Imagine contributing toward the development and rebuilding of third world countries while at the same time earning your degree. That’s exactly what fourth year Marketing Communications students at BCIT are involved in. The students have developed marketing campaigns for an organization called Developing World Connections (DWC).
DWC is a non-profit organization which organizes working vacations for people in developing countries where they assist with sustainable projects such as housing, health centers, community centers, irrigation projects and education centers.
“As a last step before graduation, our students work on a project each year that allows them work with real clients and this year we were lucky enough to work with Developing World Connections,” says Jenness Murray, Department Head of the Marketing Communications Program at BCIT.
According to Murray, BCIT’s long standing relationship with a marketing agency called MacLaren McCann gave them the opportunity to work with them on their DWC account.
“They briefed the students on what their marketing opportunity would be and the students broke off into groups and worked as mini advertising agencies, developing campaigns for the client (DWC),” she says.
The students were given about six weeks to come up with a complete campaign which they pitched to the client as if they were a real agency trying to land an account. And according to DWC President Wayne Mcrann, the students did a phenomenal job.
“I was awe-struck. I was overwhelmed with their passion, their confidence, their professionalism and the amount of effort they put into the case study and then the presentation,” says Mcrann.
With all of the recent activity in Haiti and Chile, the partnership between BCIT and DWC is very timely and according to Murray, it has resonated very well with the students. The winning group was lucky enough to have their campaign put into use and they were also awarded the opportunity to meet and learn from top industry professionals.
Mcrann and his staff at DWC are hoping the new advertising campaigns will help spread the word about their organization and to give more people interested in going on working vacations the chance to do so.
“It really is an opportunity to take a vacation and give something back. The most common feedback that we get is that it’s a life changing experience and 99 percent of our participants say that it’s the greatest thing they’ve ever done,” says Mcrann.