User experience firm turns to UC student co-ops in search of talent

Creative opportunities abound for UC students at Openfield

Openfield, a “specialized user experience (UX) research and design firm focused solely on ed tech,” needs versatile and creative employees to succeed.

Finding such workers isn’t always easy — unless your firm taps into the artistic brilliance concentrated at the University of Cincinnati.

Step into UC’s co-op program, where the 1819 Innovation Hub serves as a pipeline connecting students with full-time employment opportunities during their college careers. Openfield actively recruits new talent through co-op engagements, providing Bearcats with valuable on-the-job training long before most of their university peers graduate.

Bearcats leading the way on co-ops

It’s been more than a century since UC invented co-op, and the school remains one of the system’s preeminent leaders. After all, in 2024, U.S. News & World Report ranked UC as having the country’s second-best co-op and internship program among public universities.

Michelle Clare, dean of UC’s College of Cooperative Education and Professional Studies, said co-ops are a “win-win for businesses and the university.”

“Companies have a chance to expand their talent pool, gain access to new workers year-round and develop a talent pipeline from UC colleges … who are vested in steering students into satisfying careers,” she said.

Openfield logo

Openfield logo. Photo/Openfield

While it’s essential for Openfield to access UC talent, the firm specifically searches for students with creative prowess and an eye for innovation. Openfield is focused on being “the premier UX research and design partner in the ed tech market” and names people as the most valuable ingredient. That’s where UC’s acclaimed College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP) — ranked as one of the best design schools on Earth — comes into play for the firm.

Openfield is constantly improving its UX for educational platforms, so chief experience officer Trevor Minton and his team are hungry for knowledgeable and artistically minded workers. DAAP students perfectly fit both needs.

The work ethic of UC co-op students is phenomenal.

Trevor Minton Openfield chief experience officer

Creative innovation, after all, is key to Openfield’s user-experience success, and UC talent has consistently impressed. All three of the company’s co-founders are DAAP graduates, and nearly half of Openfield’s full-time employees are Bearcats. That’s mainly due to UC’s robust co-op program supplying Openfield with artistic and innovative students.

“The work ethic of UC co-op students is phenomenal,” Minton said. “They have brought a professional approach to the work and to integrating into our team while at the same time injecting our work culture with fresh enthusiasm, interests and perspectives.”

Doors opened at Openfield

It’s no secret that getting a lucrative first job out of college takes effort, but Openfield and other co-op partners have lightened the load for Bearcats. By working full time at an innovative company as an undergraduate, students can confidently bring expertise into their first postcollege role.

Trevor Minton headshot

Trevor Minton. Photo/Trevor Minton

In one case, a UC student stayed on at Openfield upon graduation. One of UC students’ favorite benefits of the school’s co-op program is the opportunity to connect with such promising potential employers in their undergraduate college careers.

Minton is thrilled to partner with UC for co-ops, internships and full-time roles.

“We set out to recreate the value we all experienced as students when we were integral parts of the team we joined as co-op students,” he said. “We actively partner with UC to add co-ops to our team when we have the opportunity to make the student an active part of our client initiatives, doing real work while learning firsthand from our experienced designers and researchers.”

Due to the design genius and creative expertise Openfield has found at DAAP, the firm is ready to expand its co-op program. UC’s unique system offers exceptional outcomes for both students and employers, explaining why co-ops are flourishing over 100 years after the first Bearcat joined one.

Featured image at top: Collage of Openfield workers. Photo/Openfield

Become a Bearcat

Have aspirations to showcase your creativity at DAAP one day? Whether you’re a first-generation student or from a family of Bearcats, UC is proud to support you at every step along your journey. We want to make sure you succeed — and feel right at home. Apply today.

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