Matt Chausee, the CEO and co-founder of Be More Colorful, has a whole world of immersive, 360-degree job experiences at his fingertips, all in the name of helping students identify careers in which they may be interested. Inside the company’s office in the NDSU Research and Technology Park, Chaussee opts to cue up footage from the construction of the RDO Building in downtown Fargo, immediately transporting the viewer into the active construction site.
The sky-high view is thanks to CareerViewXR, the platform Chaussee and the Be More Colorful team have developed over a two-and-a-half-year period.
Chaussee, working alongside wife and co-owner Katie and four other employees, said the platform has a simple goal in mind. “Just like a home virtual tour where you can navigate through the home, we’re creating virtual tours of job shadows and field trips so that you can get an immersive experience,” he explained. “What we’re really working to do is use immersive media to help create authentic experiences that align the right people with the right careers.”
The journey started when Chaussee bumped into Michelle Kommer, then North Dakota’s Commissioner of Commerce, at a tourism convention in June of 2019. Chaussee pitched his idea for CareerViewXR to Kommer, which spawned a meeting with the state’s Workforce Development Council.
That meeting was a roaring success, Chaussee said, giving CareerViewXR a boost. “I had 15 minutes to talk and everyone was buzzing,” he recalled. “We ended up with two clients straight out of that meeting.”
Those two early clients were the North Dakota Building Trades Union and Fargo-based General Equipment and Supplies. Don Shilling, the chairman of General Equipment and Supplies, took an immediate liking to the platform’s potential for showcasing careers in diesel. “He immediately said, ‘This is something we absolutely need.’,” Chaussee said.
Next came interest from Williston and Devils Lake, two cities which applied for Perkins V grants to fund more of CareerViewXR’s experiences. The dominos have been falling since, and now Chaussee estimates 70 to 80% of Be More Colorful’s business is focused on CareerViewXR.
CareerViewXR features three different experiences.
The fastest is a work environment tour, which offers a quick peek inside an active worksite. One such option is elevator construction, which features three scenes inside one of the RDO Building’s elevator shafts.
The next option is a field trip, which is a more “storyboarded” tour of a facility. These offer an inside look at places many people have never seen before, like a wind turbine near Langdon. “These scenes are really impactful because you’re looking at this and the first thing you’re thinking is, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s a big ladder.’,” to the top of the turbine, Chaussee said while walking through the field trip.
For a full day in the life view of a specific job, CareerViewXR also features job shadows. The job shadows are the longest tours and allow viewers an in-depth look at a realistic work day for a given profession. At the end, viewers can watch quick question-and-answer videos from the professionals themselves.
All three experiences are loaded with what Chaussee called “hotspots”, buttons on which viewers can click for more information. The experiences can be viewed on a desktop computer, tablet or mobile device. “All of the devices that students are already using are now in play to be able to use these experiences,” he remarked.
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