Learning is not a spectator sport. And when Al Moen founded Moen Incorporated more than 75 years ago, he knew that actively learning every day, however possible, would be the company’s secret to success. That foundation for learning has driven the Global Design team at Moen – the #1 faucet brand in North America – to invite future design professionals to learn from their expertise, but more so, has allowed Moen associates to learn from the students.
Moen works with students from the Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA), University of Cincinnati and The Ohio State University to participate in its co-op internship program at its North Olmsted, Ohio global headquarters. Through this experience, these students gain a broader understanding of industrial design, what it takes to bring thoughtfully designed products to market, as well as enhance their own portfolios with the help of tenured professionals.
“We’re extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to work with so many talented young designers,” explained Steven Ward, director of global design, Moen. “While our team gives back to the local and broader community, we also get so much back in return. Not only do our designers receive inspiration and fresh ideas from the next generation of thinkers, but we’re honored when they can become a permanent part of our team. In fact, our latest full-time designer, Adam Valco, is a recent intern, proving there’s just as much for our organization to gain by working with these students as they can learn from us.”
Beyond working with students and cultivating their skills and understanding of design, Moen associates also provide valuable insight into the industry, as well.
Earlier this year, Chris Gilbert, principal designer, spoke to students at CIA as part of the “Invent Your Future” conference. The three-day conference featured alumni and design professionals from other leading manufacturers, including Bosch, Nike, Newell Rubbermaid, Essential, IBM, Gensler, Chrysler and more.
CIA also hosts a Spring Design show for graduating seniors, where design professionals are invited to review student exhibits displaying their work in hopes of landing an internship or a full-time design position. In April, the entire design team at Moen participated in reviews and gave feedback at CIA’s new design facility. From this face-to-face event, the Moen team met potential candidates; while the students gained valuable professional insights.
“At Moen we value the principles of design that these kinds of programs instill within their students,” Ward added. “We can only hope that one day these talented individuals will bring that similar knowledge and passion to an organization like ours.”