Sacred Heart University and Verizon have partnered to create a space where businesses and students can collaborate called iHub.
Located on West Campus, iHub is a space for businesses to collaborate with SHU students in an equally beneficial environment.
“The iHub model is a space for small businesses to grow through the help of Sacred Heart students,” said iHub Assistant Community Manager and SHU alumnus Jonathan Kennedy. “Likewise, it’s a space for students to grow through the experience of thought leaders or solopreneurs.”
Kennedy also mentioned that collaboration between business owners and students provides generational learning opportunities. For example, a student may be more knowledgeable about current technology and teach others more about their own expertise while being taught by professionals in the business.
While iHub is not directly tied to Sacred Heart other than location, businesses are willing to provide internships and opportunities for SHU students.
As a former intern who worked in the iHub space, Kennedy explained how the location is convenient for SHU students.
“Students were able to get more hours in work but feel like they had more management of their week. They spent less time commuting,” said Kennedy. “The iHub was a home base for when I was jumping back and forth between classes.”
Junior Melanie Mercereau, who is a current Marketing and Sales Intern for LivFree, explained how iHub provided her an internship opportunity that gives her real world experience. LivFree is a nonprofit that helps children battling pediatric cancer. Mercerau found the internship through her membership in SHU’s Marketing Club.
“I love working for Livfree because it is a smaller business and allows me to have a bigger marketing role,” said Mercereau. “It is such a good environment that I truly look forward to going to and seeing the people I get to work with at LivFree.”
Mercereau recently worked on a marketing plan for the Joydrive fundraiser run by SHU Fraternity and Sorority Life. They were able to raise $9,000 for families of children battling pediatric cancer.
“I am truly so grateful for the connection, as I love the work I get to do and the families I impact working with LivFree,” said Mercereau. “We get to make such a positive impact on so many families’ lives.”
iHub is also a space that holds classes for different majors and an open area for students to hold online interviews and internships.
Junior Social Work major Kayla Goncalves has been to iHub twice for her Social Work Seminar class. “My professor holds class in the iHub sometimes to teach us about a specific program we use for the class,” said Goncalves. “It’s a great place to hold small classes and meetings, or just a clean, open space to get work done.”
Students are able to get involved in iHub internships and businesses through the Center for Career and Professional Development portal, or through Handshake. There is also a bulletin board in the East Building with all of the job postings listed.
“While our doors were shut through COVID, we’re excited to physically get students back into the office and learn about the opportunities we have for them,” said Kennedy. “If students are in need of any bookable space, we can now accommodate them.”
iHub is located on the second floor of the West Campus building. To learn more about iHub, visit their website at shuihub.com or their Instagram: @shuihub.