Media students at Middlesex had the opportunity to learn from the creative industries' finest in April 2014, when FutureRising brought a host of expert speakers to the University for a series of talks and masterclasses.
With the aim of bridging the gap between education and employment in the creative industries, FutureRising specialises in hosting events which give students the chance to both learn from and network with top industry professionals. Sharing their knowledge and experience at FutureRising Middlesex were Dan Holt, planner at Krowd London; Michela Nicchiotti and Lucy Dale, both part of the creative team at M&C Saatchi; and Will Humphrey, planner at Lida and co-founder of the original AdGrads web resource.
"We are currently witnessing a seismic shift in advertising, PR and marketing communications," said Dr James Graham, Programme Leader for BA Advertising, PR and Media at Middlesex and organiser of the event.
"FutureRising Middlesex was intended to provide students with the opportunity to learn about these changes from the coalface of contemporary promotional practice." To put their learning into practice following the talks, students were put into teams and given a brief to 'bring 3D printing into mainstream popularity'.
With an hour to prepare their brief and just 90 seconds to pitch their ideas to the panel, the Dragon's Den-style format brought out the best in the students as they worked together with the help of the experts to develop their campaigns. "The location, facilities and students at Middlesex all exceeded our expectations," said Donald Fogarty, the founder of FutureRising.
"Our industry partners were very impressed with the ability of those who attended, the creativity from the team exercise and the confidence shown during presentations and networking." Radka Polackova, a BA Advertising, PR & Media student whose team won the pitch challenge, felt the event provided a great opportunity for aspiring students to learn how to get their foot on the ladder after graduation.
"What I learned was that if you want to make it in the industry you need to make yourself stand out, you need to be nice to people and be as useful as possible once given an opportunity to shine," she said.
Following the success of FutureRising Middlesex, another event is planned for 2015 with the date still to be confirmed.