Barking & Dagenham College students pitch to judges in bid to win takeover spot

Judging the entries was tough

Judging the entries was tough - Credit: Archant

Students from Barking and Dagenham College have spent the last two days standing before a judging panel and pitching their ideas, Dragons Den-style, in a bid to win a spot on the team taking over the Barking and Dagenham Post this summer. Each of the 10 groups, comprising 17 individuals, had to come up with their own marketing plan to showcase the college to prospective students using innovative and original ideas across everything from traditional print to videos and social media.

Judging the entries was tough

Judging the entries was tough - Credit: Archant

Sports student Sam Dixon combined his love of technology and outdoor activities to create a video showcasing a day in the life of a student at the college.

Judging the entries was tough

Judging the entries was tough - Credit: Archant

Strapping a GoPro – a hardy portable camera – to his chest using a harness, Sam filmed every step of his day in super speed and edited it all to a thumping soundtrack.

Judging the entries was tough

Judging the entries was tough - Credit: Archant

The 17-year-old sport development coaching and fitness student came up with the idea after recently relocating to Harold Hill from Surrey and realising he knew very little about life at the Rush Green college.

“My biggest worry about going to college was the first encounters and fear of not knowing where to go and what to expect,” he said.

“This is when I decided to create a video showing future potential students what a day in the life of a Barking and Dagenham College student was like.”

Trainee hairdresser Rheanna Styles said she wanted to use the Post to help inspire people with learning difficulties.

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The 16-year-old, who herself suffers from dyslexia, delivered a confident pitch to the six “dragons” yesterday.

She said she wanted to generate more interest in the college’s facilities, such as its professional standard salon, and use the newspaper to inform people about learning difficulties.

Asked why she wanted to become a part of the takeover team, she said: “It’s the fact that I could inspire someone else – that is what I want.”

She said she would like to be an “ambassador for dyslexia” in the college, adding: “I want people to know that they can do it and that there are ways around it.

“If you work with it you can achieve what you want in life and reach your potential.”

One of her ideas included using different coloured backgrounds in print, which can help some dyslexic suffers to read better.

Trio “Teen Scene” were eager to showcase the college’s illustrious roster of alumni – including Hollywood actor Idris Elba and sprinter Adam Gemili.

Business students Mihai Morar, 16, Eryngyn Skjeza, 19, and Jacob Ranson, 18, presented their idea to use videos and interviews with successful former college students.

They said their campaign could run for six weeks and utilise social media to reach as many potential future students as possible.

The group also explored the idea of bringing in new and vibrant colours to the Post’s design, such as the red of local team Dagenham and Redbridge FC, in a bid to appeal to younger readers.

When asked why they had applied to be on the student takeover team, Mihail said: “I took this opportunity because I’m interested in this kind of subject.

“I have always been interested in journalism and newspapers.”

Eryngyn Shkjeza said: “This is something new for me and it is something I would like to learn and see if I like it.”

Art and design student Lucy Ufuah came up with a new slogan for the college to entice would-be students.

The slogan read: “Excellence is our motive and success is our aim,” and Lucy said it could be advertised along the side of a bus which would be used especially to take students to and from the college.

The 16-year-old art and design student also came up with the innovative idea of creating a 3D virtual tour of the campus so that prospective students who perhaps were unable to attend an open day could see still see inside.

Telling the “dragons” that 90 per cent of students at the college went on to university or to be successful in business, she also suggested using an incentive, such as a voucher, to give to existing students who successfully referred their friends.

For more on the Create Your Future project, which will see up to a dozen students takeover the Barking and Dagenham Post for a week this summer, click here or see the next edition of the Barking and Dagenham Post.