The MakerLab volunteers are a really important part of the lab. They help day to day welcoming makers, assisting with workshops and fixing printers. Today graduating senior Jakob Ltief, is reflecting on all that he has learned during his time as a volunteer at the lab!
Since my Junior year at the Gies College of Business, I’ve been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to volunteer at the U of I MakerLab. At this point in my life, I’d never even seen something 3D printed let alone worked with the machines and software that do the heavy lifting. Walking into the MakerLab for the first time, I thought I’d primarily be helping with marketing efforts and working with the printers on the side. My first task was even to collect stories from customers in the lab for reposting on social media. Instead, I’ve gained invaluable first-hand experience with technologies and software I couldn’t have imagined of working with all while being exposed to bright minds making use of 3D printing in imaginative and innovative ways.
During my time in the MakerLab, I’ve worn many hats and been asked to do many tasks. From helping with numerous workshops and standing in the atrium to raise awareness on Homecoming Weekend, to helping establish MakerLab on Gies Groups. Each has been an opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and learn something new, as well as explore a truly disruptive and growing field.
I’m immensely thankful for the time I’ve spent in and around the Makerlab. I’ve met incredible people, been a part of incredible projects, and most importantly learned a lot along the way. While the MakerLab’s status as the only 3D printing lab in a business school is a well-touted fact, I can assure you that the cross-exposure from different students and majors working together and within the lab is invaluable.