for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
at Davidson College

for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
at Davidson College

Article Education Student

Claire Pearce, I-O Psychology Practicum Student Consultant

Under the leadership and guidance of Liz Brigham, W. Spencer Mitchem Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Hurt Hub@Davidson, and Dr. John Kello, Professor of Psychology at Davidson College, psychology majors can join a small team and immerse themselves in the world of organizational consulting. 

Claire Pearce, a recent Davidson College graduate from the class of 2023 and psychology major, had the opportunity to be a part of the team in the fall of 2022. The experience “opened my eyes to what I want to do with my career.” During this time, Claire was able to gain exposure to a wide range of professional skills – including design thinking, interviewing protocols, and qualitative data gathering and analysis. Among her favorite exercises in the course was the design thinking workshop, led by Liz Brigham. Through this workshop, Claire learned about design thinking concepts, such as understanding it as a human-centered approach that focuses on creating solutions to problems. After the workshop, Claire developed a newfound awareness of how these solutions can positively impact those in need. “Establishing an empathetic lens when approaching clients’ challenges helps to ensure that you don’t rush to conclusions about what you think they might want.” 

When I asked Claire what her biggest takeaway was from the course, she re-emphasized the importance of empathy when working in client-facing roles, “empathy is everything.” After the course was over and Claire began the job search for post-Davidson, she shared her extensive knowledge of the importance of design thinking and the role of empathy with many of her interviewers. She noted that many of these interviewees were incredibly impressed with her wisdom and utilization of empathy in the field of organizational development consulting. 

Davidson College students have the unique opportunity to engage in a variety of business and professional exposure, coupled with academics. Many class participants have and continue to note that the lessons they learned during the course continue to be extremely valuable and relevant in their present lives.

Click the link to learn more about the academic opportunities for Davidson College students through the Hurt Hub@Davidson.

Article Gig-Hub NEXT Level Student

Jazyln Moock, NEXT Level Student Consultant

“It’s not hard to hear about the Hurt Hub@Davidson,” says Jazlyn Moock, a junior Political Science and Gender and Sexuality Studies major at Davidson College. An avid participant in many of the Hurt Hub@Davidson’s programs, including networking events and guest speakers, Jazlyn has taken advantage of the many opportunities provided.  She has participated in the NEXT Level Program through Davidson College and is currently working as a Gig-Hub consultant with the Hurt Hub@Davidson for Just Her Rideshare. The NEXT Level Scholarship Program through the College is designed to provide first-generation sophomore students with the opportunity to build and create gig-hub connections through a partnership between the Hurt Hub@Davidson and the Matthews Center for Career Development. This program opened a plethora of growth opportunities for Jazlyn, specifically working as a Gig-Hub consultant and meeting her current mentor. 

The Gig-Hub program grants Davidsons students the ability to experience paid, short-term projects with a variety of clients. These gigs often provide students with the opportunity to diversify their skill portfolios. Most recently, Jazlyn is working as the Operations Specialist Intern for Just Her Rideshare, a company that aims to provide safe alternative rideshares made for and by women. “The beauty of the consultant experience is that I am now able to receive real-world experience in the intersection of city centers.” Through this experience, Jazlyn was able to implement her academic knowledge of her double major –  specifically the importance of creating accessible urban transportation and how it interacts and is compounded for groups of women with limited mobility. 

Not only was Jazlyn able to work a gig, but was also able to create a significant, long-lasting connection with a mentor, introduced to her through the Hurt Hub@Davidson. Jazlyn collaborated with her mentor, a local professional in geographical technology, to create an online walking tour of the Town of Davidson. Her experience allowed her to refine her professional skills, such as podcasting training, and understand the inner workings of entrepreneurship. 

Jazlyn’s experiences in the NEXT Level Scholarship program, Gig-Hub program, and gaining a mentor have drastically grown her confidence in her professional skills. She hopes to continue to be involved in the community, whether it be a new opportunity, networking event, or listening to a guest speaker. 

If you are looking for a gig or a student consultant in a specific career field, there are gigs and client opportunities available. Click the link to learn more.

Access to Capital Article Gig-Hub Student

Cooper Oljeski, Student Gig-Hub Consultant

At the Hurt Hub@Davidson, professional pursuits and students’ passions blend seamlessly, giving way to endless possibilities and extraordinary opportunities. Cooper Oljeski, a junior Music major and Neuroscience minor at Davidson College, is one of the lucky students. During the school year, he worked for Young Dragonslayers, an online social club that connects kids and teens through a shared interest in the game, Dungeons & Dragons. As a member of the Davidson College Dungeons & Dragons(D&D) club, Cooper was especially intrigued by founder Katie Lear and her company’s work. Young Dragonslayers received the CATS (Capital, Advisors, Talent, Space) Pitch prize, which includes startup capital, pro-bono Gig-Hub hours, access to coworking space, and opportunities for mentorship through LaunchCLT.

Cooper originally heard about the Hurt Hub@Davidson’s variety of internship, work, and entrepreneurship opportunities through word of mouth, and immediately became interested. During the first meeting, Cooper learned more about the foundation of the company, such as Katie’s background as a child therapist, and her aspiration to use D&D as a way to help trends and kids develop social skills and explore their creativity.

As part of the team, Cooper worked on a number of projects and gained a number of important skills for his professional career. He strengthened his creative writing skills by developing fun and informative blog posts for parents, teens, and kids to learn more about the game. He also learned more about search engine optimization(SEO), specifically how to utilize specific terms for the company website. Working with kids and other coworkers, Cooper improved his interpersonal and communication skills. 

