RENEGADE WRITER: Can media agencies guide students to the right Uni degree?


This time five years ago, I was sentenced to study for the HSC exams having no clear direction of what I wanted to do as a career. I remember my cousin falling asleep in the exams because she already knew what she wanted to be, a beauty therapist. For the wretched souls who didn’t know, it was the final score that would ultimately define the direction of your future for you.

The year was 2009 –flip phones were cool, wi-fi was stagnant, everyone regrettably signed their lives over to Facebook and Apple was more than just a fruit. Since than, our technology and media communications is moving further into the digital sphere and we are more connected in more ways than we appear. If only the information technology was there to assist students, who like most of us at some stage in their lives, were nervous to choose a career path without having any experience at all.

The media we access now, compared to five years ago thrives on fresh expression, innovation and personalization. The ability to access these tools is knowledge in itself and is predominantly communicated through the one and only…media! Reflecting on these defining moments of choice in choosing a career path, requires support, motivation and passion. There is a great opportunity for media agencies to assist students to find the right career for them aggregated through their interests and online behaviors we already know exists. Media might just be vital to helping students today in finding their way to something they have been ‘searching’ for their entire lives.

The Game of your life- Facebook campaign to attract students to a new universityIn 2013, OZu University in Istaabul, Turkey, teamed up with agency 41?29? to create a campaign to personalize student’s ability to choose which University they wanted to go to through gamification. A simple idea by OZU University, led to the designing of a Facebook app which allowed students to ‘gamify’ their futures if they went to OZU University. ‘How do you let people experience a school that has no experience? ‘The Facebook application allows prospective students to have a peek into their future timeline The application takes information from the users profile and creates a video customized to the user. The video shows a series of posts on the users timeline showing the user what his/her university life will be like such as pictures on campus, hang outs and different places, exchange programs and other similar posts. The ‘Game of Your Life’ reached 250,000 visitors (1in 4 of the entire population!) It received $2 million worth of Media coverage, bust most importantly many students wouldn’t have consider Ozu University if they hadn’t have seen the game.

Like OZO University, Media agencies have the ability to enhance students learning experience by creating a creative social platform that binds together the interests and professionals in a range of careers to provide guidance to students. I’m not talking about boring, bland ‘e-learning’ templates that have been designed by your fifty year old IT wizard, I’m talking about a creative platform which combines search data analytics, social media insights with a newsfeed on Universities and courses based on your interests. Media agencies have the knowledge and creativity to design a platform that could be the in-between of a Pinterest and Linkedin. A platform where ideas of interest and professionalism come together to aggregate a future path for students in selecting a University and degree; where knowledge is shared between students and professionals, where high school students can develop portfolios to showcase their work for scholarships, ‘like’ their influencers and request for work placement which seems to be less of a priority than exams.

At a time of future uncertainty, there is a great opportunity for media to assist students by using online marketing and content creation such as a new online social platform to guide students into the ‘unknown’. Whether that be tactical search methods or designing a new social online platform which could be supported by teachers and mentors as a more ‘sophisticated’ site for students to sign up to, to discover the abundance of career choices Universities and other higher education sectors have to offer. With the abundance of online data out there, the opportunity is already there.

 Reference: The Digital Post, 2013 ‘The Game of your life- Facebook campaign to attract students to a new university’


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