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Leinster Express Reporter
7 Dec 2021
A Laois digital marketing student at TUS Athlone is involved in an innovative project aimed at helping Irish businesses to expand their digital footprint and increase competitiveness.
Chris Kearns is a mature student living in the village of Castlecuffe in the Sleive Bloom Mountains. He has spent ten years working as a personal trainer before returning to college in Athlone to study digital marketing. He has been partnered up with DPD Ireland for this year’s Capstone Project.
Over the next few months, the Laois student will be working closely with DPD Ireland to implement a new digital marketing strategy that he has designed bespoke for them.
The Capstone Project, now in its fourth year, asks final year Bachelor of Business (Hons) in Digital Marketing students to put their knowledge into practice through the design and implementation of a fully-fledged digital marketing strategy for a host company.
While the host companies fill their digital marketing resource gaps using students’ knowledge of cutting-edge digital marketing methods, the students themselves get the chance to apply their skills in a real-world environment. MORE BELOW PICTURE.
Pictured l-r: Patrick O’Loughlin, marketing manager, DPD Ireland; Louise Murray, senior lecturer, Department of Business and Management, TUS; Chris Kearns, final-year digital marketing student, TUS; Alison Sheridan, Head of Department, Business and Management, TUS. Photograph: Jeff Harvey.
“The capstone project is such a unique learning experience for our digital marketing students,” says Louise Murray, a senior lecturer in the Department of Business and Management at TUS and one of the originators of the initiative.
“Our students get a top-end experience addressing the digital marketing challenges of a real-life business as part of their degree, with the collaborative support of the TUS digital marketing lecturing team. This gives them invaluable industry-relevant experience to add to their CVs.
“Our ultimate goal is to produce industry-ready graduates with confidence in their abilities and the skills and competencies necessary to be an asset to a company from the word go, and the experience students gain in participating in the digital marketing capstone project really aids that,” she explains.
70 companies applied to participate in this year’s project across a broad range of sectors, operating locally, nationally and internationally, with eight ultimately matched with the final-year digital marketing students.
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This level of interest from companies is indicative of the capstone project’s value to industry, Louise explains: “Our host companies benefit hugely as they get digital marketing expertise from students who have been immersed in the latest digital marketing trends, tools and strategies for the past three years of their studies.”
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This year, students will gain experience with companies such as DPD, an international parcel delivery service, and Panelto Foods in Co. Longford, whose par-baked luxury breads are distributed to major retailers across Ireland, the UK, and Europe.
Other participating companies include deDANU, Ireland’s first carbon neutral health and fitness brand; Ganly’s of Athlone, Athlone Community Radio, a local not-for-profit, volunteer-run radio station; and Brady Insurance, a national insurance broker.
Mummy Cooks, a mummy influencer and Instagram sensation who is an expert in feeding babies and children, has also come on board this year, as has the Burren
Ecotourism Network, based in Co. Clare, which aims to make the Burren an internationally recognised sustainable tourism region.
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