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Student work connects with community

UCOL Bachelor of Creative Media students contributed 2,835 hours and talent of pro bono work in 2018 to the local not-for-profit sector.

“One of UCOL’s strengths is educating students in real world working scenarios, connecting them with real clients and projects, gaining valuable industry learning before they graduate” said UCOL Chief Executive Dr Lynn. “Our students connect with industry in a space we call the ‘UCOL Workhub’ which is a specially created professional work studio environment. Forty clients from across not for profit, education, social enterprise, and community group sectors have worked with students in the UCOL Workhub this year. The benefits are mutual, our students learn, our clients get creative outputs from photography, design, 3D animation, video and illustration work.

UCOL Bachelor of Information and Communication Technology students also worked collaboratively on projects in the UCOL Workhub with the creative students this year, and this is set to expand in 2019.

Students learn the business side of the industry alongside completing projects. They work with clients to understand the project brief, present their work to clients for feedback, and then prepare an invoice to show the value of the project, with the amount reduced to zero based on UCOL’s community contribution. The invoice is based on the chargeable hours of work directly attributed to the projects the students have completed, charged out at the junior designer rate in industry. In 2018, for Creative students alone, this totals to a staggering $212,625.

“Creative staff guide the students in the UCOL Workhub and are immensely proud of what they achieve, said UCOL Executive Dean of Humanities and Business, Dean Rankin. “Feedback from clients, UCOL staff, and especially the students, has been excellent, and shows how this new innovative way of students gaining industry experience while they study is very effective in preparing students for the workforce. If you are interested in talking about the UCOL Workhub, then contact Tricia Falkner and Toni Larsen at UCOL.”

In accepting projects from clients, a key focus is mainly on projects that do not compete with the work our graduates are doing and local industry. The projects for clients in the community would most likely not have occurred due to budgetary constraints of many of these organisations. Some of the clients of the UCOL Workhub in 2018 include the Parents Centre, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Cancer Society, Volunteer Resource Centre, Ruahine Whio Protector, and Just Zilch.

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