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yMedia Challenge 2008

"I need a job to get experience; I need experience to get a job. Lame."

Following the successes of last year's Challenge, the yMedia Challenge 2008 is in full swing to help fix this conundrum faced by so many students.

The yMedia Challenge is a two week competition that matches students with community groups, helping community groups get a head-start in the digital space and providing opportunities for that much needed experience that is so often demanded of graduates entering the workforce for the first time. It was created in July 2007 by the yMedia Group, a social enterprise born in the same year.

Directed by Pamela Minett, Adele Barlow and Janet Mazenier, the yMedia Group was created by Pamela Minett and Adele Barlow to 'create more effective relationships for students integrating real-world experience and industry links to media training institutions'.

With sponsorship and funding coming from the Tindall Foundation, Saatchi &Saatchi, Microsoft NZ and Shift – the 2007 event was supported and made possible by contribution of many different individuals and organisations.

"Saatchi & Saatchi believe in the importance of strong, integrated advertising campaigns and are very pleased to work with yMedia to expand the opportunities for NPO and tertiary students in the field of digital marketing."

Supporting organisations so far this year include Telecom R&V, Terabyte, Natcoll, Unitec, Media Design School and many others.

Students have two weeks to complete a digital media project for their chosen community group. The community groups are heavily involved in the entire process, and a large emphasis is placed on creating sustainable, manageable products that suit the long-term goals of each community group.

"It's not about a 'hit and run' solution or just producing something flashy." Says Pamela, "The success of the projects is determined by its practicality and the organisation's ability to understand and continue rolling with it."

Margaret Free, from SIDS New Zealand, a 2007 participating community group said, "Words cannot express what I am feeling deep down. This whole experience has been absolutely amazing for me."

The student teams also benefit from the experience. Nathan Champion, a Unitec student and part of last year's winning team, said, "yMedia has given me direction about what I want to do with the rest of my life."

The yMedia Group will run the two-week competition in Auckland and Wellington in July/August this year and are calling for all interested community groups to start registering their interest.

To register interest, email 'participate@ymediagroup.org' with your community group's name, contact details and location.

More information can be found at www.ymediagroup.org or by emailing info[at]ymediagroup.org.


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