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Beyond LAUNCH

NCH Student Blog | July 20, 2017

Having just finished my first year at NCH, I’ve got an internship lined up for the summer with Pitch It, a social enterprise that arranges mentoring for young people from backgrounds underrepresented in the creative industries. This is largely thanks to the LAUNCH summer project (NCH’s career development programme), so I can now use these skills beyond LAUNCH.
After my exams in June I began work on my LAUNCH ‘Do Good’ project with my team. Pitch It asked us to develop recommendations to help them expand. The brief was difficult, containing phrases like ‘market penetration’ and ‘industry segmentation’ – which one often hears thrown around but one never really asks anyone what it means – and so my team and I had to spend a couple of days figuring out what it was that we were being asked to do. After drawing up around ten different diagrams for the segmentation of the creative industries in the UK, we finally started to tackle the big questions, like ‘how can this organisation grow?’, ‘how can they sell more?’, ‘how can they change their marketing strategy to appeal to a larger group of consumers?’, and so on.

The brief asked us to undertake primary research to test our hypotheses, so my team and I designed a focus group questionnaire to guide a discussion with real creative industry professionals. I put on my best suit and made my way to an office in Farringdon where I met with some very successful individuals and tried not to embarrass myself too much.
My team and I then wrote a short report on what we thought the client could do to attract more customers, sell more of their product, and grow steadily over the next five years. We considered potential hurdles to growth and suggested some ways in which they could be overcome. We used our primary research to back up most of our hypotheses, but also used it to adapt our final advice.
After a lot of work, and some insightful advice from Matthew Batstone (the head of LAUNCH), my team and I submitted our project on time, and got through to the final round: presenting our findings to the client. We put together a presentation and some notes and put on our suits again. We presented our work to the client and to Matthew and made it through to the other side — we held our ground and supported the team.
Later that day, when I was out dress shopping for the summer ball taking place the following day, I got an email from Matthew congratulating me on my presentation and letting me know that the client was interested in offering me and two others a summer internship, where we would conduct further market research to help with the rebranding of the company. After a short interview process I was given a place in their summer internship programme — and that’s my summer sorted.
Any scepticism I had about the benefits of the LAUNCH programme before are now gone. I genuinely learned a lot from Matthew and others this year, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to tackle a project like this one.