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VMnews The Venture Matrix newsletter 2013/14 TM

A roundup of the last year’s projects including‌ Working with author Linda Hoy Postgraduate consultancy projects Community projects make a difference

Helping our students to Graduate with more 1

Venture Matrix


Who we are and what we do We provide Sheffield Hallam students with real-world work experience as part of their course. They have the opportunity to work on projects for local organisations, schools and University departments. This gives them the business awareness, hands-on experience and workready skills future employers are looking for, improving their employment prospects after graduation. Schools and organisations benefit from the talent and specialist skills our students can offer, drawing from a range of subjects. Director

External Projects Team

The project director is responsible for the strategic direction of the Venture Matrix scheme and promoting it to both internal and external audiences.

The External Projects Team deals with projects related to external organisations. It’s also responsible for opportunities with University staff and internal departments.


Schools and Colleges Projects Team

The co-ordinator is responsible for managing all enquiries and allocating them accordingly, whether they’re from academics, students, schools or external organisations.

The Schools and Colleges Projects Team deals with projects related to schools and colleges within the local region, in particular enterprise activities.

Find out how you can get involved Phone 0114 225 4468 Email Visit


Venture Matrix is embedded into over 60 course modules.

The VM models. Ways of working with us. We have a flexible approach and offer employability projects tailored to fit many different courses. This adaptability allows us to offer projects to as many students as possible, offering work-based projects to fit any module. We currently have seven tried and tested models for working with students.

One client per module One client provides one project to an entire module and the students break down into smaller teams to work on it. This has been one of our most successful models, creating a healthy completion among the students who become spurred on by each other. It was used this year for graphic design students who created packaging for designer Andrea Billard’s lingerie range.


One client per seminar group This also involves one client working with many students, but in this case each seminar group gets its own client, again breaking down into smaller students groups to work on the projects. This model was used this year by John Hayes for his animation and games design students in their integrated project module, where each seminar group produced animations for their client.

One project per student group One group of four to five students work with one client. This is a tried and tested model and was used this year for many different students, including Steve Harriman’s PR and media students and Margaret Spencer’s postgraduate occupational therapy students.

One student one project

Events support for schools

Students work on projects individually. This model works well in modules where students independently look for work experience projects from a number of sources. This year Alison McHale’s English students used it to work with clients on transcribing and document design projects.

First year students get the opportunity to gain some experience supporting large school events organised by the Venture Matrix team. This works very well with business and IT students who use this as an introduction to work-based projects.

Portfolio students

The Venture Matrix facilitate groups of students offering projects to other students. For example, final year students outsource an element of the project provided by their client to first year students. This gives the first years an introduction to work-based projects and gives the final year students some valuable delegation and management experience.

One student works with numerous clients to create a portfolio of work. This works particularly well for students undertaking applied projects.

Student to student


Cross-course student partnership delivers great results for author Linda Hoy This year, students from three different modules formed an extended team of diverse talents to deliver a coordinated marketing campaign for author Linda Hoy’s latest book The Effect. A seminar group consisting of four teams of students from animation courses took on the challenge of creating short promotional animations about the book. The animations acted as short trailers, communicating its themes to the audience. The students worked closely with Linda and her team, holding regular catch-up meetings and keeping them involved with the animations’ progress. One team created an animation of Linda speaking about her work, which will be used on a New York radio station’s website.

You can see it at com/shucade A group of students from the work-based professional project module worked on improving Linda’s web presence. By exploring social media in a professional setting, Alex Adams, Ravi Jassal, Jamie Pilkington and James Turner were able to bring Linda into the top results on a Google search. They also introduced an initially reluctant Linda to Twitter – a tool that she’d never encountered before. With their client’s approval, they then set up an account and maintained it through its initial stages before handing it over for her to control. The group also set up, ran and linked other social media sites, including YouTube which provided a platform for the animation students’ work. This all contributed to improving the client’s search engine ranking.

