DJS Research Encourage Young Enterprise At The University of Manchester

30th October 2013 13:48

DJS Research Ltd is pleased to say that they have once again been involved in promoting the value of upcoming business professionals in the local area. As part of the agency's commitment to promoting the local community, Elliot Simmonds, who leads marketing and communications at the market research consultancy, attended a business-game event on Monday October 29th at the University of Manchester in the role of marketing expert. This is the second year in which Elliot has attended in this capacity, and is a demonstration of DJS Research’s continued and well-documented support of young entrepreneurs, and youth development in the local area more specifically.


DJS Research at The University of Manchester

The University of Manchester is the UK’s largest single-site university, currently supporting around 40,000 students in their studies. Selected individuals from local businesses were invited to act as experts in specific field by the university, to advise and mentor groups of undergraduate students who were involved in specific processes within fictionalised businesses – i.e. launching a new product, setting up a start-up, re-branding. Dominic Laing, Careers Consultant and Team Work Challenge Co-ordinator, explains in more detail:

"Team Work Challenge was a 2-day event for students from the School of Social Sciences at the University of Manchester. We aimed to provide the students with a team working experience to make decisions about business challenges. Around 40 students attended forming groups to discuss case studies relating to products and services. Discussions ensued about target markets for pizza, cupcakes and sugar-free sweets as well as proposals for promoting a charitable training trust for the young unemployed. Their own ideas were given validation and steer from local experts in Finance, Income Generation and Marketing and PR (thanks to Elliot at DJS Research). The second day saw them deliver a 10 minute presentation to a panel of judges from local businesses and a winner was chosen and awarded a prize. We hope that as a result of their hard work students will be able to reflect on, articulate, and demonstrate a range of business skills when they apply for graduate jobs, go for interviews and participate in assessment centres. Our Team Work Challenge was brought to life by our visiting experts and panel of judges. Many thanks for your support."

The role of the experts was to guide and consider the groups’ ideas realistically, based on their specific area of knowledge – marketing, PR or finance for example. It is hoped that by questioning and coaching the teams, they will gain valuable experience of the business process and be more equipped for the job market on leaving university. Following this coaching, the teams presented their ideas and business plans to a panel of judges.

Talking about the event, Elliot, who is himself a graduate of the University of Manchester, encouraged other businesses to consider the advantages of this kind of involvement with local universities and colleges:

“Obviously for me it’s a really nice personal accolade, and I do really enjoy going back to Manchester and re-living my student days; even if only for a few hours and from the other side of the desk! More than that though, I think it’s great for DJS to be involved in this – at the very least we get ourselves in front of a  group of really motivated, talented students, who are obviously interested in the world of business. In addition, it’s also good to move yourself outside your comfort zone and look at how you might solve other problems you might not necessarily come up against in your day-to-day working, it makes you think about things.”

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