This is the transcript for the video What does the Diploma in Innovation student journey look like?

Paul Brown (00:01):
The student journey in the Diploma of Innovation is a little bit different for every student. The way that we like to think about it is that students have their core discipline and their core expertise that they’ve developed. During the Diploma of Innovation, you pick up a whole bunch of different methods and skills and techniques and new knowledges that are generally applicable to creative innovators across a wide range of contexts, but what we’ve built into the program is an opportunity for students to specialize and get a really deep, practical understanding and experience in the area of innovation and industry that they have a personal preference for, and we do this a couple of ways.

One way is that each of the offerings that we have is targeting a certain arena of innovation. For example, we have a great subject on navigating entrepreneurial ecosystems where students get to engage with all the different elements involved in the Australian and international ecosystem, including all the different players and different people that are key influencers, the people that you need to know and know how to work with to get big innovations across the line.

Students that do that subject are able to learn and pick up and focus on the area that they care about at the same time, and what this means is that when they graduate they’ll have a broader network of people they can reach out to, they’ll know who they need to talk to, they’ll know where to work, what companies are doing the cool stuff, the interesting things that are happening at the moment, and so because of this design choice in the Diploma of Innovation, no two student journeys are exactly the same.

In the first year, students will typically do the subject I just mentioned, which is the Navigating Entrepreneurial Ecosystems, but they’ll typically do perhaps one of the more introductory subjects like Innovating in Complex Systems or Fundamentals of Innovation, and in those introductory subjects, students are able to engage in a problem space that they and their new friends and their colleagues care about deeply, and you’re encouraged to reach out and network with people that are currently involved in doing innovation in that space and you come up with innovative ideas and projects that we help you try and implement or get other people to implement, depending on what you’re working on, so this is like a bit of a deep dive into the area that you care about.

In the second year, students tend to become a little bit more specialized, and you’ll usually have your friendship group that you make while you’re doing the Diploma of Innovation, and you’ll probably choose all the subjects with them together, and then what you have the opportunity to do is to progress the work that you started in the first year.

Many students will for example start a start-up or an initiative. You might join UTS Startups and try and do a bit of a side hustle while you’re at university, and in the second year you’ll have an opportunity to advance that particular initiative with your colleagues while you’re doing the Diploma of Innovation, and this is a very radical form of learning of course. It’s quite transformational because you’re essentially able to learn all the skills that you need for the real world by doing innovation.

And then in the third year we have a couple of more advanced subjects where students can do, in the first or second year if they choose to, and these subjects really help you to gain a level of specialization, practical specialization, in the area of innovation that you care about. For example, students that really want to engage in, say, the start-up ecosystem, you want to be an entrepreneur, you might do one of the subjects that maybe is about financing and progressing that kind of innovation.

On the other hand, some students are really interested in the broader ecosystems and how they change and evolve, and you might want to work with a much larger company, perhaps as a consultant or as a innovation expert, and so there are some subjects that are a little bit more aligned with that kind of career trajectory.