We were thrilled to be asked to take part in this year’s Digital Day, and so 4 members of the 93digital team – Roz, Nicola, Andrew & Laura – travelled to Loxford School of Science and Technology to share their experiences of working in digital, and to work with the students on their competition entry.
Digital Day is a free initiative, organised by BIMA, for both schools and agencies. Digital professionals head back to school for the day to explain to students what the digital industry is, to provide an insight into the breadth of careers available, and to offer practical advice on how to get into the industry. Then, in the afternoon, they help students compete in a national competition in one of the sponsored challenges. The final entries are submitted back to BIMA for judging and a winner is selected later in the year.
93digital founder, Alex Price, who sits on BIMA’s Young Talent Council, which helped to organise the day, commented, “BIMA’s Digital Day is one of the most exciting days of the year and rewarding for everyone involved – the 93digital team, the school and most importantly the students. At a time when the subjects of diversity and equality seem more prominent than ever in our industry, we all have a duty to be proactive in how we look to encourage new talent into the digital sector. I’m grateful to the team at BIMA for having pioneered the day, all of the schools and agencies who took part this year and thank colleagues on BIMA’s Young Talent Council for giving up their time to help make the day a reality.”
Below, members of the 93digital team recount their experiences of the day:
Roz – Project Manager
The students had some fantastic ideas, especially during the brainstorming phase. We had suggestions of a hat which could cut your hair, an automated dog massage system, and a robot teaching assistant which could learn your requirements and run algorithms to help individual needs and behaviours. The range of suggestions was amazing, and even the silly ones were fun to discuss and workshop. I learnt that there really is no such thing as a bad idea – except maybe the hair-cutting hat, that one sounds pretty lethal… I was really impressed by the day overall. I was happy to take part, and honestly would have loved to have done something like that when I was at school. Maybe I would have considered a digital career earlier and I could be the director of my own WordPress agency…
Nicola – Art Director
There are definitely some challenges around preparing young people to enter an industry that moves faster than either teacher training or the curriculum can keep up with and I think it’s important that professionals get involved to let kids know what jobs are out there and what they can expect. BIMA gave us some really cool examples of digital projects to share with the class and inspire the kids to think creatively. My favourite part of the day had to be seeing all the students’ presentations at the end. They all applied themselves to the task and displayed some really fun and thoughtful ideas.
Andrew – Front End Developer
I spent the majority of the day helping the students with their ideas and discussing some real world examples with them that might help ignite their creativity. It was good to see what they came up with and they had some really innovative ideas that surprised even me. It was really interesting to hear what they wanted to do as careers, and I tried to give any advice I could about the digital work place. I also showed a couple of students some basic frontend development practises which they seemed very eager to learn.
Laura – Account Manager
BIMA Digital Day was a fantastic day out; we shared information about what it’s like to work in digital and also heard from the students about their interests around design and technology. The students’ efforts on the challenges were brilliant and some very useful ideas came out of them. It was fun to be back at school for the day and it was great to see how on board the teachers were too. The day is an excellent initiative from BIMA, and we need more days like this if we’re going to close the digital skills gap which exists at all levels.