August 04, 2011
Andrew Argue ’10, M.S. ’11 and Michael Verdi ’11 spent six weeks at the Digital Life Academy in Singapore this summer.
Verdi and Argue paired with a third student to develop a new user interface for MyCube with suggestions for making it more flashy and Web trendy.
Friending, tweeting, blogging and posting, Andrew Argue ’10, M.S. ’11 said he spends a significant amount of time creating his online brand. The UT graduate student is enamored with social media and with its evolution.
“I’m curious what it will look like in the future,” said Argue, a master’s of accounting candidate from Tulsa, OK, who is especially curious about monetizing digital assets. “It’s the industry I want to work in.”
Selected from 15,000 applications, Argue and Michael Verdi ’11 were given plane flights to Singapore and about $2,500 to spend six weeks at the
Digital Life Academy
. They joined about 30 other international participants from countries like Venezuela, Sweden, China and India. Other U.S. students came from schools including the University of Arizona, California Polytechnic State University and University of North Carolina Charlotte.
Hosted by MyCube, a social media company launched in June and based in Singapore, the academy’s goal is to empower new entrepreneurs to lead in the digital world. While meeting with industry leaders from Yahoo!, Google and Microsoft, the students were tasked with brainstorming innovative ways to help make MyCube successful.
“This looked like a good opportunity for me to see an early stage company launch and see everything that goes into that,” said Verdi, who majored in entrepreneurship and who is looking to develop
, his idea for a smartphone application that connects people to the origin of their food. “This has been fascinating.”
For Argue, who starts in September as an assurance associate with PricewaterhouseCoopers, the Digital Life Academy is giving him an insight into the client’s side of the business which he said will give him a greater degree of empathy with his future clients. It’s also familiarizing him with the technology community in Singapore, where PricewaterhouseCoopers has offices.
As interns, the students can propose revisions to existing MyCube functions or propose entirely new applications. Verdi and Argue have paired with a third student, Pushkal Dharmendra, from the Indian Institute of Technology, to develop a new user interface for MyCube with suggestions for making it more flashy and Web trendy.
“There has been no typical day for us, which is typical for a start-up company,” said Verdi. “We’re excited to be meeting a network of people from around the world.”
Jamie Pilarczyk, Web Writer
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