Digital marketing students at the Technological University of the Shannon (TUS), Athlone Campus, are set to amplify the online presence of Irish brands through a series of hands-on digital capstone and consultancy projects.
Year 4 BBs (Hons) in Digital Marketing and MSc in Digital Marketing students will work for a diverse set of brands, from an artisan coffee roaster to an alpaca farm, putting their knowledge to the test, devising and implementing digital marketing strategies.
The initiative, now in its sixth year, forms the basis of the undergraduate students’ final year project and takes the place of a thesis for the master’s students.
The capstone project has gone from strength to strength since its inception, attracting attention from prominent brands like DPD Ireland, Panelto Foods, and global biopharmaceutical company Alkermes.
Louise Murray, senior lecturer and coordinator of the Year 4 projects, anticipates this is going to be the biggest year yet, with students working with brands across all sectors.
“This year, we have the largest intake of companies to date since we started the initiative six years ago. The variety of projects our Year 4 digital marketing students will work on highlights the huge demand for digital expertise for businesses of all sizes in all sectors,” she explained.
“The applied nature of these projects is a huge opportunity for our students to gain invaluable real-life experience with companies and the companies lucky enough to get chosen will receive up-to-date digital marketing strategy expertise from TUS Athlone students,” she continued.
This year, undergraduate students will work with Knockvicar Alpacas, Midlands 103FM, Mullingar Chamber, DNG Begley, Medana Healthcare, Sofa Source, Youth Work Ireland, Jump 4 Joy Adventure, McCormacks Imaging Studio, Artessa Coffee, Offaly Sports Partnership, Ganlys of Athlone, O’Donohoes Bakery and Mersus Technologies.
DPD Ireland has come on board again this year, working with the MSc cohort, as will IBEC, Ireland’s largest lobby and business representative group; Beagel, a real estate digital offer submission and management solution; Image Media, a mixed media publisher and agency; Atlantach, an engineering solutions company, and Midland Jobs.
The initiative’s USP, according to Dr Mary Loonam, coordinator of the MSc digital consultancy projects, is that it gives students the opportunity to work in a real-world context with a business, providing hands-on industry experience while offering expertise to brands in return.
“The digital consultancy project provides an invaluable opportunity to students to gain real-world experience related to their studies and to help industry partners gain expert knowledge and improve business performance,” she explained.
The digital marketing offering at TUS has grown from strength to strength, with students taking home gold at the Digital Media Awards for “Digital Student of the Year” three years in a row, in 2021, 2022 and 2023.