Finally, Linda and her team worked closely with media and PR students Farida Tejan and Emma Flowers to write press releases about the book and about Linda’s work with the University. The students also researched appropriate and effective media outlets for the stories and made recommendations about which publications would target their clients. This was a great opportunity for the students to practise their skills in a professional setting as a part of their course. They produced high-quality results and delivered the essential strands of a marketing campaign, giving their client a solid foundation upon which to further it.

‘We have had a really positive experience of working with Sheffield Hallam students. Venture Matrix offers the opportunity to work with the next generation of innovative and creative professionals’ Linda Hoy

Student Chris Owen with theatre producer Bobby Tiwana.

Editing and transcribing projects result in further work for English and screen studies student This year, final year English and screen studies student Chris Owen engaged with Venture Matrix on his work-based project module. He took this opportunity to develop a portfolio of professional writing, editing original works and transcribing interviews. As part of the project Chris worked for theatre producer Bobby Tiwana who is currently working on a production based around the narrative lives of LGBT Asians living in Britain. Chris approached the project with enthusiasm and professionalism from the start, developing an excellent working relationship with the client from their very first meeting. He quickly completed the initial transcription offered by the client and moved onto transcribing further interviews. To diversify his developing portfolio, Chris also took on an editing project for comedy writers Bowen Revill and Sam Headley of BirdDeity Productions. He edited and proofed a stage production recently edited for radio. Through taking the opportunity to network and build contacts, Chris has secured further editing and transcribing working from both Bobby Tiwana and BirdDeity Productions.

‘The work that Chris undertook was of great value to us and provided us with a much more tidy and professional script to work from. Editing and proofing is either an incredibly time consuming or expensive process which Chris has undertaken to a professional standard. We would be thrilled to work with him in the future in a professional capacity.’ Sam Headley

‘As a freelance cultural producer of 15 years I am fully aware of the potential for learning through making connections, uncovering hidden opportunities and gaining relevant experience. I am currently working on a new project with a niche area of inquiry. The project is a rich resource for mutual benefits through a two-way exchange. If I and my project can be a conduit for skills development, learning and growth for others, whilst at the same time benefitting the project and I, this is a win-win situation.’ Bobby Tiwana

Students produced a clay model of Linda Hoy which they used in an animation.



Postgraduate consultancy projects help local businesses to expand

Community projects that make a real difference This year Venture Matrix students were proud to offer their abilities to local and national charities. Through numerous projects and a lot of hard work, they raised over £3,000 for good causes. They also used their developing expertise to contribute to other aspects of charity and community organisations, such as PR, designing posters and building databases.

St Luke’s Hospice We were happy to continue our relationship with the international marketing postgraduate courses who worked with a huge diversity of clients this year in industries ranging from professional artists to sexual health services. The students worked on a market analysis and expansion projects for 35 different businesses in and around Sheffield. Many of them wanted to expand into international markets and benefited from the wide range of local expertise provided by the students. One of the clients was sexual health screening company, Better2Know, which was exploring how to expand its sexual health testing services, starting with English speaking countries. The project involved investigating markets in the Republic of Ireland and Australia. The students were so successful in their project that the client is returning to offer further projects to the students. Another group worked with Sheffield-based artist Panni Loh on a project to expand her expertise into new fields. Panni wanted to develop a new strand of her business specialising in delivering creative arts courses to businesses to develop their creative thinking. 6

The students also looked into improving the marketing strategy of the current business with the aim of selling the paintings and photography at commercial galleries and to larger clients. They successfully delivered a comprehensive strategy to the client allowing her to implement a successful campaign for both branches of her business. Other clients included specialist recruiters for the computer games industry Aardvark Swift, fashion designer Andrea Billard and industrial manufacturer Mastercut. They all benefited from the comprehensive and dedicated work of the postgraduate students. These projects were professionally managed by our team’s outstanding placement student Nichola Nelson and graduate intern Stephen Arliss. Under the supervision of the team’s project managers, they facilitated the delivery of over fifty projects involving over 350 students. Their hard work and dedication not only added valuable project management experience to their CVs, but allowed the 350 students to develop their employability skills and build their professional networks.

