12 students on the BA (Hons) Graphic Design and Branding course at UCEN Manchester’s School of Art, Media and Make-Up took part in a unique one-day event together with 200 creative and marketing students from universities across the North of England.
Two+Two, which is organised by a recruiter for the creative and marketing sector, Creative Resource, is well-known across the industry and requires attendees to work as part of a small team alongside students from other higher education providers.
The 2023 event, which took place at Stok in Stockport, Greater Manchester, marked the sixth annual edition of Two+Two and throughout the day students were supported by professionals from leading design and marketing agencies to tackle an exciting brief set by representatives of Stockport Council.
The brief required each team to come up with creative concepts for an upcoming recycling campaign the council is working on. To support them through the process the students were allocated mentors from agencies including APS Group, BDB, Havas Lynx, Holdens, Mccann and Zeal Creative.
Each team was named after a colour and one of UCEN Manchester’s first year students, Taija Bailey-Roach, was part of the Blue Team, which came third overall.
Taija said: “Two+Two was a great opportunity to learn how to creatively collaborate with other people in a short period of time.
“As a first year student, this isn’t something that I’ve done before and I really learnt a lot – it was an enjoyable experience.”
UCEN Manchester Tutor, Alex Komlosy, is a big advocate of Two+Two and has seen first-hand over a number of years how the event can help the school’s students. Alex said: “Two+Two is one of the highlights of the academic year and an event that we’ve enjoyed success at before.
"Our students get the chance to experience what it’s like to tackle a high-profile live brief and they don’t have much time to come up with ideas, which creates a sense of pressure.
The professionals are there to challenge and support, which gives our students the chance to showcase their skills and impress key employers in the sector. Our students also reap the benefits of the experience when they return to their studies.
The one-day event concluded with a networking session, which provided students with the chance to build relationships and exchange details with the professionals in attendance.
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