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Helping Teen Students Learn Valuable Life Lessons

28 Feb, 2017




In a mentoring program developed between IMA’s CEO, Karl Boothroyd, and Airds High English Faculty member, Keith Fennell, the agency and school have joined together with the mutual goal of giving Airds High senior students real-life working opportunities and inspiration to grow and achieve in their lives.

As a Campbelltown-based B2B marketing agency, and part of the leading worldwide WPP marketing group, IMA is excited to be opening up a new world of possibilities for students from Airds High, which  is a great local school that works very hard to implement positive learning initiatives for students in a fairly adverse environment.

“We are engaged in a real cultural shift in an attempt to establish valuable mentoring programs which give students access to high performing mentors,” Keith Fennell said. “We’ve spoken to a few businesses and we’re thrilled that IMA has come on board to deliver a valuable experience that the students are enjoying so much.

“The program provides the students with a challenge that also helps them link what they are being taught at school to the real world; for some who might not know where their school education is leading, this is a way to show the opportunities out there for them.”

Starting in early-2017, the 12-month program for ten Year 9 and Year 10 students has seen them come in weekly in pairs to learn about the activities of an advertising agency and gain hands-on skills working with various members of the IMA team on actual marketing tasks.

“The students receive working briefs from our agency to quite quickly produce articles for IMA’s website and social media content, so this is not just a token ‘work experience’ gesture but a real opportunity to produce work that will be put out there in the marketplace,” IMA CEO Karl Boothroyd said.

And, as Karl pointed out, the experience has been ‘real-life’ from day one.

“We started with a group of 20 or so high-achieving Airds High senior students put forward by the school and put them through a true interview experience where they came with CVs they had prepared and were assessed as actual ‘job candidates’ before the entire group was ranked and the final ten students were decided,” he said.

“While we wish we could have taken all the students into the program, because they were all very talented, this was designed as a real-life work scenario and that sometimes brings disappointments to job candidates; to have participated in a true work application process, even if not accepted, is a valuable experience itself and one we hope will stand all the students in good stead as they go out into the world.”

As for the 10 students now engaged in the program, Karl Boothroyd says he and the IMA team are extremely impressed by the teens.

“Keith and I established the program to benefit the students by exposing them to a wider range of mentors and positive influences,” Karl Boothroyd said. “But the truth is IMA is benefitting as much from this as the students because we are so inspired by their commitment, focus and enthusiasm.”

More importantly, Keith Fennell said the program was working well and had already made a difference among the students.

“We had one girl who was a bit disengaged last year, with her results not really reflecting her talent, but she blew IMA away and was the best performer through the interview,” he said proudly.

“Other more privileged schools have connections in the business community; we’re looking to show that even though our students come from lower socio-economic backgrounds, they are motivated and intelligent and IMA is really helping in that.”

Below are some of the work completed by Airds High School Students.

   

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