UCLan Marketing Students Reach National Final of Chartered Institute of Marketing ‘The Pitch’ 2016 Competition
Final year Business and Marketing student James Duckworth and Marketing Management students Christina Fearon and Emma Ambrose from UCLan were in the final of ‘The Pitch’ 2016 competition at the Head Office of the Chartered Institute of Marketing in Maidenhead. ‘UCLan Group Matrix’ was the name the students chose.
What is ‘The Pitch’ Competition?
‘The Pitch’ is the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s National Marketing Competition for students. It is designed to recognise and reward the marketing talent of the future. To get to the final the students had to prepare a 2,500 word Marketing plan in 15 hours and then they were required to present their marketing plan through a ten minute PowerPoint in front of six judges on the 3rd March 2016 from organisations such as IBM, Mintel, LinkedIn, Aviva, SEGRO and Rustlers. UCLan Group Matrix team having reached the finals have a permanent place in the CIM Pitch Hall of Fame, will feature in a national CIM supplement magazine article and have framed certificates of achievements. UCLan Group Matrix were the final team to pitch. They made sure they didn’t waste any time and practiced throughout the day to make it ‘pitch perfect.’
Here the students tell us how they felt the experience was. “This was a challenging experience, an opportunity to network with new people, presenting in front of CEOs which gives a real-life presentation experience. It’s completely different presenting in front of CEOs than how you present in front of lecturers.” They also explained how ‘The Pitch’ increased their confidence in developing their interpersonal, presentation and time management skills.
Caroline Holliday a Senior Marketing Lecturer at UCLan, Course Leader for the MA in Marketing and Public Relations and CIM Courses supported the team all the way and the students appreciated all the support from her and said “The support from Caroline was incredible.”
Caroline said “It was a privilege and an honour to support and accompany the students to this CIM National Marketing Competition. UCLan Group Matrix delivered a professional, innovative and strategic presentation, fit for purpose which impressed a panel of marketing experts. Well done to Christina, Emma and James on your achievement.”
In June 2015, the School of Business at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) hosted a 10 day Summer Camp with 20 students from a partner institution in Hong Kong.
The Business School has a long-running, strong relationship with the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (VTC) with many lecturers from the school going over to Hong Kong to teach on their programmes.
The camp provided ample opportunities for the students to enrich their learning experience, explore British culture and strengthen their academic skills to prepare for their studies in the undergraduate programmes.
Sabrina Lai from VTC said: “The summer camp was full of insightful and informative international experiences. Participants had a taste of university life whilst studying and staying in the UK enabling them to get a sense of responsibility and to improve their interpersonal and communication skills and problem-solving ability.”
The camp consisted of an even balance between academic and cultural activities. In their academic activities the students were delivered informative workshops by UCLan lecturers and staff on subjects such as Presentation Skills, Study Life in the UK and an induction to the award winning ‘Northern Lights’ Business Incubation Unit. These also included student sharing sessions as the students were asked to pre-prepare presentations about their study life in Hong Kong to share with UCLan students and graduates which was a very valuable and inspirational experience for them.
Away from academics, the students also had the opportunity to explore the city of Preston and taste a variety of local dishes. As part of the tour they were able to participate in a number of cultural and social visits to famous British cities, landmarks and enterprises and were required to complete a case study on each company within their pre-arranged groups. These consisted of day trips to Manchester, Liverpool and London plus visits to BBC Media City, Manchester United, Blackpool Council and Jaguar Land Rover.
The summer camp was a huge success for everyone involved. The partnership between the Business School and VTC is stronger than ever with a second camp being in the initial planning stages for later this year.
Division leader for Marketing, PR and Communication at UCLan, Robin Carey, said: “We are delighted that the summer camp went so well and the students benefitted so much from their experiences here.”
Former Business School student Daniel Sutton has secured a role with one of the world’s leading media agencies MediaCom.
Daniel, 21, graduated in July 2015 with a first class honours degree in Advertising and Marketing Communications. He was also awarded with the Marketing Student of the Year award for achieving the highest average grade amongst marketing students.
Daniel is currently based in the state of the art MediaCom North offices in Manchester. His role as Research Assistant in the Real World Connections team focuses solely within the area of qualitative research providing insight to media planners and buyers on markets, consumers and brands through both primary and secondary sources.
Daniel chose to study Advertising and Marketing Communications at UCLan because he was impressed by the extensive links to industry and staff with real experience in the field. Studying at UCLan meant he was able to commute from home and could efficiently balance work and leisure.
He said: “I enjoyed being surrounded by a diverse group of students with modules crossing over with other business courses. This allowed me to meet some interesting and intelligent people with very different strengths and ambitions.
I would recommend studying a degree undoubtedly, more and more people have a degree as time progresses and it is almost a necessity when applying for many jobs.
If you are thinking of doing a similar degree to myself, I would advise you to seize the opportunities that are presented along the way. This could be extra leadership and management classes like the Business School’s LaunchPad Programme to differentiate and develop yourself further.”
Daniel is currently setting his sights on a promotion at MediaCom as his next challenge!
Annie McIntyre, from Rugby, graduated in 2015 with a First Class Honours degree in Public Relations (Entertainment). She was also awarded ‘PR Student of the Year’ from the Division of Marketing, PR and Communication at the School of Business for outstanding achievement.
Before she graduated, Annie, 22, was able to secure a role at Preston based marketing agency The Little Big Voice as their PR & Social Media Executive. Within this role she is now working across numerous company accounts in the food industry, running the company’s social media and planning annual PR campaigns for clients.
