Akshar Patel

Akshar Patel

Director of Corporate Innovation


Master of Education

University of Vermont

Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering

Illinois Institute of Technology


Akshar Patel is director of corporate innovation at the Ed Kaplan Family Institute for Innovation and Tech Entrepreneurship (Kaplan Institute) at Illinois Tech. His background includes career coaching, design thinking, university enrollment, fundraising and non-profit development. In his work Akshar looks to mix creativity with practical problem solving.

As an independent career coach who works with clients on creating and achieving professional goals Akshar sees the value of a network every day. His clients gain access to his extensive network and together they establish real milestones that progress towards finding a job. During the process, clients build meaningful relationships with a network of people to assist throughout their entire career. By accepting that success is not a destination, but a journey, Akshar’s work focuses on building skills that lead to thinking about life beyond a career.

Akshar also teaches interdisciplinary design classes in the Interprofessional Projects (IPRO) at Illinois Tech. His classes focus on human-centered design for developing countries and social innovation. Patel has worked on projects in Nicaragua to provide housing and education to communities in need. He is currently on the board of FNE International, an organization that partners with communities in developing nations to identify opportunities to advance housing, health and education. Before joining Kaplan Institute, Akshar held roles in Career Services and Institutional Advancement at Illinois Tech and worked in enrollment at Champlain College in Burlington, VT.

Akshar holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology and a Masters of Education from the University of Vermont along with a certification as a Global Career Development Facilitator, GCDF.

What I love about IPRO

I love working with my students. Watching them grow and develop their public speaking and teamwork skills is my favorite part of teaching IPRO. Every semester I anxiously wait for the final pitch day to see how far all of my students have come from brilliant but shy students to confident young professionals!

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