Experience Institute

Experience Institute (Ei) is a Chicago-based program seeking to establish experience as a credible form of education. Through apprenticeships, self-guided projects, meetups, and coaching, we create a space within higher learning that helps individuals build creative confidence, agency, and a compelling portfolio to better understand their world, their skill set, and how they best fit onto a team.

Students learn interdisciplinary skills that engage their mind and shape their values, while creating meaningful tools alongside remarkable people. Experiences are individually tailored to each student’s personal and career goals, while they develop a deep understanding of Ei’s five core competencies: Self-awareness, storytelling, business operations, community building, and design thinking.

Ei offers three programs. The Leap Year Fellowship program gives students hands-on experience by pairing them with three challenging apprenticeships within business, design, technology, the arts, and social innovation. Meetups and mentorship is dispersed throughout the year, while students document and share each experience as part of the self-reflection and learning process.

Leap Summer is an immersive 10-week program to develop skills outside the classroom through apprenticeship and experience. There is the potential to gain college credit in a relevant field.

Leapkits are a product designed to help people plan their own personal 90-day project. The Leapkit includes a map, journal, and deck of cards to guide Leapers through the phases of discovering, preparing, acting, and sharing.

Ideal candidates for Experience Institute are bright self-starters who are contemplating graduate school but learn best through hands-on experience and real-world challenges.

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