Students impress local business with festive competition

Level 3 Business students wowed local businessman, Alex Hollinworth, last week as they styled up a storm with their festive visual merchandising ideas.

Alex, a commercial photographer based in Barnsley, has worked with a number of big-name brands including Olaplex, St. Moriz and Pura Cosmetics. As an expert in making products pop, he was asked to come and judge the students as part of their visual merchandising and team-building modules.

“Visiting Barnsley College is a fantastic experience for me, it was only a few years ago when I was here myself in exactly the same position as the current students!” said Alex.

“Considering the rapid growth of my own business after leaving the College, and the talent and skills being presented by current students, I find myself enormously hopeful for the future of the region.”

As well as styling the products, each of the students involved presented their displays as a professional group pitch. The groups explained why they made certain choices by delving into the psychological side of visual marketing and the effects of colour, imagery and placement on consumers.

After the presentations, Alex selected the winners. These were Emily Hodgkiss, Kieran Pawlyn, Ben Hollgate and Liam Clarke, with a striking – and very festive – pink design. Of the entrants, Alex remarked that “the projects were brilliant. Certain groups in particular did a fantastic job and it was great to see the students exercising such ingenuity and confidence when speaking about their work.”

Emily Hodgkiss, captain of the winning team, added: “I loved the whole process of creating our display and learning the different aspects that make it engaging and convincing for customers.

“The competition really helped with my presentation skills and confidence, as well as allowing me to use my creative mindset!”

Aneta Worku is a teacher of Business at the College and has been there to guide students through their visual merchandising module. She hopes that taking part in the competition will encourage her students to get creative more often.

“It’s fantastic to see the students putting their new knowledge into practice.” she said. “The standard of entries for this competition was very high and we are really pleased to hear that Alex, a professional, considers them to be worthy of praise.

“Visual merchandising is a great way for Business students to express their creative side. I can’t wait to see what they come up with next!”

The event is just one of many hands-on activities where Business students have been able to gain insight from real industry professionals.

If you’ve got entrepreneurial spirit, a flair for visual merchandising or the makings of a manager, why not take a look at our range of Business courses? Alternatively, chat to our friendly Information Unit and they can create a programme that is tailored to your skills, abilities and passions. Email us now or call 01226 216 123.

Last updated: 16th December 2021

Originally posted on: 16th December 2021