First-year advertising students get ‘lost at sea’

First-year advertising students step out of the classroom environment for a problem solving challenge on their first year unit ‘Advertising Skillset’. LostAtSea

In the SportBU’s new studios, the students worked in small groups to choose and rank survival items they would need if ‘lost at sea’, shipwrecked and stranded on a lifeboat. Students needed to use individual decision making and problem solving skills, and then they had to compare their own rankings against the group. The goal was to help students understand and improve dealing with day-to-day issues, and to demonstrate that people can achieve much more when they solve problems and make decisions collaboratively. The intention was to also draw reference to working inside a media agency, whereby tackling client briefs, the outcomes are improved by working as a team.

LostATSea3The students tackled the brief by debating the highest and lowest priority items for survival, which were a selection of items ranging from floating devices, chocolate rations to fishing rods.

“The intention behind these sessions is to encourage students to consider and refine how they approach problem solving and decision making in a group; there is a lot of group work within the course and clearly this is a critical skill they need when they enter their placement year in industry,” said Programme Leader Jill Nash. “I also wanted students to consider how ‘groupthink’ can affect decision making, whereby a group places mutual harmony above the desire to reach the right solution. Stepping outside the normal classroom environment, and making the use of the fantastic studios we have here on campus, felt like the right way to go about this.”

She later added, “Skillset is a new unit for our students, and somewhat experimental, but we did identify that first years needed certain hard and soft skills developing, which could help them tackle their academic assignments as well as creative briefs and campaign ideas. The students were really involved and engaged in this style of learning, and we felt it was important to demonstrate that learning doesn’t just take place at a desk or in front of a screen.”

After everyone finished the exercise, the student teams were invited to evaluate and reflect the process to draw out their experiences. For example, the main LostAtSea2differences between individual, team and official rankings were, and why. This provoked discussion about how teams arrived at decisions, which will help students think about the skills they must use in future team scenarios, such as listening, negotiating and decision-making skills, as well as creativity skills for “original thinking.”

Politics students invited by MEPs to the European Parliament

Last week, 21 BU Politics students visited Brussels to meet with local MEPs with Dr David McQueen and Dr Dan Jackson. Below, David reports on the two-day visit in Brussels.

Politics students have just returned from a two-day visit to Brussels in Belgium where they heard South-West MEPs Clare Moody and Molly Scott Cato talk about the challenges facing the European Union at a critical time in its history. Both MEPs raised concerns that arguments to remain in the EU are not being made effectively and worry about low levels of media coverage of important decisions and voter engagement, as wel as the strain the refugee crisis is placing on the political union. Students quizzed the MEPs on their views on a range of issues and learnt about how decisions were made in Parliament.

 Clare Moody and Molly Scott-Cato (front centre) with BU Politics students holding #RegisterToVote for #EUref signs inside the European Parliament

Clare Moody and Molly Scott-Cato (front centre) with BU Politics students holding #RegisterToVote for #EUref signs inside the European Parliament

Clare Moody talked about her role as MEP and the process of decision-making which mainly takes place through the work of cross-party committees. Despite a much wider range of political parties being represented in Parliament – from fascist through conservative, social democrat, green, socialist and communist – proposed policies affecting hundreds of millions of Europeans were arrived at in an orderly way through negotiation and agreement around the public interest. Clare worried that the arguments being made in Britain to leave Europe were based on emotion, and not enough people were hearing the rational reasons and political, economic and social benefits of staying.Molly Scott-Cato’s talk covered a range of issues, but she had a good deal to say about the power of lobbyists to influence legislation, particularly through the unelected and unaccountable European Commission. She gave several examples of where corporations set the policy agenda debated in Brussels in their own interests. This included the weakly coordinated response to tax avoidance and in the intensive lobbying which has shaped the hugely significant Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Initiative (TTIP) which, Molly argued, could erode Labour, environmental and consumer protections. Both MEPs were frustrated that European MEP’s power was limited by having to get Commission approval for any legislation to be put before the Parliament. Finally, Molly called on students to consider developing specialist knowledge of the European Parliament and offer this knowledge as media pundits. This she argued could help to end the culture of ignorance and apathy amongst journalists around coverage of EU institutions and decision making.

