Students solve business challenges for local employers as part of the Grads4Nottm initiative

Date posted: July 14, 2022
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Over 100 students and recent graduates from Nottingham Trent University (NTU) worked with a range of local employers to solve business challenges as part of an event bringing the two together.

Grads4Nottm is NTU’s annual initiative highlighting Nottingham as a graduate destination by showcasing the range of businesses and employment opportunities that exist in the city. The event also allows businesses to gain access to the talents and skills of students at NTU.

For the 8th year, the Employability Team arranged for local employers from many different areas of business to submit challenges for NTU students to complete. The student teams work full time for two weeks in June and then present their ideas at a showcase event.

One of these challenges involved Innovation Nottinghamshire, a not-for-profit organisation which promotes innovation, business and career opportunities in Nottinghamshire.

The student team was tasked with creating a video promoting the use of 5G and the technologies it enables and then relate it back to a local project in Nottinghamshire. The team worked with Rufford Abbey Country Park to promote its virtual reality ghost walk which utilises 5G technology.

Amber Richardson, a BA Honours in Media production student at Nottingham Trent University who worked on the 5G project, said: “Grads4Nottm gave me an amazing opportunity to work with Innovation Nottinghamshire and the chance to connect more with Nottingham as we got to explore Rufford Park and other Nottingham locations as part of our research. We were really happy with the final video we produced as a team.”

Nick Mellors, Director at Innovation Nottinghamshire, said: “The Grads4Nottm student team have been really great and positive team members. The quality of the videos they produced was excellent and they did everything from creating concepts, scripting, performing and editing. We will be using their content in future 5G careers events and across our social media.”

Another example of one of the challenges set for a student team was with Nottingham’s Let’s Talk Wellbeing service promoting its mental health support for veterans.

A team of two NTU students was tasked with creating an animation and targeted marketing campaign to increase awareness of Let’s Talk Wellbeing’s therapy services and the support available within the community. The team created an animation, website content and social media content for Let’s Talk Wellbeing’s social media accounts.

Tamara Sunina, a recent graduate who studied a BA Honours in Animation at Nottingham Trent University and worked on the Let’s Talk Wellbeing project, said: “Grads4Nottm really taught me the importance of doing plenty of research for a project and knowing your target audience. It was a great experience to learn from veterans in the community and charities in Nottingham who helped inform our final animation piece.”

Matthew Smeaton, a Clinical Lead and Cognitive Behavioural Therapist at Let’s Talk Wellbeing, said: “The two students we worked with produced a fantastic animation, wrote the script, developed the content for the website and promoted our services on social media. It has been a really useful project to be part of, we have come out of our involvement with Grads4Nottm with something really tangible that’s going to be embedded on our website for years to come.”

The Grads4Nottm initiative concluded with each of the student teams presenting their ideas and work at a showcase event held in NTU’s Newton building. The teams were split up into groups and presented their work to several businesses including the business they completed a challenge for.

Aga Kelly, Work-Like Learning Coordinator at Nottingham Trent University, said: “Grads4Nottm allows us to give opportunities to our students to work with local employers from a wide variety of areas, matching their skills and interests to the challenges set by the businesses. This not only gives businesses access to the talents and creativity of our students but also enables students to get
hands-on experience with many different employers across Nottingham.

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