Involvement of students into commercial activities

This project helps to deal with two sorts of problems: need of university to get closer to world of work and need of small firms to promote themselves without paying their own marketing department. It does not have a traditional form of placement, but de facto it is a placement, which enables students to use their theoretic knowledge in a practical way for commercial activities during their study and get some money for it. This activity started at the University of Economics in Prague in 2012. Graphic and Multimedia Laboratory (GML), which creates this project mainly for students of „Multimedia in Economic Practice“ is the provider of this project.  The project has its own Traffic Manager, who coordinates activities, ensures quality control, and calculates invoices for student’s services and mentors students, if possible. Special facebook page has been created, in which students can find requests of firms who need to create photos, posters, and other graphic materials. This page works as an e-shop; students can register there and ask for any order from above mentioned requests. It is a commercial service. Earned money goes to GML and to the particular student as well.


More Information

Impact

What was the challenge intended to be addressed? Why? What did work well? What did not work well? What have been the main achievements? How did you evaluate its success? What has been the change brought by this good practice?

Impact of the project: better employment of students, connection school - world of work, money, satisfaction of all partners and good name of GML among firms and at the University. The profit for firms: lower price, and “fresh mind” of creators as well. Profit for the University: influence of firms on the content of the study programme. Profit for students: money and practical skills, motivation and satisfaction with sense full work.

Success Factors

What are the enabling conditions (e.g. institutional, economic, social/cultural, regulatory) that needed to be in place or played a facilitating role for the good practice to be successful?

The project has its own traffic manager, who coordinates activities, makes quality control, and calculates invoices for students' services and mentors students, if possible. Further success factors: new ideas, flexibility of the project, high level of students' knowledge, nice price for firms, motivation of students, low investment money for GML, very good technical equipment of the laboratory. Business activities of Universities have been covered by the Czech University law.

Constraints

What are the challenges, barriers or limiting factors encountered? How have they been addressed?

What are the challenges here? Ensure that all processes linked to placements (content, preparation, realization, feedback and impact) are adequately quality controlled, Better understand the needs of employers, in order to have realistic expectations regarding the type of placements that can be provided.

Feasibility & Sustainability

What are the elements that need to be put into place for the good practice to be sustainable (institutionally, socially, economically, etc.)? If applicable, indicate the total costs incurred for the implementation of the practice. What are the benefits compared to total costs?

Sustainability of the project: high, not too high financial and personnel demand, project reflects needs of word of work and improves the empoyability of graduates.

Replicability & Upscaling

What are the possibilities of extending the good practice more widely? What are the conditions that need to be in place for the good practice to be successfully replicated in a similar context? What are the steps that should be taken/respected to ensure that the good practice is replicated / up-scaled, but adapted to the new context?

The possibilities of extending the good practice are wide. There are many firms and students that can profit from similar students' activities across Europe.

Lessons learned

What would have facilitated an earlier and/or bigger impact? What are the key features that should be kept in mind if this would have to be implemented again? What would you do differently if you could go back in time? What could have been done better?

If it would be implemented again, more study branches could be involved in it (marketing area ...), GML could cooperate more with the management of the University, GML could look for more firms and make promotion of its results in a more massive way - among other universities and firms as well.

Context

Please provide some information about the context and initial situation that can help in fully understanding the action (e.g. information about the national system, applying regulations, etc.)

The content of the university study programme reflects needs of the world of work, which enables the students to use their theoretic knowledge in a practical way for commercial activities during their study and get some money for it. This project is an inspiration for other universities in the Czech Republic. Impact of the project: better employment of students, connection school - world of work, satisfaction of all partners and money and good name of GML among firms and at the University. The profit for firms: lower price, and “fresh mind” of creators as well.