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Brussels town hall at night

The MEP-sponsored visit of the BU Politics degree delegation also included a talk about the history of the European Union and the group saw the main chamber where a guide explained how debates and votes were conducted and some of the problems translating 24 languages simultaneously during Parliamentary sessions. He also offered useful advice on the skills needed to work at the Parliament and potential routes for those interested in an internship.

Following the recent horrifying attacks in Paris and related arrests in Brussels, the European Parliament was on a high security alert  during the visit. However, the centre of Brussels was still bustling with locals and visitors at attractions such as the Grande Place, a beautiful medieval square in the centre of the city which has World Heritage status. In the narrow streets around the Grote Market the smell of freshly baked waffles and chocolate tempts passers-by, restaurants like the Fin de Siècle serve excellent Belgian food, and bars – like the infamous Delirium Café – offer a bewildering variety of ferociously strong beers. Young people showed they were not intimidated by the terrorist attacks in Paris by sitting out and enjoying the food, drink and good company the city has to offer. Heading back on the Eurostar and reflecting on a packed two days in the city the Politics students resolved to return to Belgium next year, take up Molly’s challenge and raise the level of awareness of the European Parliament in anticipation of the coming referendum on membership of the European Union.

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The smells and tastes of Brussels

The smells and tastes of Brussels



Polly Harris-Saunders, advertising student on placement at Wunderman in Singapore

Picture - Polly HSPlacement Job Title – Account Coordinator

Good things don’t come easy… well that’s what I kept telling myself. As 75% of my peers had secured a placement, I was determined to do something that excited me, rather than just confirming something so that I could stop thinking and stressing about getting a placement in time.

I booked my flights 10 days before the day I left the UK. I knew no one in Singapore. I didn’t have anywhere permanent to live. I’d never flown on my own. I’d never been to Asia. I’d never properly worked in an agency other than the odd “work experience” for 2 weeks.

However, I am currently part of the Microsoft team at the digital agency Wunderman, in Singapore. I live with two girls from the U.S in an apartment in central Singapore, and I’ve learnt an incredible amount. I have also just begun the role of Content Manager for the department store Robinsons (SG equivalent of Selfridges/Harrods), and have signed on to stay another 3 months.

It was a huge challenge for me when I first begun. In my first week I was writing a creative brief for designers, whilst simultaneously googling a list of abbreviations that were being chucked at me thinking how on earth am I going to cope if this is what they’re starting me off with. Truth is, they were just throwing me in the deep end to see how fast I could swim! I now have a list pinned up by my desk of 25+ acronyms – agency life is fast paced – god FORBID they would have time to spell things out properly. It doesn’t baffle me anymore when I see an email saying something like:

“OOO today, WFH. Please KIV the status of the PO for the TH, MY and PH translations”

Which I have now learnt, reads:

“Out of office today, working from home. Please keep in the view the status of the purchase order for the Thailand, Malaysian and Filipino translations.”

I hope you can understand my initial confusions!

Other than learning the agency terminology and reading up on the brand guidelines for what is considered the 4th largest brand in the world (their brand guidelines are 635 pages long, and that’s just the general “Microsoft Style Guide”). Taking a leap of faith, to seek something that would test me a little further rather than moving back home and doing the daily commute to London, has been beyond worth it. I’ve made friends, travelled to other parts of Asia in the few spare moments that I have, eaten amazing food (some of which I can’t tell you what it is..), and most importantly gained an international perspective on the industry I chose to study at university. I wouldn’t change this experience for the world, and I would recommend it to everyone – don’t just accept the easy options, choose something that you can learn and grow from, and that most importantly, excites you.

Placement Pals to the rescue!

Placement PalsAimed to support second year CMC students currently applying for their sandwich placement experience for next year, selected final year students have been chosen as this year’s group of 2015-16 Placement Pals. After attending a training session delivered by the Placement Development Advisors and Programme Leaders, they are now working with their designated seminar groups and are free to answer any questions students may have about the application process, living and working in London, University support, amongst many other key questions and concerns students may have.

