BIMA D-Day take two close
This month Codegent, represented by myself and Mel, took part in BIMA’s D-day (www.bimadday.org.uk) which is a nationwide event linking digital professionals from across the UK's creative & professional sectors with young people.
We took part in the 2012 event last October visiting the Brit School in Selhurst - more information on the day here As it was such a great day we jumped at the chance to take part again, this time we visited Leyton Sixth Form College.
The purpose of the day was to help the students complete either a social or mobile app brief and then once completed these would be sent off to be judged by BIMA for a chance to be crowned Grand Prix winner.
After arriving at the college we were introduced to the students by Clare, one of the tutors who helped organise the day. The class consisted of 24 students with half of them studying media and the other half graphic design.
We started the day taking them through a short presentation about Codegent and played a video that BIMA had provided to give them an introduction to the digital industry. They were then split up into groups of 3-4 to decide which brief they would like to work on.
They could choose to work on one of two briefs. The first was a social media brief where they had to imagine opening a new fashion store and create a buzz around the brand through social media and the design of the brand. The second brief was to come up with an idea for a mobile app that solved a problem in their everyday life without worrying about the constraints or how it would work in practice. BIMA were looking for creative ideas from the students not necessarily the final mocked up design.
The students had a couple of hours until lunch to start scribbling and brainstorming their ideas. It was really interesting to see what they were coming up with and it was our job as facilitators to really get them thinking and pushing their ideas further. Whether it be thinking about the opportunities of certain ideas and how it could utilise multiple devices or how they could plan their social tone of voice across different social channels. This was a really exciting and interesting to see the future of our industry working on real briefs!
After lunch the students then started to imagine one of their ideas and what it could look like in the real world, some of the students used I macs to visualise their ideas and others preferred to just sketch their idea down. We helped the students wireframe the ideas and create mood boards for their brands.
Towards the end of the day we organised short pitches where each group had to do a small two minute pitch to the rest of the groups. They talked about how they got to their idea and the key feature or selling point. I was really impressed with how they spoke about their ideas and how proud they seemed of them. One of the students asked if he could photocopy his entry document as he wanted it for his portfolio, which was a great sign that the day was useful for them.
At the end of the pitches Mel and I also mentioned that as well as being entered for the Bima competition we would also choose a winning group and invite them into our London office to show them around for the afternoon and for them to work up the idea more with help from one of the team. You can find out who our winners were here in our October news article.
Was it worth it? Last year Mel wrote a great post about the day and ended it with a paragraph titled ‘would we do it again' and the answer was a big fat yes, without a doubt!. This year the answer is still exactly the same and I almost think days like this should happen more often. The feedback from the students and the Claire the tutor was great and below are some of them:
“A big eye opener as to how the digital media industry works"
“ An inspiring and interesting experience of working in the media industry”
“ Interesting, fun, enjoyable. Would love to do it again. A good experience doing something I’d never done before but that has given me experience I’d like to apply in my future career.”
“ Made me want to work in digital media in the future.”
“ Enjoyed organising and being creative in completing an industry brief.”
“ It was a fantastic opportunity for our students to get an idea of the ‘real world’ of design. It was so inspiring for them to find out about careers and to meet young people employed in the industry. We are so grateful to you for giving up your time to spend the day with them. I think it was really enjoyable for all concerned, and really helped to extend their ideas generation and design thinking.”
What I was surprised at most during the day is how little the students actually know about the potential jobs there are in the digital industry. Despite them using the computer, mobile or tablet every day - playing games, sharing stories etc they didn't seem to relate this to a job you could actually do and Justin Cooke - mentions this in the opening video that we showed to students and I think days like this really help solve this problem.
Why should they know what’s out there when no one has told them?
These Sixth form students were learning about media and graphic design but I guess the real gap is teaching them about what is actually out there and then teaching them skills based more around the job they see themselves doing. Now this may be slightly unrealistic teaching every student something different but I think the more days like BIMA D-Day that happen the more the students will be open to the opportunities out there. Not just the students but the teachers and also the agencies involved will be inspired to do more.
So days like this must continue. As an agency we are more than happy to do more of this and the more we spend time with the students, the more chance we are of offering internships and apprenticeships as we get to know the students better and they understand what is out there for them. There is a nationwide drive now to create alternative routes to employment and by involving days like this more within the course structure would definitely go a long way to solving this.
I would like to say a big thanks to BIMA For organising the event and also the tutor Clare who made myself and Mel feel very welcome on the day.