Dr Philip Alford, Lecturer in Digital Marketing, is pioneering a new way of giving students interesting real-world projects as part of their degree programmes. He has linked up with an international web platform that offers online and flexible project-based work experience opportunities.
Riipen brings together students who seek authentic learning experiences with industry partners. It is a Canadian company, working with more than 140 universities and higher education institutions and over 10,000 employers, keen to receive fresh insights into their businesses. Southampton is the first UK university to sign up with the platform, and its first projects centre on business innovation and marketing analytics.
“Establishing links between companies and our students can be challenging; we now have the chance to showcase our areas of expertise, and to invite organisations to get in touch with us and see how we can help,” says Philip.
Principal Teaching Fellow Karen Clinkard believes live project work is essential to give undergraduates an insight into the commercial world. She and colleagues have successfully linked up with 11 companies this year: “My class is now searchable by prospective clients in North America, and we are alerted if there is a match,” she explains. “Projects can involve individuals or groups. The students manage the relationship across different time zones themselves, and I can see their interactions through the platform.”
Marketing undergraduate Elise Paramore is helping Girlguiding celebrate the 100-year anniversary of its New Forest centre, Foxlease. It involves creating a value framework, carrying out surveys, and analysing the results to help them plan a successful event – all done online.
As I was a Girl Guide myself for 13 years, I’m very excited to be involved in this project. It’s great experience to work with a ‘real-life’ client as I will be doing this after I graduate. Furthermore, I am also gaining a deeper understanding of survey design and analysis, which will help me write my dissertation after my placement year.
Profile is a biannual magazine of news, research, and insight from Southampton Business School. You can read more articles like this by checking out past editions of the publication.
And if you’d like to provide learning experiences to our students, please contact Mihaela Gherda, Southampton Business School Administrator, at firstname.lastname@example.org