Course Name Placement Company
BAMC George Dixon Hewlett Packard
BAMC Helen Newble Panasonic
BAMC Jessica Gregory Philips
BAMC Natasha Michelmore Microsoft
BAMC Madeleine Brown Five Rivers
BAMC Emilia-Jade Gibson Digitas / Disney
BAMC Emmanuel Owolabi Logicalis
BAMC Orestiana Potamitis Good Events Company / Tilling Creative
BAMC Nicola Barnes Grapevine Digital
BAPR Claudia Barnett Sainsburys
BAPR Megan Davies UKTV
BAPR Andrea Frankl GSK
BAPR Viv Lebbon Airbus UK
BAPR Dinara Omarova BMW Mini plant
BAPR Ieva Severinaite Airbus
BAPR Ellen Walford Coty
BAPR Daphne Xenakis Upperdog
BAA Mia Jones Disney Destinations
BAA Kristen Burns-Temison Discovery
BAA Abigail Ridgwell Disney Destinations
BAA Emily Garrett VW Financial Services
BAA Katherine Dove RAPP
BAPM Christopher Hamill – Stewart  Short Placement
BAPM Thomas Allen  Short Placement


PR student Ieva Severinaite on sandwich placement at Airbus

I joined the PR course at BU as an international student from Lithuania eager to make the most of the opportunities that a degree in the UK offers.Broughton

During my placement year I was lucky enough to work as the Internal Communication and Community Engagement Intern at Airbus in the UK. My role included anything and everything imaginable under the term ‘communications’. I organised events, created poster campaigns, wrote press releases, delivered presentations and briefing workshops, hosted VIP and community visits, assisted with media relations, conducted focus groups, represented the company at events, held workshops and worked with corporate partners to name just some of my responsibilities over the year.

The experience was both a challenging and an extremely rewarding experience. My biggest challenge, and also my greatest highlight of the year, was project leading a nationally-spread event called TeenTech, which promoted science and engineering careers to high school students. As part of organising the event, my role involved coordinating 30 business exhibitors, 200 pupils and 35 Airbus ambassadors in a full-day carousel of interactivities. This responsibility truly tested my ability to manage my time, manage the delivery of a large scale project and interact and liaise with and lead very diverse groups of people.

During my internship, the support from my placement development advisor really gave me direction for making the most of my time at Airbus and gave me inspiration and guidance for my future career. My placement reviews encouraged me to take on more responsibilities at work and also get involved in volunteering outside of work.

After my internship, I spent the rest of the summer in Ecuador, volunteering at a local primary school teaching English for six weeks. It was the perfect way to end a great year at Airbus and an invaluable experience which has taught me many skills that will no doubt boost my employability.

TeenTech Event hosted by Maggie Filbin held at Glyndwr University in Wrexham sponsored by Airbus.

TeenTech Event hosted by Maggie Filbin held at Glyndwr University in Wrexham sponsored by Airbus.

If I could offer one piece of advise to students currently looking for a placement, I would say don’t give up! The application and interview process can be long and tiring but all the hard work in preparing will pay off. Also don’t be afraid to explore jobs that may seem out of your comfort zone – it is always best to keep your options open than regret not applying for enough positions.

Remember the Liberal Democrats?: Politics second year reflects on the party conference

Joe Bulman, second year on the Politics and Media degree, attended the Liberal Democrats Party conference in Bournemouth late last month and reflects on his experience below.

After what has been a busy summer for me personally, I must admit I nearly forgot they existed. They may have had a hand in government only 5 months ago but they now only have 8 MPs (a party with this few MPs doesn’t even have the right to ask a weekly question and PMQs) and the announcement of Tim Farron as their new leader seemed barely to make the headlines. Still, they chose Bournemouth to host their annual party conference last week so I thought I’d check it out.


