The cream of Birmingham's student talent have been awarded 92 weeks' worth of paid work experience in the city's marketing and creative companies after impressing judges of the B-Hive competition.
Birmingham-based students were challenged to answer a brief on how to make Birmingham a greener city and had to submit their responses in one of four categories: PR, graphic design, digital and marketing.
The top entrants in each category were then invited to present their ideas to a panel of industry judges.
Over 80 students and industry professionals were at the announcement of the 2010 winners following two days of competitive presentations. Each category also has an overall winner who will benefit from additional paid placements.
Sarah Mortimer was named overall winner for PR and will spend four weeks at Willougby PR and Rewired PR. Mandy Wong won for design and will be on placement at KLM, McCann Erickson, Seal, RBH, WAA and Unsuitable. Ellie Rance was marketing winner and will have four weeks' work experience at Marketing Birmingham and COI. And Alex Badau won in digital to earn placements at Made Media, Clusta, Cogent, Freestyle Interactive, One Black Bear and TAMBA.
Emma Gray, head of Marketing Birmingham, which is one of the scheme's backers, said: "There is a huge amount of creative talent emerging from Birmingham universities and the B-Hive scheme plays a pivotal part in helping the region retain that talent.
"Birmingham’s thriving creative sector regularly works with high profile brand names so their involvement in B-Hive highlights the importance of this scheme to the industry. We were very impressed with the calibre of the entries this year and are looking forward to welcoming the overall marketing winner, Ellie Rance to Marketing Birmingham for her four week placement, where she will become involved in the Taste of Birmingham food festival.”
B-Hive was set up by recruitment firm Pitch Consultants to help Birmingham's upcoming creative and marketing talent get a foot in the door of the city's agencies.
Ollie Purdom, director at Pitch, said: "Students graduating during this economic climate have a difficult job getting their foot on the career ladder which is why we wanted to give them a helping hand.
"We understand how important work experience is in such a highly competitive job market but believe the experience they will gain through B-Hive will stand them in good step for future employment. In fact, several of the winners from last years scheme actually gained employment as a direct result of participating in B-Hive.”