Undergraduates from Northumbria University’s Newcastle Business School have joined students from four other countries to produce digital marketing content plans for UNICEF.
Teams from the UK, Spain, Belgium and Poland have received a brief to raise brand awareness and recruit more regular donors to the global charity in their respective countries. All consultation from the students will be free. To enhance the experience and authenticity of the exercise, the students will also have to pitch their digital content ideas to UNICEF bosses at the organisation’s headquarters as part of a competition to find the best campaign. As part of the event a key note address entitled “The Thumb is in Charge” will also be given by Bart Van de vel, Global Marketing Solutions Manager Facebook
The offer to participate came through the New Initiatives and Challenges in Europe (NICE) Network, of which Newcastle Business School is a member and has already used successfully to facilitate overseas study for students and staff mobility for academics.
Doctor Vignesh Yoganathan, Senior Lecturer and Deputy Programme Leader at Newcastle Business School, said: “I was in Antwerp representing the UK to develop the project with some NICE partners, who were very excited to have us taking part in this. Traveling to Brussels, pitching to UNICEF and having the chance to meet senior representatives from Facebook will all be an enormously valuable learning experience, and a very useful addition to the students’ Vs and employability prospects. The students are preparing their campaign brief and are looking forward to the trip and presenting to UNICEF.”
Doctor Alison Pearce, Senior Lecturer at Newcastle Business School and Project Leader for Staff Mobility, added: “This is a wonderful opportunity for the students and one that fits perfectly with our real-world, experiential approach to learning. Engaging with students from universities in other countries also supports the University’s drive to create global graduates with international ambitions. Working remotely with an international coach and then travelling to present face-to-face takes student mobility into the 21st century: widening participation, increasing flexibility and pioneering virtual mobility. It’s a perfect example of how international staff mobility can drive broader opportunities. Doctor Yoganathan’s travel has been supported by the Business School in tandem with the International Development Office’s Erasmus scheme, while the students have been supported by the Business & Management departments – a genuinely cross-university initiative which we hope to develop in the coming years.”
Doctor Pearce, who was elected to the steering committee of NICE in 2014, added: “The Network charter sets out goals, values and quality criteria for internationalisation, which closely match the University’s. It has been the incubator of some very lucrative partnerships and collaborations and continues to generate all sorts of very interesting opportunities with high quality, international institutions and organisations. The chance to work for UNICEF and meet marketing representatives from Facebook is just one of several underway. We are keen to get more people involved staff and students alike.”
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