Four years at number one!
Solent Creatives this week celebrated four years as the ‘number one’ creative agency for students and graduates of Southampton Solent University.
This unique initiative provides an innovative opportunity for businesses to access the diverse talent pool of students studying at Solent for creative freelance assignments.
Solent students’ skills span a wide variety of creative disciplines including design, film-making, journalism, content generation, photography, PR and marketing communications; all valuable skills that are in demand locally.
Working closely with both students and employers, Solent Creatives carefully skills-match the students to briefs, from then on the students work directly with the client managing the project from start to finish.
During its four years of operation the agency received 1110 project inquiries at a rate of about 33 a month. With a contact list of 740 businesses, of which 215 were new business contacts in the last year, there are many satisfied business customers across the region.
One example is Ann Hales of Business South who said: “The Solent Creative’s scheme is an amazing opportunity for our local talented students to gain the needed hands on experience of working on a project within the creative industries and the businesses gain from the fresh ideas and enthusiasm that they bring. In the ever increasingly competitive job market, it’s becoming more apparent that students need to show they have had real work experience.”
Some 1000 current Solent students are registered with the agency, providing creative services to businesses large and small and since 2013 the opportunity to work through Solent Creatives has been embedded in the curriculum. This means that students at level 5 or 6 on their degree course are expected to work on one freelance project ether individually or as part of a team over a 13 week period. In the current academic year some 320 students chose a Solent Creatives course option.
Academic Leader Caroline Barfoot said of the agency: “It’s a delight to celebrate four years of successful operation of Solent Creatives, a wealth and huge diversity of projects have been completed since the agency was started. It is very much a ‘win-win’ achievement - local businesses and industry have benefitted from the ideas and enthusiasm of our students, who in turn have learned and flourished through the chance to work on live briefs with real clients.”
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About Southampton Solent University
Southampton Solent University offers more than 23,000 students over 200 qualifications ranging from HND to PhD, in subjects such as maritime education and training, fashion and design, media and television, music, health, sport and leisure, business, IT and technology. The University was awarded the 2013 Quality Assurance kitemark for quality and standards of teaching and learning. Solent was voted one of the most creative universities in the UK in a Which? University 2014 poll of students. Solent Business School has been awarded the Small Business Charter Award, which is supported by the Association of Business Schools and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and ‘gold approval’ by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).