‘I was very impressed with the quality and depth of the project. They understood what we wanted and were able to provide unique insights into our target market that we would not have got on our own. They have saved us time and money in entering a new market.’ Anthea Morris, finance director at Better2Know

‘It was very good to work with the students who acted professionally. Their fresh perspective on the business helped me to focus on the areas that need more work.’

We continued our relationship with local charity St Luke’s Hospice, with an outstanding group of final year business and ICT students organising a University Challenge style quiz to raise money. The group took on the task of creating and running the event in the popular city centre venue Walkabout. The project was very challenging, but equally as beneficial to the group who had the opportunity to network, negotiate, plan and procure, as well practising other enterprising skills. The result was a hugely successful and entertaining event attended by over 100 people A group of postgraduate international marketing students also worked with St Luke’s, this time in the communications department to develop a social media strategy designed to increase online giving to the hospice. The students used their

specialist knowledge to help the organisation strategically improve this vital source of income. Plus we introduced first year events and hospitality student Lucy Rathbone to the St Luke’s events team. They provided her with a summer placement as a part of her events industry experience module. Lucy will be working on the marketing and delivery of many of St Luke’s community fundraising events over the coming months.

Breast Cancer Care We were thrilled to continue and strengthen our relationship with national charity Breast Cancer Care this year, with Venture Matrix students completing several successful projects. A group of final year PR and media students spent the winter semester planning a Christmas craft and vintage market. The group used all their resources and contacts to get donations for the stall from local and national retailers, including The Body Shop and Greggs Bakery. They also used the Venture Matrix team’s contacts to secure a city centre market stall for the sale.

Sainsbury’s store where, dressed in costume, they raffled prizes, packed bags and collected donations. They also recruited and managed over twenty first year business and IT student volunteers to conduct simultaneous bucket collections in the city centre and at the train station.

Elsewhere in the community As well as working on projects for larger charities, Venture Matrix students have also done a lot of work with smaller, local organisations. These projects include physiotherapy and media projects for Hillsborough-based community centre The Burton Street Foundation, marketing and writing projects for networking group The Third Sector Café, drama workshops for schools and community theatre group A Mind Apart Theatre, and an events consultancy project for disabled theatre group Sooper Troopers. We look forward to continuing our relationships with these organisations next year.

Another group consisting of final year business and IT students organised a two-day fundraising event in aid of the charity. They held the event in a local

Dr Panni Poh Yoke Loh, Kutien Arts

‘Working alongside the postgraduate student projects was an exciting and beneficial experience during my time at the Venture Matrix. It enabled me to utilise my management skills as well as improve my professionalism from the interaction with external clients. I thoroughly enjoyed being given this opportunity and aim to use the skills I developed throughout my future working life.’ Nichola Nelson, Venture Matrix placement student 7

Health promotion day educates children about healthy lifestyles ‘The children’s health promotion event gives students an opportunity to make theory practice links through experiential learning. It also facilitates hands-on experience that they can later draw upon to evidence themselves as employable graduates.’ Pam Dewis, tutor and programme leader

With the support of Venture Matrix and their module tutors, second year early childhood studies students planned and delivered a health promotion day for pupils from Windmill Hill Primary School. The students split into groups and planned a series of activities. The morning focussed on promoting good physical health and included topics such as healthy eating, exercise and dental care. The afternoon focussed on promoting good mental health and included topics such as exploring emotions and being a good friend.

‘The day was fantastic. All the children had a brilliant day and were happy and engaged throughout. They all learnt a great deal about being healthy and the importance of positive thinking. When we arrived back at school, the children couldn’t wait to share their experiences of the day and talked about it with enthusiasm.’ Laura Ellin, year one teacher at Windmill Hill Primary School

The children had great fun and all made something that they could take home to remind them of the day.

Phone 0114 225 4468 Email 8


Venture Matrix

Venture Matrix Newsletter 2013/2014  
Venture Matrix Newsletter 2013/2014