Now you’d think, given their humiliating demise in May, that this year’s party conference would be a glum event. However this certainly didn’t appear to be the case. In fact, this year’s event saw a record crowd and the mood was unquestionably upbeat. Speakers such as Simon Hughes were remarkably cheery and seemed almost unfazed by the crushing defeat – despite the disappointment of losing his seat in the Commons after holding it 32 years.


Unlike the current situation within the Labour camp, there was no bitterness and no crisis over values. A far happier-looking Nick Clegg, who you’d imagine not to be immensely popular given the party’s extreme shrink taking place under his lead, was even greeted with a standing ovation when he made his speech. You sensed that it was almost refreshing for the Liberal Democrats to have now separated from the Tories after their brave 5-year marriage.


The popular opinion outside of the conference (not least from the Sky cameraman waiting for interviews outside the Bournemouth International Centre) is that the Liberal Democrats are dead and buried. Along with the optimism inside though, it is worth noting that 20,000 new members have joined since the General Election – a statistic that supports the event’s regularly repeated slogan: “join the fight back” kindly.


I am not predicting when the Liberal Democrats will be able to return to third party status, but I do believe from what I observed at the conference that they are going to thrive off having nothing to lose now. Remember Clegg at the 2010 TV debates as the man with nothing to lose? It was arguably this advantage that got his party into government in the first place. The Liberal Democrats certainly did not seem dead and buried – they seemed more alive than ever.

CMC placement adviser presents at international conference

ASETCMC’s Placement Development Adviser Vianna Renaud presented at an international conference on work-based and placement learning in September. Below she shares her experience at the conference and talks about her work on last year’s successful placement and employability event for the PR degree.

Vianna Renaud, Placement Development Advisor, Faculty of Media and Communication

Last month, I was very pleased to have presented at the ASET Annual Conference at the University of Exeter.  ASET is the Work Based and Placement Learning Association of the UK and one of the key organisations I turn to in my role as Placement Development Advisor for the Faculty of Media and Communication. This year the conference attracted approximately 200 representatives coming from Universities throughout the UK, Ireland and Canada.

As the theme of the conference was on Positive Partnerships, my presentation was on a new engagement event we ran for the PR programme in the Faculty of Media and Communication earlier this year. After securing Fusion funding, led by Anastasios Theofilou, and in collaboration with academics and professional staff across the institution, we hosted an employer engagement event. Approximately 20 employers attended and all first and second year students were involved by preparing and displaying a poster CV. By presenting themselves and in talking to employers, numerous students were able to secure a future work experience as a result. Employers were able to engage with students, interview their top choices, and talk to key academics, all important in strengthening their relationship with the University. PRPC, one of the industry professional bodies, also attended and showed their support of BU and their focus on industry engagement. We also had alumni attend as company representatives. Overall, it was a wonderful event that made considerable impact to all those involved.

I shared our experiences to a classroom of university delegates where the open discussion and feedback were positive. Already I have received emails from two attendees keen to run similar events at their institutions and therefore, it is quite exciting to know that our success at BU may be expanded onto other campuses.


Returning placement students share their experience with second year students

Last week we had the pleasure of having returning placement students speak to the new Level 5 students about their experiences. Delivering their placement highlights, challenges, key projects, and lessons gained to crowded lecture theatres, their real life experiences helped give the younger students key advice on how to approach their upcoming placement search.

The students who dedicated their time to present were:Induction

Emmanuel Owolabi (BAMC, Logicalis UK)

Emilia-Jade Gibson (BAMC, Disney Destinations)

Taru Ellila (BAMC, L’oreal)


Tamsin Raine(BAA, Walker Agency)

Kristen Burns-Temison (BAA, Discovery Channel)

Rachel Burke (BAA, Sony)


Emily Wells Burr (BAPR, Philips)

Dinara Omarova (BAPR, BMW)

Andrea Frankl (BAPR, GSK)


Sonia Devji (BAPM, Action Against Hunger)

Tillie Smith, BAMC student, on sandwich placement at Honda UK

Where are you originally from?

Originally from Wokingham, Berkshire

Why did you come to BU?

As the Media School is the best in the country. BU is also close to home, yet far enough away for me.

How was your placement search?

