Igniting students’ passions through new university program

Published in the March-April 2017 issue

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Southern Cross University has kicked off an innovative guest lecturing program in local high schools in the Tweed and Gold Coast regions.

SCU Ignite involves academic staff from the School of Business and Tourism visiting select schools to deliver a short educational presentation to senior students.

Katie O’Rourke with students Keira Brennan and Tyra McGovern

Katie O’Rourke with students Keira Brennan and Tyra McGovern.

Southern Cross University marketing lecturer Katie O’Rourke visited St Joseph’s College Banora Point to teach business students in Year 11 and 12 about brand image. More than 40 students took part in the  presentation, Q&A session and group project to ‘establish a brand’.

“The high school students already had a good knowledge and awareness of branding around them, so this presentation was about getting them to hone in on their own marketing skills,” Ms O’Rourke said.

“We discussed how branding is much more than just a logo; it’s an experience we share with our customers where long-lasting relationships build great brands.

“The students came up with some amazing ideas for products and apps and asked very intuitive questions.”

Year 12 business students Tyra McGovern and Keira Brennan from St Joseph’s College said they enjoyed the SCU Ignite presentation and were impressed with what they and their classmates were able to come up with.

“We learned about the four Cs in marketing; brands should be consistent, cohesive, continuous and complementary, and how important they are in communication,” Keira said.

“It is helpful information to know before we enter the work place, especially for people who might want to own their own business.

“We have an assignment we are working on at the moment about marketing and product placement, so this presentation has come at a good time.”

Program coordinator Carla Robinson said the aim of SCU Ignite was to deliver an interactive and engaging learning experience for Year 11 and 12 students on a topic of interest that is relevant to each schools’ teaching syllabus.

“The presentation topics are determined in consultation with our academics and the school and derived from the School of Business and Tourism’s discipline areas,” Ms Robinson said.

“These areas include business, accounting, finance, HR, management, marketing, tourism, hospitality, event management, and IT – and each presentation has a clear learning outcome for the student group involved.

“SCU Ignite is designed to help ignite students’ passion for a specific career path and inspire students to consider the benefits of higher education as a result of hearing the academic presentations.”

Ms Robinson said the hour-long presentations often included an interactive and educational activity, a short talk about career options and study opportunities and a question time from students.

In recent months SCU Ignite has included presentations from David Noble on project management at Elanora State High School, Dr Michael Kortt on Big Data at Merrimac State High School, and from Dr Mieke Witsel on intercultural communication for business at Palm Beach Currumbin State High School.

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