So this is my second post for InfoSpace, and it is awesome to be asked to write for a second time. Today, I get to talk about a concept that will help to shape a stronger Syracuse University, and where ideas are turned into reality: cross-campus collaboration.

Why Cross-Campus Collaboration?

In the real world, individuals with same skill sets are not put into teams. Rather, a team consists of people with many different skill sets. At Syracuse University, we are split up into specific schools to learn certain skill sets. Our school is structured in a way where, if you want to, you barely need to leave the school that teaches your major – but that can be a problem. For example, a business student will be significantly less valuable to a firm if they cannot communicate effectively with an engineer. This creates a need to ensure there is collaboration across all schools.

Collaboration and Vision

When I got back to school this semester, I saw the need to be a part of organizations that were not specific to one major, but brought people together from all different schools at Syracuse.

I was talking to some people I met on EntreTech the previous summer and they introduced me to Julia Haber, the founder of Vision. Julia had the idea of forming a group of entrepreneurs and students who had the desire to accomplish more on campus, whether it was a business venture or something for the good of the community.

I grabbed coffee with Julia one day at Café Kubal, and we both shared an extreme passion for entrepreneurship and the same idea that a small group of people could accomplish anything. The shared ideals led us to start working together. Since then, we have formed an incredible team of individuals who are well known in each of their respective schools.

Vision’s goal is to become a platform for entrepreneurs and students that are striving to create on campus to work with each other. The organization is aiming to become an accelerator for all ideas on campus and be able to connect students looking to get involved with initiatives they believe in.

Everyone on Vision’s executive board spends time with their team members, learning what they want to accomplish on campus and helping them learn the steps they need to take. More often then not, we find that someone has an idea and a great business mind – but no way to actually build the product.

Isaac Chevron, a sophomore PR major, explains, “Having Vision be an interdisciplinary organization allows kids who have skill in different areas come together to ultimately bring more to the table.”

Collaboration and the iSchool

I have always felt the iSchool does a great job encouraging cross-campus collaboration. This is one of the reasons why I was so drawn to the iSchool (see my previous blog!). On campus, even the medium of advertising a program chooses has the ability to allow students to feel welcome or  make something seem exclusive.  By doing something as simple as advertising in neutral places, such as the main quad, the iSchool encourages any student, regardless of their major, to apply for programs such as EntreTech, Spring Break in Silicon Valley, or Roadtrips.

Another thing makes the iSchool so accessible is that anyone can walk into the career services office. They realize how exciting some of the opportunities that the iSchool has can be to a student with another major. They also understand the value that someone such as a marketing major can bring to a startup! Every company that I have looked to apply to asks for not only technical interns, but business interns as well.

Get Collaborative at Syracuse!

Working with students across campus has helped me gain very important skills that I will carry into the business world. I have learned what it takes to actually create a product from a technical stand point. I have seen the importance of a diverse team. I have witnessed that everyone has a skill that makes them special.

Getting involved in organizations that involve different passions colliding has been one of the most rewarding experiences for me. It definitely can be a challenge trying to satisfy people with different goals, but working to find a common mission can create an incredible end product. Learning about the different types of people it takes to accomplish something has been an invaluable experience.

In the spirit of cross-campus collaboration, Vision is currently working on a couple different initiatives:

  1. We are partnering with the CNY Business plan competition to encourage involvement with these pitch competitions around campus.
  2. We are also holding a student-run and student-judged pitch competition on April 25th called “Pitch for the Pop Up,” where student companies will pitch to an audience of their peers and the audience will rank which companies they want to see in the Pop Up shop. This will give everyone the opportunity to feel like Mark Cuban.
  3. Or if you would like to apply to pitch, visit our website!
  4. Vision’s ultimate goal is to be a platform for “doers” on campus to meet, collaborate, and accomplish their goals. We are meeting as many creative and hardworking people as we can so we will be able to match everyone with others, helping everyone reach their full potential.

If you have any questions about Pitch for the Pop Up, Vision, or are looking for ways to get involved on campus, feel free to send me an email –! We are always looking for ways to collaborate and include anyone we can.

Are you in a student group that is also working toward greater cross-campus collaboration at Syracuse University? Maybe you’re working towards something similar on another college or university campus? Tell us about it and leave information of how other students can get involved, or the projects you’re proud of, in the comments!