BIMA D DAY close

Mel Thompson
Mel Thompson
In Codegent News
18th October 2012

Wednesday 10th October 2012 marked a great day in which the digital industry took a step forward in addressing the digital skills gap across the UK. Across the country 1,800 students took part in BIMA D DAY.Under the colourful wing of 70 digital agencies, BIMA D Day enabled schools across the country to learn all about the digital industry.Demonstrating the creativity and skills behind roles and opportunities that are found in the industry and most of all getting excited about the digital world.

The concept devised by Andrew Henning, Chair OfEducation at BIMA, D Day enabled digital agencies to highlight the importance of the digital industry in society now and for the future. As we all know the creative and digital sectors are fast moving, new technologies being devised, ideas and concepts pushing new boundaries and consumers interacting with brands in completely different ways to what they were doing this time last year. With this ever changing industry students become even more important. They are the future of our economy and industry, with many of our digital flyers under 30, it is an industry that recognises young talent.

So, when David Hart (Director at Codegent) and I found out about the project we jumped at the chance of taking part and were partnered with The Brit School in Croydon.

After being introduced to the BTEC Extended Diploma in Interactive Media students that we would be working with for the day and giving them some background info on Codegent and the industry, it was time for some quick fire questions. The students’ interest in the industry and the roles available was clear, just looking around the room at their iMac screens we could already see they were a very talented group of individuals. After a few more sneaky questions on the £££ in the industry it was time to get stuck into the BIMA tasks.

The students split up into groups of four working on three different briefs set by BIMA.

1-To design a mobile app of the future

2-To design something digital to benefit the community

3-To produce a social media campaign for a new cafe

After reading the brief and discussing what each of the briefs required, the students got straight down to business. We were instantly amazed at how professional the students were, how researching their briefs, mind mapping ideas and starting to scamp their ideas was already second nature to them. Great to see the students using processes that we use every day in the agency to tackle new briefs.

After a rather tasty lunch in the school canteen and a tour around the great facilities at the school David and I reflected on our own school memories. How we would have loved to have been introduced to the digital industry and the opportunities while still in school. But, it was no time to sit and reminisce; it was straight back to the classroom to start wire framing and fleshing out some of those great concepts.

Concepts such as Serendipity Cafe- a cafe for the cool young professionals, DressCode – an app that helps you choose your outfit for the day and Nav Dog – a gps system app for the blind all started to come to life.

The student’s capabilities and talent in digital programs such as PhotoShop, Illustrator and 3D design was impressive, straight away they took to their track pads to design their ideas. BIMA supplied templates for the students to download and place their ideas on helping them layout their concepts as they would in a digital agency.

4pm was elevator pitch time, giving the students 1 minute to sell in their idea to David, myself and Alison - the students’ teacher.

All the students’ ideas have been sent off to BIMA to be judged for the chance to win some great prizes such as a tour of The Sky studio in Isleworth. Fingers crossed for all the students at The Brit School, some awesome ideas that I believe could be in the running for some top prizes.

I was kind of sad when home time came, but felt that we had helped the students get excited about the digital industry, broaden their scope on the opportunities available and help them realise that the industry is always looking for talented young adults.

Would we do it again?
Without a doubt. We became students again- it gave us an insight into what and how students learn in schools today, how they are so familiar and at ease with using the internet and technical programs. Most of all, we learnt how it is vital to continue days like D Day to ensure that creative, digital learning and skills should not be pushed to one side but embraced within the curriculum.

To sign up to take part in BIMA D Day 2013 register your agency here: