Johns Hopkins University is an elite university full of expert staff and high-achieving students. Both students and staff struggle with creativity and adaptability as they function within the structured university environment. InnovatorsBox® addressed the following challenges:
- For students: Applying to jobs and building a career is not just based on academics and work experience. Students struggled with developing their soft professional skills such as collaboration, leadership skills, networking, and working with different personalities and cultures. International students faced the additional stress of building a career in a country with a different culture and communication style.
- For staff: Staff felt siloed within their expertise and job title and expressed that they did not have the opportunity to be creative and collaborate with others. In roles that required extreme flexibility between departments, alumni, and students, staff struggled to adapt and innovate within the office’s set procedures and processes.
Over the past two years, InnovatorsBox® has conducted and continues to conduct several workshops with staff and students across different divisions at Johns Hopkins University to address their various challenges.
- In July 2016, we offered 4-hour Mindful Play workshop customized to suit the needs of 20+ university staff members. This session focused on increasing creativity and workplace adaptability through play, mindfulness, and connecting with others.
- In the October 2016, we offered a 90-minute Introductory workshop to a group of 10 graduate students. This workshop pushed students to start incorporating creativity into their daily lives as they confront professional and personal challenges.
- In the April 2017, we provided a 6-hour workshop on Networking and Creativity to a group of 15 graduate students. This workshop was specifically designed for the challenges of networking as an international student. Students increased their comfort in connecting with others through engaging activities and exercises.
- In March 2018, we provided a 90-minute workshop on Creative Leadership to a group of 20 graduate students with varying levels of professional experience. Students developed their leadership skills through creative activities and discussions with others of different professional and academic backgrounds.
- In March 2018 and 2017, we provided a 1-hour workshop on Creative Leadership and a highly interactive networking session at the Johns Hopkins Women in Business Conference. Leaders honed their creativity skills and explored their own leadership challenges through interactive activities.
The workshops have offered three key benefits to staff and students:
- Confidence: Both students and staff realized they are more creative than they thought they were. They’re more confident in their creativity skills regardless of their job title or professional level.
- Clarity: The creative process is different than ideation. It’s a skill to train and grow in order to propel their academic and professional careers forward.
- Collaboration: Staff increased their collaboration through exploring ideas with different departments, making time in meetings to be creative, and building meaningful relationships with colleagues. Students felt more comfortable working with others of varying opinions and backgrounds.