FAQ

A degree and co-major in three years instead of four? How is this possible?

The DIF program will only accept high performing students who have a history of hustle. We have found that these types of students thrive in their academics when they are working in an area they are passionate about. Thus, they’re able to handle a slightly heavier than average course load. Additionally, students in DIF will attend in courses year-round, fully utilizing two summers and (optionally) a winter term.

Will I have a "real" college experience?

Kind of. Miami has an incredible reputation of a deep and rich four-year residential campus experience. However, that experience isn’t for everyone. If you’re more interested in making amazing digital products that change the world and having a set of adventures while doing it, the Digital Innovation Fellows program may be the right fit for you. Students will still spend at least a year and a half in a “traditional” on-campus experience. During this time, they’ll engage in student organizations and clubs like any other student. However, they’ll also be building a deep and rich world-wide professional network unlike any of their peers. And they’ll be graduating in only three years!

I am an international student in the U.S. on a visa. Can I still participate?

It is possible. International students need work authorization for any off-campus work. Due to visa requirements, the following requirements are in place for international students participating in the Digital Innovation Program:

  • The student MUST obtain an internship within their major course of study at Miami (Internships cannot be in the field of a minor, only in the major(s) declared by the student.)
  • Participating in the program CANNOT delay normal academic progress (This means, participating in Digital Innovation cannot cause an international student to delay when they would normally graduate.)

Please meet with an International Student Advisor in the International Student and Scholar Services office before applying for this program. Please refer to the International Student and Scholar Services page for more information.

Digital Innovation Centers

As a Digital Innovation Fellow, will I automatically be accepted into the Digital Innovation Centers program?

All students accepted into the Digital Innovation Fellows program will be accepted into the Digital Innovation Center program as well.

How many students receive job offers at the end of the semester as part of the Digital Innovation Center program?

Many students receive offers to continue working with their company in some capacity, whether it be a full-time job or freelance work (if the student is still in school). Many students also take advantage of their presence in the city to network and receive offers from other companies, such as those visited on Fridays.

Internships

Do I have to find my own internship? How does the interview process work?

Yes. We do not guarantee any student an internship, though we do everything in our power to help students find one. The semester before a student participates, we share student information with industry connections in each participating city; however, we ask that students do not wait for a phone call to begin conducting their own search.

Students need to be proactive in searching for opportunities that may be the best fit for them. Workshops will be held to discuss best practices during the internship search, and program staff will be readily available to assist with the entire process (helping with email wording, interview prep, etc.). Beyond workshops, faculty mentors will help guide students throughout the process.

How many companies are in the pool of startups, and do I interview with all of them?

The number of startups in the pool varies in each city, and students typically do not interview with all of them. We do our best to align student interests with the best opportunities available for them.

Where are most of the internships located?

In Cincinnati, students have had internships located downtown and in various neighborhoods such as Over-the-Rhine, Oakley, Blue Ash and Norwood. In San Francisco, it is highly recommended that students intern in the city of San Francisco, which is where recommended housing is located. Cities like Palo Alto, Mountain View and Menlo Park can be over an hour away by train, and students who have completed internships in these cities have noted that the commute takes away from their overall program experience.

What type of work will I be doing as an intern?

Students typically accept internships that most closely relate to their area of study. The work is meaningful and likely project-based, helping students build skills and experiences that will assist in future employment opportunities. Examples include social media marketing, interaction design, user-experience design, digital strategy, front-end programing and junior product development roles.

How many hours on average per week do interns work?

Students are expected to work full-time Monday through Thursday each week. The definition of “full-time” may differ by company, but students generally work from 8 or 9 a.m. to 6 or 7 p.m., if not later.

Are the internships paid? Is salary negotiable?

Most internships are paid, however, a paid internship is not guaranteed. Students that are paid have received compensation of anywhere from $300 to $3000 each month depending on the job responsibilities. Typically programmers receive salaries at the higher end, marketers at the lower end, and designers somewhere in the middle.

Housing

Do I have to find my own housing?

No. On-campus housing will be available to all students when taking courses in Oxford and apartment-style housing will be recommended for San Francisco and Cincinnati. In Luxembourg, students will live with host families.

What kind of housing does Cincinnati offer?

Housing in Cincinnati is located in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood and downtown Cincinnati. While we encourage students to live in the identified housing in Cincinnati, it is not required. We have housing options each semester or students are welcome to find their own housing in Cincinnati, and students do have the option to live at home if they are from the Cincinnati area.

Students typically have cars in Cincinnati as internships and company visits are not always downtown or in Over-the-Rhine. However, there are public transportation options as well as Uber/Lyft/Getaround if a student does not have a car in Cincinnati.

Students who participate in the Cincinnati program and commute from Oxford find that spending over 10 hours each week in a car takes away from the experience, forcing them to miss out on potential networking events.

It will be each student’s responsibility to sign a lease in the recommended housing with the landlord and pay the security deposit and rent on time. Rent is paid on a monthly basis by check. Housing typically consists of double-occupancy rooms in shared apartments. However, students wishing to live in a single-occupancy room may have the opportunity to do so for a higher cost, should single rooms be available.

What kind of housing does MUDEC (Luxembourg) offer?

In Luxembourg, MUDEC carefully considers students’ housing preferences and places them with a host. Many of our hosts have been housing MUDEC students for years and love meeting new Miami students.

The host family will provide a room and continental breakfast, the opportunity to practice French or German with native speakers, and an insider's view to European life. MUDEC alumni sometimes forge lifelong friendships with their European hosts!

Note that most students live in between Differdange (location of the MUDEC Chateau) and Luxembourg City (the capital). Depending on the day, DIF students will take the bus or the train to the Chateau for classes or commute to their internships.

What kind of housing does San Francisco offer?

Housing in San Francisco is located in the Alamo Square and North Beach neighborhoods. It is highly recommended that students live in the housing designated by Miami University. This immersive program is meant to be an experience for the entire cohort, and living together is an essential part of the experience.

It will be each student’s responsibility to sign a lease in the recommended housing with the landlord and pay the security deposit and rent on time. Rent is paid on a monthly basis by check. Housing typically consists of double-occupancy rooms in shared apartments. However, students wishing to live in a single-occupancy room may have the opportunity to do so for a higher cost, should single rooms be available.

Housing exceptions are made on a case-by-case basis and are very rare. Housing cost in San Francisco is the highest in the nation, and the housing designated by Miami University is in an extremely safe area. Students have found that other low-cost options do not include the necessary amenities or allow them to remain close to their cohort, or are in potentially unsafe neighborhoods. We have chosen this housing to ensure student safety and an overall positive experience.

In San Francisco, there are a plethora of public transportation and on-demand taxi options that make having a car in the city simply unnecessary.


Have any additional questions?

Reach out to the Digital Innovation Fellows coordinator and IMS faculty member, Artie Kuhn (kuhnar@miamioh.edu)