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Students learn from industry’s finest

Posted: 17 January 2012

Interactive media students with ex-student, Jason Holland
Interactive media students with ex-student, Jason Holland

Authors, playwrights, singers and multimedia specialists were welcomed to Vision West Notts’ centre for music, media and performance last week (9-13 January).

Creative industries and digital technologies students took part in a wide range of activities as part of Industry Week – the college's annual initiative designed to provide learners with inspiration for their future careers.

The first guest was ex-student Jason Holland, creative director of – a leader in web-based customer relations management and credited as being one of the world's top 10 most influential websites by leading brand agency Story Worldwide.

Jason, who studied graphic design at the college, launched in 1997 and it has since gone on to win a host of awards including the World Media Festival Award, a British Interactive Media Award and the Interactive Marketing and Advertising Award for Outstanding Achievement.

The entrepreneur, who works with companies such as Virgin, Bupa, McCain and Sony, gave students advice on careers in the interactive media industry during his visit to the college's new £5m Create building.

Jason said: "I was really impressed with the Create facilities and the enthusiasm of the students. It was a joy to discuss design ideas with the next generation of creative talent".

Other activities included a visit from local playwright Kevan Fegan and Chris Neil, education manager at Mansfield's Palace Theatre, who delivered workshops for performing arts and music students.

Media students spent time working with Nottinghamshire-born crime writer Zoe Sharp and digital film-maker Matthew McGuchan.  Zoe, who is best known for writing the Charlie Fox series of novels, tasked students with creating a music video to publicise her up-coming book while Matthew, who has produced film and radio productions for the BBC, Channel 4 and the UK Film Council, helped learners to write and plan an advert.

Meanwhile, graphic design students visited Mansfield firm Linney Design and got tips from a professional illustrator who visited the Derby Road campus.

Head of creative industries and digital technologies, Steve McAlone, said: “Students fully-embraced the activities on offer and have developed a greater understanding of how important it is to engage with industry specialists.

“Initiatives such as Industry Week help raise students' apsirations by giving them a valuable insight into the future careers available to them in the exciting world of music, media and performance.”

Caption: Interactive media students with ex-student, Jason Holland - founder of


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