Industry Experience (INDEX)
Ringling’s Commitment to Experiential Learning
INDEX (Industry Experience) is an experiential education program that provides students campus-wide the opportunity to gain professional experience prior to graduation by connecting them with leading brands and clients to develop creative solutions to business challenges. It’s designed to be a centralized point of entry connecting students with all the different industry experience opportunities on campus.
INDEX allows students to build their portfolios, strengthen their resumes, and acquire confidence and familiarity with industry best practices. INDEX represents the College’s long-standing priority and purpose: to focus on students’ futures in the creative industries and to empower them to thrive as creative leaders.
INDEX mirrors the most successful studios and organizations by bringing together multiple creative disciplines to blend artistry with emerging techniques, seamlessly integrate design, storytelling and technology, and produce work driven by strategy and supported by style.
Since INDEX was established in August 2021, Ringling students have worked with close to 200 unique professional bodies ranging from nationally and internationally acclaimed clients such as the Smithsonian American Art Museum and Moffitt Cancer Center to innovative start-ups and independent brands. It has become the third pillar of the overarching Ringling College experience: world-class academics, a robust and well-rounded student life, and INDEX.
Industry Experiences are abundant and available across campus through experiential learning in the classroom, Design Center, Studio Labs, the Makerspace, volunteerism, internships, and as client-sponsored competitions, immersive experiences, and elective courses.
*INDEX is an initiative developed by Ringling College in partnership with The Patterson Foundation that provides creative, experiential learning opportunities to all of its students.
The Design Center
The Design Center manages the development and design of a variety of print and web-based marketing, recruiting, and fundraising materials, from conceptualization to delivery. The design staff has extensive experience in graphic design and strives to achieve a consistent visual identity for Ringling College. Our team works directly with on-campus and external clients to identify project objectives and provide creative design solutions to fulfill those objectives.
The Ringling College Studio Labs
Working with major industry leaders such as Justin Long, Dylan McDermott, Andy MacDowell, and Sam Rockwell, the Ringling College Studio Labs bring unparalleled hands-on filmmaking experience and networking opportunities to our students. It was founded in 2010 through a partnership with David Shapiro of Semkhor Networks with the belief that to become the best, our students need to work with the best. That’s why we just opened a 36,000 square foot professional soundstage and post production complex, the first facility of its kind in the region. Equipped with two 8600 square foot soundstages, three 2,000 square foot soundstages, and 5,000 square feet of post production space, including editing suites, dubbing bays, faculty offices, a private screening room, and a Foley sound effects stage.
The award-winning ART Network—All Ringling Television Network—is the official, student-operated campus television network at Ringling College. Our ART Network students run the entire broadcasting process from start to finish, learning how to capture compelling content and produce final, professional work. And with so many events, speakers, exhibitions, artists, and presenters around campus, there is no shortage of topics to cover.
Students not only gain real exposure to camerawork, programming, production, and post-production, but they acquire valuable communication and collaboration skills. They must work closely with each other and with clients, both internal and external, to produce stimulating content—commercials, promos, PSAs, and more—that meets real-world objectives. Only in its fourth year, ART Network has already won four Telly awards for student-produced videos.
ART Network students can participate through the student club or the elective course that is open to all majors and class levels.
The Makerspace is a collection of cross-disciplinary, educational studios where you can work cooperatively with faculty, staff, and other artists to learn manufacturing processes, realize your projects, and develop responsible working practices. The Makerspace studios provide a safe and friendly learning environment, as well as an opportunity to work with manufacturing equipment and machinery in a variety of fields.
Internships through the Center for Career Services
Want a better idea of what it’s like working in your academic field?
The Center for Career Services assists with resources to identify, prepare, and apply for projects related to your major. Our industry connections, access to recruiters, and contact databases assist students in locating career possibilities and experiential opportunities for their major. We believe internships are invaluable as they enable students to build their portfolios while opening their eyes to different career possibilities.
Client-Sponsored Competitions and Immersives
We take every opportunity to propel our students to the top, including finding and supporting opportunities for participation in regional, national, and international client competitions and immersives. These opportunities put Ringling students in front of actual clients, often granting them high-level exposure to the industry and its leaders. Through various competitions and immersives, our students have designed award-winning product packaging for L’Oreal, developed travel and transportation solutions for Disney, and produced commercials for a new flavor of Doritos, to name a few. We are excited to help you compete against the best art and design talent in the nation, and Ringling students take home the win time and time again.
Student Volunteerism and Service-Learning
The Student Life Office and Student Volunteerism and Service-Learning staff provide community service opportunities for the growth and development of the entire Ringling College community. A great deal of your learning beyond the classroom can take place through volunteerism. Becoming a student volunteer will help you gain professional skills and experience; you will become more socially responsible, gain a sense of belonging, meet other volunteers with similar values and interests, learn leadership skills, embrace diversity, and gain perspective by seeing others with different or more severe challenges than your own. Your worldview will be expanded as you gain insight into the Sarasota community and beyond.
As a Ringling College volunteer, you can share your strengths – artistic or otherwise – and have meaningful community experiences.
Ulla Searing Student Center
Robert Perkins Student Life Wing
INDEX projects may be offered as full semester courses or as projects embedded within a course. These projects deliver customer-focused, design-based solutions for businesses. Students typically meet directly with clients to address a myriad of workplace challenges, including branding, positioning, user experience hurdles, service innovation, and product design issues.