Monday, 18 April 2016

The Birmingham Project: Let's Build Local Communities!

The Birmingham Project is back in June 2016, with a new cohort of students. But for anyone who is unfamiliar with the Project, I participated in 2015, with a two week research project. Coming from a legal background, this seemed somewhat unconventional for me. But The Birmingham Project pushed me outside of my comfort zone and gave me hands-on experience to ‘think outside the box’, beyond my law degree.

Name: Pavinder Bhangu
Field of study: Law

Enterprising activity: The Birmingham Project, 2015

I was put in a mixed-disciplined group and we were set a project entitled ‘How can business and education combine to encourage social mobility in Birmingham’. In order to tackle our project, we decided to create a website and a digital magazine. 

The website would offer careers advice to students from low socio-economic backgrounds. On the website, there was a wide variety of content, such as facilities for students to create their own avatar and advertisements for networking opportunities. 

Students could even discover more about cultural events taking place near them. This was aimed to increase cultural capital - not only would the students be increasing their networks and choosing their career paths, but they would be increasing their cultural knowledge.

We also created a digital magazine entitled ‘Crossroads Plus’. This would also help to facilitate social mobility in Birmingham because if a student could not afford internet access at home, they could print off the magazine at school and read it in their own leisure. We also contained QR codes on the website and magazine, so smart-phone users could scan the code and read ‘on the go’. 

Most importantly, we included links to the ‘Crossroads’ social media pages, so our young audience would always be informed of important career information.
My team and I at our KPMG prize dinner.
I was assigned the role of market researcher. I conducted interviews and analysed data for the purposes of market research. Furthermore, I presented our final product, with my teammates, in front of our audience. My voice was also used 
as voice-over for our promotional video.

I really enjoyed the role I was assigned. I pushed myself to step outside my ‘comfort-zone’ and even talk to strangers and interview them to talk to them about their opinions on social mobility. This opportunity to be enterprising, therefore, has really increased by public-speaking skills. 

Overall, our project was a great success. Our target audience found our finished product to be highly sustainable. I found the team work, market research, promotion and presentation involved in our product highly enjoyable, especially when such a highly valuable and unique product was produced.  So, we won dinner at KPMG’s office.

It has given me ‘can-do’ attitude I would have never received from my law degree and has even helped me to decide which career path I am most suited for. As a result of the project, I am now pursuing a career in Marketing, PR and Communications. The fast-paced nature of the project really appealed to me. If we were given more time, we would have loved to have actually implemented our website and digital magazine to make it a reality. But hey – what’s stopping me from doing it now?

Pavinder Bhangu
Student PR Team

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