By James McCave
The Jeffrey S. Rakes School of Computer Science and Management gave 12 teams of business students a chance to demonstrate their entrepreneurial spirit at the Design Studio Project Showcase April 19, 2013. In its twelfth year, the annual event is the culmination of a year’s worth of collaborative work with peers and industry professionals. At the outset of the project each of the student teams is given a task to complete for a corporate sponsor. The Design Studio Project Showcase gives each team a chance to present what they have accomplished.
Turbine Flats, while not being a Project Sponsor, provided guidance and help for team Hayneedle as a secondary sponsor. Team Hayneedle was one of the 12 competing teams at the event. The Hayneedle team, made up of four college seniors and three college juniors, was tasked with a unique project. They were asked to design a web-based gift registry that would be fully integrated with team sponsor hayneedle.com’s already live site.
Ordinary gift registries are pretty common, and can be found in many department stores. What makes the hayneedle.com gift registry different is its ability to roll multiple gift lists into one easily usable interface. The gift registry also has the added advantage of saving a trip to a brick and mortor store. Consumers typically have to go to a store and physically scan an item’s barcode into a computer database using existing gift registries. The hayneedle.com registry allows individuals to plan multiple events and choose the items desired from anywhere there is an internet connection.
Team Haneedle’s two team captains, Emily West and Adam Prusa, know that participating in Design Studio will be beneficial as they proceed forward beyond college. Each one looks forward to using the skills they have honed in their upcoming internships this summer. It won’t hurt to have a finished and live product to brag about either.
“We get to show off our projects and what we worked really hard on all year,” West said. “We’ve gotten some real world experience and now we have a product to show what we can do.”
The gift registry went live on April 12, exactly a week before the showcase. Having a finished product made the demonstration portion of the event easy to prepare for. Each member of the team was able to assist those in attendance on a walkthrough of how to navigate the registry on web-connected computer.
“This event is a nice culmination of all the work we have done over the last nine months,” Prusa explained. “(On going live) I know it’s different for a lot of other projects with what they have been able to accomplish. “
Besides showing off their hard work, the Hayneedle team sees this as an opportunity to network with professionals already established in the business world. Maynard Webb, author of the book “Rebooting Work: Transform How You Work in the Age of Entrepreneurship” was the guest speaker to open the event and Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman attended to congratulate and honor each of the teams.
“This event will give us more practice interacting professionally with other people,” West said. Prusa added, “Some of the advantages I see are first, it’s a great place to meet people in the local industry if you want to stay in state. Second it’s an opportunity to practice talking to people publicly, presenting your work, and showing them how great you think the work is.”
To see what the team accomplished with their efforts or to set-up a registry for an upcoming event, go to Hayneedle.com. It is easy and free to access the registry area. Just go to the top-right registry pull-down menu and choose the create option. From there you will be prompted to create an account if you do not already have one registered. After that it’s as easy as picking out what gift you want and creating a list.