Level 3 IT students at USP College Palmer’s Campus have been working with Tail to Tell, a doggy day care and home boarding service based in Billericay, to develop a website for them.
Tracey Stokes, owner of Tail to Tell, visited the College at the start of the project to give the students a brief and an overview of the company. 25 students worked on the initial project, which Tracey then shortlisted down to five. The five shortlisted students then had to present their website designs to Tracey, explaining how and why they had come up with the initial concept, the functionality and how it would evolve going forward.
Tracey then shortlisted the five students down to two. The two finalists were Emily Shea and Dagomir Wojcik. Emily and Dagomir then had to present to Tracey their ideas for a Twitter account for her company, designing the page in line with their website and explaining how Twitter could be used to help Tracey’s business and visibility to potential customers.
Tracey then had the difficult decision of choosing the overall winner, which was Emily.
Tracey said: “To choose a winner was so much harder than I thought it would be. The quality of the designs has been so high. It has not been easy. I chose Emily as her website was professional, easy to navigate and really reflected what Tail to Tell is all about.”
Emily said: “I am so pleased to have been chosen as the winner. I had never designed a website before, but I really enjoyed it. I had several setbacks during the project, but I had to learn how to overcome them. It was a great learning experience.”
Working with real employers is part of the College’s career-focused learning strategy and the College specialises in getting students into high-end careers, particularly in the following five sector areas: Financial & Professional Services, Health, Care & Medical, Early Years, Childcare & Education, Life & Sports Sciences and Creative & Digital.
All students joining the College automatically become a trainee in one of its College Companies. There are eight College Companies, each of which link with local employers to work on real projects for free. This is a key way for students to get involved in real life industry projects and gain invaluable experience.
Our IT and media students are part of our College Company Orb, in the Creative & Digital sector area, which gives students the opportunity to work on real projects like this. It also looks great on their CV and also gives them the competitive edge when applying for a job.
The College has also recently teamed up with Career Colleges to deliver industry led qualifications and education in Digital Technologies and Professional & Financial Services. The courses currently part of the Career Colleges model are Level 3 Information Technology and Level 3 Business, with more to follow. These courses have been specifically designed with employers to help our students gain the skills they need for the career they want.
Gavin Gill, IT teacher, who has been heading up the Tail to Tell project at the College said: “Working with the Career Colleges is a new model of learning which enables the students to work with a real employer on a real brief, which allows for more creativity. It also helps students develop their employability skills and gives them the opportunity to gain skills specific to their career choice, or learn a completely new one, allowing them to be able to make a more informed decision about their future career choice.”
To find out more about Career Colleges and our College Companies, or if you are interested in working with the College on a project, from website design, graphic design and app development, to filmmaking, photography and market research, then please visit our website, uspcollege.ac.uk, for more information.
Tracey Stokes, Dagomir Wojcik and winner Emily Shea