“We had a big rebrand project to execute for the company in a relatively short time frame with new software. We needed someone with a creative eye to help us with this important project, we needed someone with specific design skills hence our approach to the University, and we had been told by our branding company that the design course at the University of Cumbria has an excellent reputation and some very talented students. We felt a student would be ideal as the project was relatively short (12 weeks) and was taking place in high summer when students are on holiday".
Initially, we were working with a brand agency on the rebrand, they came up with a new brand toolkit but we needed someone closer to our business and our shops to translate the tool kit into real working materials. Rachel was able to understand the brand agencies design brief and interpret it for us.
I rang the university and had a very straightforward discussion with Paul Armstrong (Deputy Director of Partnerships and Growth) regarding our business needs. Paul looked into funding but our project length didn’t fit any of the funds available. We were happy to pay for the internship so progressed to advertising. Paul wrote the job spec and vetted the applications, he also conducted the interviews with me. We did a practical exercise as part of the interview and a traditional face-to-face interview. I found the support on the recruitment excellent, the University took the workload off my hands and delivered an exceptional student!
Our MD Philip Cranston is very forward-thinking so was happy to look at bringing in more expertise.
Initially, I was worried a student might not be as committed to the project as our own team but this was not the case, my ‘aha’ moment came when we were interviewing and I met Rachel and saw her portfolio which was very impressive.
The plan was for the intern to convert all our in-store materials to the new brand over the course of 10 weeks, she did this successfully and a lot more besides, I think we were lucky because Rachel is exceptional, she has a very strong work ethic and is a very popular member of the team. We have actually kept her on one day a week following the internship which she works around her course.
The result of the internship is that we have completed the rebrand, it all looks great and the directors and shops are delighted with it. We are thrilled with it all. Phase 2 (the shops and fleet and website) is still to be completed but we are confident the new brand is more appealing than the old one.
We would definitely work with the university again they offered us professional, high calibre candidates and a simple process to work with. This project was successful and cost-saving (we paid a decent wage but compared to external design house fees it was very cost-effective). It was a very happy experience!
One last thing I would like to add is: students often get a very bad press and I had some reservations about whether a student would be reliable and motivated. These fears were completely unfounded as our intern was exceptionally professional and reliable. She is very invested in her course and gaining quality work experience and approached the project with a brilliant attitude.
Jane Silburn |Head of Marketing and Retail Development | Cranstons Butchers Ltd
Ullswater Road, Penrith, Cumbria, CA11 7EH
“We are immensely proud of Rachel’s achievements, she was the ideal person for the Cranston’s work, a fact underlined in that they have kept her on after the internship period ended. She was an obvious choice as throughout her studies, Rachel has really made the most of all of the opportunities the University has offered. She’s shown an intelligent, common sense approach to visual work and an eye for contemporary design trends, all of which have served her well.
Her energy, inquisitiveness, commitment, sense of humour, and positive attitude make her an asset in any workplace.”
Quote from Jim Millington – Senior Lecturer – Institute of the Arts.
“The university works with employers to develop paid industry experience for our students and recent graduates where they can use the knowledge and skills developed to gain real experience, benefiting the business and economy. It is inspiring to see the excellent work produced for the business by Rachel and we wish her every success in her future career.”
Quote from Sylvia Grainger MBA – Development Manager.
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