As part of her degree, Annie completed a placement year at Accessories 4 Technology in Bolton where she gained experience editing and creating content for press releases, company websites and social media. She was also involved in two company exhibitions, the launch of a new website and the first steps of the creation of a new brand.
Annie said: “I learned a lot about how people get into the industry, the application of things you learn at university in the real world and a lot about businesses in general. The work ethic that I gained whilst on placement was really helpful in motivating me to get work done and gave me insight into how to best perform the tasks I am given.”
When asked why she chose to study at UCLan, Annie said: “UCLan had a great reputation for PR, the course had a great balance of theory and practice which meant I could not only gain an understanding of how the PR industry works but also a theoretical insight that I would not have been able to gain if I hadn’t undertaken the degree.”
“The tutors were all from different backgrounds and that meant they could offer a wide range of experience and knowledge, this was particularly useful as it helped me gain a wider understanding of the industry as well as giving me a better idea of my own career goals.”
This case study was written by Sam Fallows, a current Business Studies student at Lancashire Business School
Where did you do your placement?
I did my placement at Grant Thornton
How did you find out about this opportunity?
I found out about this role through individual research
What was the application/interview process like?
After I applied I attended an informal interview and completed a series of online tests. These tests were challenging but I passes and moved forward to attend an assessment centre which I found beneficial as it was more formal. I then received a call that my application had been successful.
Did you have to re-locate as part of your placement?
No, I was able to live at home as I was based in the Liverpool branch which was 30 minutes away from me.
What were you day to day duties whilst on placement?
I mostly focused on auditing, I was always auditing the financial documents for clients. This gave me a breadth of knowledge as I was always completing different tasks for different clients.
Were you involved with any kind of special projects, campaigns or initiatives?
I was able to spend time with new starters to help them when they began their roles, attended social events and campaigned on behalf of Grant Thornton at graduate careers fairs.
What was the main thing you learned from doing your placement?
Grant Thornton is a great place to work and train to become a chartered accountant. I’d recommend it to anyone.
What was your favourite part about being on placement?
I got the opportunity to meet a lot of great people and I learned a lot – but it was also nice to earn money too whilst I was doing it.
How has it impacted your studies now that you are back at university?
I am definitely more focused to get a first and I am going to knuckle down to ensure that I get the best grade I can get!
A group of students who elected to study the module ‘Creative Industries and Communication’ recently participated in a visit to the Tate Liverpool to see the popular Transmitting Andy Warhol exhibition. The trip was funded by UCLan so that students could gain a working knowledge of the creative industries from industry professionals.
The most valuable part of the visit for students was the hour they got to spend with the Head of Communications and the Public Relations (PR) Manager at the Tate Liverpool. During this hour the students got to ask these two industry professionals about their roles at the Tate and what to expect from a career in communications.
Third year BA (Hons) Public Relations student Annie McIntyre said: “The trip was really helpful. It was really great to speak to people who work in the industry and ask them questions. It showed how parts of our course are really relevant to PR practice and gave me a better understanding of what to expect working in communications.”
The two also explained how the Tate Liverpool, part of the overall ‘Tate Family’, has an adopted tone in all of its communication using an accessible language with an open and modern style. The Tate strive to keep this style consistent so you can always easily identify them whether you are receiving a letter or visiting their social media pages.
Students were able to review national newspaper cuttings from the launch of the exhibition. This activity lead to a student question: “How do you ensure coverage is maintained during the life of a three-month exhibition like this?”
The Tate maintained their coverage using what was referred to as ‘pot boilers’ to keep the topic of the exhibition hot in the news. These ‘pot boilers’ included celebrity visits to the exhibition including comedian Noël Fielding.
The students were reminded that, as in some cases, not every aspect of a media relations campaign goes according to plan. The plan to have the exhibition featured on Blue Peter had to be cancelled due to insurance issues surrounding taking a piece of Warhol’s work to Media City UK in Manchester where Blue Peter is filmed.
The exhibition itself explored Warhol’s fascination with blending commerce and art (think of the Campbell’s soup tins!) and therefore was a good scene setter for students who can now apply this experience and their new knowledge of a working creative industry to their studies.
A local public relations professional has taken a big step up the career ladder after achieving her Master’s degree dream whilst working full-time.
Faye Saville, from Magull, has juggled a high-flying career as an Account Manager at Frontier PR in Manchester with an intensive three year part-time course in Strategic Communication at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) to fulfil her education ambition.
It is the second time the 28-year-old former Deyes High School pupil has studied at UCLan after she gained a public relations degree in 2009. Since leaving University Faye has worked in several communications roles, including for the Human Rights and Equalities Commission, the NHS, Greater Manchester Police and housing association Helena Partnerships, before moving onto Frontier PR. She decided to return to University to “enhance her skills in a competitive industry.”
Faye commented: “It’s been a massive challenge. Coming home from work and then studying each evening was certainly a big test but each time I got great feedback it spurred me on. I think the last three years of study has taken a lot of tenacity and determination but I got there in the end and I’m so proud of myself.”
Faye has enjoyed meeting people from all over the world through her course including Canada, Nigeria and Switzerland. “Meeting people from other countries working in the same industry was extremely beneficial” she said. “You realise that the many challenges you face on a daily basis apply no matter where you work.”
Faye hopes to build on her management experience now she has her postgraduate qualification.