Bury St Edmunds: Four students at West Suffolk College get the call up for Mercury Challenge

The West Suffolk College. The West Suffolk College.

Friday, March 14, 2014
10:17 AM

West Suffolk College students who will be going forward to the final stage of an exciting competition in partnership with Archant, publishers of the Bury St Edmunds Mercury, have now been named.

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The final three teams consist of Rachael Nixon, 27, from Bury St Edmunds, and Sharae Harris, 19, from Thetford; Ellesse Patterson, 17, from Haverhill; and Daniel Horne, 17, from Newmarket.

The Bury Mercury Challenge was launched in November 2013. Students from across the college were invited to pitch for the opportunity to design a campaign brand, including a logo, strapline and visuals, for the college, in Bury.

Judging took place during the College’s Enterprise Week, which was held between November 18 and 22, when the concept of a footprint, under the strapline A Step Further was chosen as the campaign theme.

That branding has been refined to A Step Forward in collaboration with Archant and students have been asked to work on building a campaign around it. The winning student or students will be allocated a marketing and communication budget of over £30,000 to be used across any of the Archant media platforms.

They will be involved in running the news websites and the Bury St Edmunds Mercury newspaper next month.

The three finalists will be asked to present their ideas to a panel comprising staff from Archant and West Suffolk College, this Friday.

UCS Graphic Design students Rachael Nixon and Sharae Harris are working as a team.

Rachael said: “We meticulously analysed the current West Suffolk College campaign and collated survey results from school leavers and adults who are thinking about returning to education. Based on this information we have used our branding and design knowledge to create a more interactive approach to the way the college holds its open events and the way it is portrayed within schools.”

Daniel Horne, who is doing the Level 3 Business course at West Suffolk College, said: “My campaign is all about inviting students to take up the many opportunities the college offers. The local community is at the forefront of what we do and the campaign message is a challenge to students to push themselves to the best of their abilities and hopefully develop into mature, talented adults by the time they leave college.”

Ellesse Patterson is completing a Diploma in Caring for Children.

She said: “This competition is a wonderful opportunity to gain crucial work experience which will greatly help with university and/or job applications.

“I have looked at the recruitment opportunities for a college in Suffolk and focused on possible flaws in previous marketing strategies. Word of mouth recommendations can be key. We are far more likely to listen to a peer’s opinion than to any other.”

Mercury editor Russell Cook said: “We are quickly getting to the crucial stage of the intern challenge and now the students have been chosen I’m looking forward to hearing their ideas this week and going on to work with them.

“It’s a brilliant initiative and a great way for the newspaper to be involved with the college and the students.”

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