Back to School with BIMA
5 minute read
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James Fox

Picture this: You just turned the big 1-3 (and you’re celebrating in style as most thirteen year olds do), you’re surrounded by adults, and despite your best efforts to avoid all boring conversation topics - someone smiles down at you and says “so, what is it you want to be when you grow up?”

You blurt something out - scientist, doctor, footballer - whatever comes to mind, and then you (swiftly) make your exit. The truth is you don’t have the slightest idea of what you’d like to do when you grow up - for two reasons:

1.) You’re 13 years old

2.) You’re not exactly sure what any job, role, or industry entails

BIMA’s annual Digital Day event aims to tackle the second reason by giving agency experts the opportunity to let students discover what it’s like to work in the digital world - in the hopes that a day in the life might inspire them. Excited to get involved, three of our team members ditched their desks for the day and made their way to The City of London Academy located in Southwark. Who wouldn’t want to go back to school for a day?

After intros and overviews, the students (split in 5 groups of 5) were presented with two different challenges:

1.) Cancer Research UK: Raise awareness surrounding the link between obesity and cancer and encourage young people to make smarter choices.

2.) Standard Life: Think of a fun way to motivate young people both to save and earn more money.

Once we talked through a basic version of our own design sprint process (emphasising the ‘define’ phase to start), the classroom started buzzing with a mix of problem-solvers who were quick to shout out some ideas and thinkers who spent some time reflecting and observing before jumping in. Others picked up a pen, traced their phones onto paper and went straight into sketching wireframes.

The quality of ideas was impressive, but even more so was the speed at which they came. Our project manager, Meredith, said it best:  “You can sit in client meetings sometimes and spend hours brainstorming the best idea. It was great to see how quickly the kids were able to come up with concepts and bring them to life. They’re coming at things from a slightly different angle.”

The highlight of the day was watching each group present with confidence, creativity and enthusiasm. An all-around favourite idea was coined the MoneyJar (which was also a play on the words with “manager”) - an app built to compare prices from all shops and supermarkets and find the cheapest prices. We’re all about ideas and making them happen (this does seem fairly obvious when your company name is Ideas Made), so we found ourselves beaming as we watched each project come together.

Taking the time to teach and get students excited about working in digital made for a rewarding day off. It was just an added bonus that watching the students be so involved inspired us right back.

If you’re interested in getting involved or learning more about BIMA’s initiative, you can find more information on their efforts here. You can also join in on some of the recent conversation with the hashtag #DigitalDay2016.