Aberystwyth Students Take on Senedd Challenge

06 March 2012

A team of three students from the University’s School of Management & Business were runners-up at The Pitch event last month, a national challenge set by The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and Big Ideas Wales.

Alexandra Gencheva, Alex Tilvar and Lazar Lulchev, who are all third year Marketing students were tasked with developing an awareness-raising communications plan for Big Ideas Wales, a Welsh Government-led campaign that aims to inspire young people to start their own businesses.

The Pitch, which saw 15 teams from Universities across Wales – three of which were from Aberystwyth, gave each team the chance to present their ideas throughout the day. Three teams were later shortlisted and invited to pitch to a panel of industry experts at the Senedd at an evening event.

The students were given a detailed brief and asked to consider budgets, messaging and marketing tools in their presentations, to give them an understanding of a real-life business scenario.

Alexandra Gencheva explains, “The Pitch was a great opportunity to put the skills we’ve learned to the test and hopefully it will be a stepping stone to getting a job in the marketing industry. I’m delighted that we got so far and had the opportunity to pitch in the final round.”

Nicholas Perdikis, Director of the Management & Business School, adds, “The team did exceptionally well to make it through to the final. This event has been created to give marketing students the opportunity to use their skills in a real business context, which will provide them with invaluable experience when entering a competitive job market.”

The judging panel included James Taylor, young entrepreneur and founder of SuperStars, Roger Pride, Managing Director at Cardiff & Co and Jade Bourke, Marketing Manager at DS Smith Recycling and winner of New Marketer at the 2011 Canmol: Wales Marketing Awards. 

The campaign proposed by the Creative & Inspirational Marketing Team aimed to attract students in secondary schools, universities, young adults who have just left the educational system and are unemployed or those not in education, employment or training (NEETs).

The team presented their campaign message “Believe in Your Story…It Starts Now!” which would be communicated through posters. The poster design used fun and recognisable cartoons that are popular with the target audience. A key element of the campaign which impressed the judges was the innovative use of social media and bluetooth devices. The campaign was carefully costed with specific metrics.

Alun Davies AM, Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries, Food and European Programmes, spoke at the event. He added: “It was a pleasure to attend Brolio / The Pitch and to present the awards. I enjoyed listening to the pitches and was very impressed by the ideas of the young people who took part.  The event presented an ideal opportunity for young people to share their talent and ideas for the Big Ideas Wales campaign.”

The participating teams were presented with certificates, while the winning students from Cardiff University each received 12 months CIM Affiliate Professional status.