate innovation. The Design Thinking process is a perfect example. This process can help understand consumers, rethink assumptions, redefine challenges and come up with innovative solutions in an iterative, non-linear way. It consists of five phases: Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype and Test. The method offers an alternative, more hands-on way of working and thus fits perfectly within the IIL.
The latest trends are also a hot topic within the IIL. For businesses, it is particularly interesting to follow these trends closely, because this allows them toanticipate the emerging needs of consumers. To facilitate this, trendwatching with the help of the Consumer Trend Canvas is also part of the program.
A search for solutions for any business case always starts with extensive and accurate analyses. In this process, IIL students may be assisted by international students from partner institutions in Latvia, Finland, Turkey, France and the United States, among others. This creates great added value for both the participating businesses and the students. This way, solutions originate from different cultural backgrounds and different perspectives.
Moreover, IIL offers students the opportunity to visit one of the international partner institutions for a week (or two) and work on a separate project together with the students there. These international students will also visit Campus Proximus for a week to join the IIL students.
Students within IIL work together in groups of 3 to 4 people on one business case. However, that is not the only group you are part of as an IIL student. Every edition all IIL students together form a very close group and have a lot of fun together during the twelve weeks of internship. In order to stimulate this great atmosphere within the bigger group, the coaches organize fun team building activities every year and the students also get the chance to work together beyond the smaller groups. As a result, the internship not only allows for an increase in knowledge and practical experience, but you will also expand your group of friends.
How to participate?
Students who are interested in participating in the International InnovationLab can submit a motivation letter and CV by e-mail to Karine Appeltans, coordinator of IIL. An intake interview will then be scheduled with her. This interview serves to thoroughly inform the student about the content of this alternative internship and to make sure that the internship is appropriate for the student. If all goes well, Karine will contact the student again after this conversation to take care of all practical matters.
Businesses that would like to participate can, just like the students, contact Karine Appeltans via e-mail. Her e-mail address is karine.appeltans [at] ucll.be .
To make sure that you are still able to participate, it is recommended that you contact Karine as soon as possible as places are limited.