I found it interesting and it really surprised me how much you start to want a certain placement. Looking back now my search was not as extensive as some people I know but I am glad I looked around for a while and didn’t settle on the first one I got.

Placement Job Title and Company

Corporate Affairs Assistant for Honda UK

What was it like working for Honda?

Working for Honda, like any company, had its ups and downs. I learnt so much, especially in terms of cultural differences due to Honda being a Japanese company.

Describe your role and responsibilities

Part of the Press team for Honda, UK main responsibilities have included:

• Media relations, requests and liaison
• Press releases and copy write
• Relationship building with key media
• Updating and monitoring Honda, UK newsroom
• Event support; inclusive of Paris Motor show, Geneva Motor show, Goodwood Festival Of Speed and product launches
• Coverage reporting for senior management
• Internal communication
• Idea creation and social media support
• Administrative support to Honda, UK Corporate Affairs Team inclusive of supplier contracts and financial movements

What were some of your highlights of the placement?

Working Goodwood Festival of Speed and having sole ownership over various event logistics.


Any advice for students currently looking for placement?

Don’t settle for the first one you find, keep searching till you find a role that suits you and your interests.

Melody Duarte on sandwich placement with Qatar Airways in Zurich Switzerland

Course & Home CountryMelody Duarte

A few years ago I was a 2nd-year student in Marketing Communications seeking a work placement, preferably at an international company and abroad.

Before coming to Bournemouth University, I had always lived in Switzerland, my home country, more precisely in the French area near the city of Lausanne. I like a challenge so therefore I decided to undertake a degree in a different country with a different language.

Placement Title and Department

I worked for Qatar Airways in Zurich in the E-Commerce Department and I was the ‘E-Commerce Assistant Switzerland’.

My job role consisted of assisting the Senior Marketing Executive of Switzerland, who was responsible for both Marketing and E-Commerce departments. During the first 6 months of my internship, my tasks were more focused on the E-Commerce part. I helped launch the local English website in Switzerland as well as provided operational assistance in day-to day business for the other two websites in German and French. Besides this interesting and technical element, I also created print advertising materials for our events and helped in planning and contributing to several campaigns and reports.

I was actually not supposed to stay one full year at Qatar Airways. My first contract was only for 6 months and I thought I would find another 6 month internship afterwards in a different field. However, I asked to extend my initial contract and they agreed to keep me. That was the best decision I have ever made as I got to experience more marketing tasks while still doing my e-commerce duties. I can definitely say that I have expanded my knowledge in both departments where I have worked. I have also had the opportunity to manage projects and even supervise a radio advertising campaign on my own!

Why did you want to do your placement abroad?

First of all, I wanted to go back ‘home’ after living already 2 years in the UK. To tell the truth, ending up in Zurich, which is in the German part of Switzerland, was not in my initial plan. The easiest option for me would have been to find a job near where I used to live. I still sent out my CV almost everywhere to optimise my chances, (as Switzerland is small J), and I got to choose between two placements: one in Geneva and one in Zurich. I finally opted for the one in Zurich to discover another city and fully experience this placement year somewhere outside of my comfort zone.

What inspired you about this placement?

I saw in this placement an opportunity to not only learn more about one of my passions, as I have always loved aviation, but also to improve my German. Even though it was probably a bit risky from me, I only applied to jobs within industries that I was genuinely interested in, such as the automotive, travel, jewelry, and computing fields. Thankfully I was offered one in aviation!

What have been some of your highlights to date?

I had many highlights during this work placement. Below are just a few:

  • FC Barcelona Game in Geneva
  • 10 years of QR in Switzerland celebrated in Zurich
  • QR E-Commerce workshop in London
  • Distribution of flyers at the Zurich train station for our brand campaign
  • Qatar Embassy event in Bern
  • Realisation of many tactical print advertising
  • Achievement of a new work certificate: Safety Management Course (online)
  • Amazing colleagues around the world!

In conclusion, make the most of your placement, as this work experience will also help you see the real world of industry and working life! It is also awesome. It has seriously been one of the best years of my life so far!