Creative Business Project is an optional module introduced as part of a Master program at the Centre for Culture and Media Studies of University of Warwick. The module allows students to apply their knowledge and gain experience by working directly with the staff of a creative or media organization. Though rooted in the sphere of creativity and arts, the module is primarily related to business planning, product design, marketing as well as strategy development.
The structure of the module
Creative Business Project is a 10-week module. The work on the module is carried out in a student team that helps a ‘client’ company to find a strategic solution to a challenge they face. The Project has 3 parts:
Part 1: Preparation
Preparation begins at the university and then continues at a client company. First, students are encouraged to do a detailed company background check, what will help them respond adequately to the requirements of an upcoming briefing session. Next, students learn how to develop basic skills to become reflective practitioners. Such skills are perceived as crucial for self-assessment and prepare students for group work. After visiting the ‘client’ company premises, meeting their staff and receiving the project briefs, students are introduced with the concept of group dynamics through a series of practical exercises. The exercises are designed in the way to let students explore an impact they can make on their team and the final outcome of the project. The preparation phase is rounded up with team tutorials when students design a strategy for the final assignment.
Part 2: Implementation
Within the next 5 weeks, students work on their project focusing on its content and their role as a team member. They maintain close contact with their ‘client’ company and receive tutorial support from their university.
Part 3: Delivery and reflection
The module is wrapped up with a presentation, delivered to the ‘client’ company, that accounts for 60% of the module assessment. Student teams receive feedback from the company representatives, which is later on incorporated into the individual assignment. The final assignment is a reflection paper in which students trace back their practical learning experience and management issues to theories and concepts that had been studied before. The reflection paper constitutes the remaining 40% of the module assessment.
The impact of the module
The impact of the module satisfies the needs of all involved stakeholders, namely the Centre for Culture and Media Studies, their students, and participating ‘client’ companies.
For the Center, constant active search for the ‘client’ companies, that would host their students, results in a broader network of external partners. For now, these partners include BBC Worldwide, GfK NOP Media, Momentum Pictures , Warwick Arts Centre, the BBC Technology Direction team, Maverick TV, All3 Media International, and the Association of Independent Music, etc. For students, such a module adds to their CVs, but most importantly, to their confidence, competitiveness and entrepreneurial attitude – well sought after traits on a contemporary labour market. And, finally, for the ‘client’ companies, student recommendations serve as a kick-off point for a change to be implemented within these organisations.
This article is based on a case study originally written by Scott Revers (University of Warwick), developed as a part of the WEXHE Project.
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