As I reflect on my spring semester with Reese News Lab, it is hard to believe these past months have come and gone so quickly. In such a brief time, I have learned a great deal about entrepreneurial techniques and have become more creative in my thinking as it relates to product development. My experiences in the lab this semester have taught me more about what it takes to develop a viable product than any other experience I have had in my three years of college.
Coming into my first semester with Reese News Lab, I knew little about the products students had developed or what went into their creative process. I knew their office space was interesting-looking, and I had constantly heard shouts of laughter and excitement flooding Carroll Hall from the lab’s direction. I would soon discover all the lab had to offer and the skills I would develop over the next semester.
When we started the semester, the emphasis was on brainstorming and idea creation. I was not new to developing ideas, but the brainstorming in Reese News Lab is different and so much fun. We would start with a simple phrase or word such as “local politics” and blurt out any product ideas that popped into our heads. A scribe would jot these ideas down on massive sticky notes, and we posted them all over the walls of the lab. Brainstorming could take 30 minutes or it could take two hours depending on how much progress we were making or how close we were to cracking an idea concept.
At Reese News Lab, it’s all about collaboration and asking questions. For a first-year intern this can be intimidating and limiting depending on the individual’s personality. The level of collaboration in the lab was perfect for my personality, and I loved how the returning interns really wanted to help with any problem I was having with my idea.
My team for the semester was composed of three other first-year interns and myself. We were developing a mass multiplayer mobile app strategy game that used local politics from the North Carolina General Assembly. Roadblocks presented themselves daily, but with the help of our fellow interns working in other groups, we never felt alone or lost as we dealt with an issue.
My experience this semester left little room for recommendations on how the processes in the lab could be improved. The only recommendation I would make to the lab is to not over-organize because this could limit the chaos. The chaos in the lab comes from the high volume and also the collision of so many bright and busy personalities. To limit this chaos would certainly lead to a limit on the amount of enjoyment coming out of the lab and there can be no true creativity without fun.