In the future, Cooper plans to stay in contact with Katie and Young Dragonslayers and hopes to continue to seek out opportunities for creative D&D work. Davidson College students have the unique opportunity to learn outside of the classroom, especially in ways that will strengthen their career and professional skills. 

Click the link to learn more about the student opportunities at the Hurt Hub@Davidson. 

Article Education Student

Morgan O’Brien, I-O Psychology Practicum Student Consultant

Meet Morgan O’Brien, a rising senior here at Davidson College double majoring in communications and psychology. Like many other psychology majors, she was interested in industrial and organizational consulting and its interaction with the field of psychology. Fortunately, students have the opportunity to enroll in Psychology Practicum 291, which grants a small group of students to gain experience in industrial and organizational consulting. This class, taught by Liz Brigham ‘04 in partnership with Dr. John Kello of the psychology department, is one of many experiential learning pathways available to students.

Through this experience, Morgan explained that she refined her communication skills and learned to establish strong client relationships and trust. One of her favorite assignments from the class was compiling the final report, which although stressful, felt rewarding to combine all the semester’s worth of knowledge into a deliverable that was given to the client. She learned other professional skills from the course through conducting client interviews, coordinating with peers and clients, and time management. Experiences like these are present everywhere in the workforce, and thanks to PSY 291, Morgan now has some expertise under her belt. 

Much of her enjoyment and success in the course she attributed to Liz Brigham, the W. Spencer Mitchem Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship here at The Hurt Hub@Davidson. As a resource, Liz provided a space where students could always receive support if needed. Morgan continued to learn more about the plentiful opportunities that The Hurt Hub@Davidson offers, including attending the Davidson Entrepreneur Network Conference(DEN) where she was able to connect with a handful of Davidson alumni. 

In the future, Morgan will continue to apply these professional skills she gained during the course both inside and outside of the classroom. She also hopes to continue to stay involved in the community, always keeping an open mind and eye out for possibilities!

Alum Article Discussion Innovation Student

Visualizing Our Values: Public Art Unveiling

The Unveiling Event is rescheduled for Friday, October 27th from 5:30-7:00pm. We look forward to your attendance!

 Innovation and entrepreneurship for all, that is what we strive for here at the Hurt Hub.

In our endeavors to stay true to this mission, we launched Visualizing Our Values, a project designed to weave together arts and entrepreneurship at the Hurt Hub. We strive to support and engage creatives, artists, and entrepreneurs daily. The call focused on reaching minority and historically underrepresented artists based in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area. As we connect with these artists, we can learn how best to collaborate with and support them. Through Visualizing Our Values, three phenomenal artists and their designs were selected, allowing us to create signage that visually represent our values and the work we do inside our walls.

Each design is based on one of our core values: Freedom, Integrity, and Inclusion.

          Freedom to take risks. Freedom to fail and to succeed.

          Integrity is our expectation.

          Inclusion is the foundation of everything we do.

We released a county-wide call for artists and received 40 designs across nearly 20 applicants. With the support of our project sponsor, LaunchCLT, the three selected artist received $2,500 for their designs. Each design will be printed in vinyl onto 60”x72” signs and installed outside of the Hurt Hub. Below is more information about each artists:

Umayal Annamalai designed Integrity: “As an accomplished mixed media expressionist and creative coach, I am fiercely dedicated to conveying powerful narratives through my art. My creations serve as a reflection of my emotional journey towards self-discovery and healing.”

Brie-yun Burrell designed Freedom: “Brie-Yun Burrell is a graphic designer and artist, who earned her B.S. in Psychology and Studio Art from Davidson College ’23. Her career in graphic design has served as a byproduct of her love for illustration.”

Ingrid Swanson designed Inclusion: “Integrating make-believe and the human experience, Ingrid Swanson’s work delves into the vulnerable whispers of the heart, shoving them into the hands of your attention. Something ignored will never heal or be empathized with. Her hands build a world where it is safe to wonder, possible to hope, and brave to feel.”

Article Gig-Hub Startup Student Testimonial

Meet Gig-Hub Client Julia Franklin

Julia Franklin is the Chief Learning Officer for Enabled Play, a company that’s mission is to help anyone access and control their technology and software in ways that work for them. At the Hurt Hub@Davidson, she is involved in the Gig-Hub Program as well as is a member of the Flex Space Plan in the physical coworking community. 

The Gig-Hub Program is a unique aspect of the various experiential learning opportunities available here at the Hurt Hub@Davidson. Employers of small businesses or startups have the ability to work collaboratively with Davidson College students and help them gain experience in the professional world. In the past year alone, the Program has provided 91 gigs for 62 students, totaling over 2,300 hours. 

Julia first learned about the Gig-Hub Program from a professional contact, who also happened to be a Davidson alum. She also was able to have an initial visit to the space, and from there, sparked an interest in partnering with a student consultant. Julia and her company worked with Sarah Todd “ST” Hammer through the program, and she “couldn’t have been any more of a perfect fit for our team and project.” During her gig, ST worked on a variety of projects, including supporting Enabled Play in completing user testing on the beta version of the team’s app. She also helped out on social media and local company–organized community events. In the future, Julia and Enabled Play plan to continue to stay connected with one another. Luckily enough, this past June, ST and Enabled Play reunited at The Abilities Expo hosted in Chicago. There, ST was able to meet more of the team, many of which she had only interacted with virtually. 

As a part of the Hurt Hub@Davidson coworking community, Julia is also a member of Flex Space. After recently transitioning into full-time employment with a start-up based in Boston, she was in search of a workspace that could fulfill her needs. After discovering the coworking space here at the Hurt Hub@Davidson, Julia has enjoyed the community of like-minded people.

Click this link to learn more about our Gig-Hub Program and the plans and rates in our coworking space. 

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