Entrepreneurial Opportunities for Honda Scholars
Honda scholars welcomed a new freshman class, the first to receive the Honda Stem award, at the fall scholars’ event on Oct. 3. Along with great pizza, a variety of opportunities to get involved in Honda innovation and research at Ohio State were presented.
Honda HR staff provided an overview of co-op/internship and employment opportunities at the company’s research and manufacturing facilities. Honda HR recruiter Jessica Downing explained how scholars can gain valuable professional experience next spring and summer through positions in research, manufacturing and business operations.
“Honda sees the benefit of reaching out to college students to work on our projects at OSU as well as to become co-ops or full-time staff in the future,” explained Mike Wiseman, co-director of the Honda-Ohio State Partnership. “The Honda scholars program is a priority starting point for this search.”
Paul Reeder, executive director of the Center for Innovation Strategies at Fisher College of Business, encouraged scholars to check out the new On Ramp program if they are interested in developing an entrepreneurial mindset.
Developed last spring after a Honda Innovate-O-thon, the On Ramp program inspires students to develop ideas about what an autonomous shared society will look like in 2030. Much like the Shark Tank show, students talk to customers and create early stage entrepreneurial ideas.
The first group of 20 students spent the summer working on ideas and a second group is participating in On Ramp for the fall. Reeder invited the scholars to apply for the spring semester group to experience the process of business ideation, incubation and commercialization. A monthly challenge event also is being developed to match students with Honda associates on potential ideas and projects.
Other opportunities for real world experience in product development include:
- Innovate-O-thons, sponsored by industry partners looking for business ideas and solutions;
- Boss program, an 8-week process to create pitches and compete for funding;
- Startup Tree, an online database where students can set up a profile, network and track their work on projects
- Smart Mobility scope, a new group at Battelle that will provide smart mobility research opportunities for students.
Four classes of 63 students currently receive the $3,000 annual scholarship from the Honda-Ohio State Partnership. As high school seniors, the scholars were awarded the Honda-Ohio State math medal or the Stem award, which provides a scholarship opportunity at OSU’s College of Engineering, Fisher College of Business and Arts and Sciences STEM majors.
The partnership hosts the Honda scholars twice a year at events designed to introduce the students to Honda, support their pursuit of an engineering degree and develop a relationship with them throughout their undergraduate education.