UWE graduate and placement student launch Foliomatch

Issue date: 26 January 2009

University of the West of England Foliomatch Launch View Gallery, Hotwell Road, Bristol 29 January 2009

Media and Arts students who find it difficult to get a foothold into the creative industries are being given a helping hand thanks to a new web resource called Foliomatch( http://www.foliomatch.co.uk)developed by a graduate and placement student team from the University of the West of England.

Foliomatch will be launched on 29 January at the View Gallery in Hotwell Road, Bristol at 19.30.

UWE Business Enterprise graduate Gemma Boyce, who graduated in November 2008, and Web Design placement student Kieron Gurner have teamed up to create a show case site that will enable creative students to profile their work to businesses and to instigate collaborations with each other.

Gemma explains, “I was inspired to develop Foliomatch whilst working towards my final module last year. Many of my friends are arts and media graduates and I noticed that some very talented people were finding it difficult to market themselves effectively.

“I realised that there were good opportunities for students if only they knew where to look for that first difficult break. There seemed to be a gap in the market to develop a web based platform for young creatives to showcase their work and a resource that businesses could search when they were looking for recent graduates to join their organisations. Students will be able to upload examples of their work and include personal profiles giving outline details of their work and experience.

“I put forward an entry for the UWE Business Plan competition and was delighted when my idea won the prize for best marketing plan. But having a plan is one thing – seeing it through to fruition meant that I needed to engage help and support from someone with technical know how. I approached the web design course leader at UWE, Dan Dixon, and he suggested that this would be an excellent placement project for a student to get involved with.

“The rest as they say is history. Kieron Gurner and I have been working together now for the past five months to get the site up and running and we are very excited at the potential that Foliomatch has to link creative people with the industries that seek new talent.”

Kieron Gurner has developed the Foliomatch web site and says it has been a fantastic challenge for his placement year, he said, “I've had to keep track of the whole web development side of things and it's been a great experience to see a project through from the start to launch. There have been some hiccups along the way inevitably but it's been extremely useful to learn through doing.

“This was my first live project and I've had a steep learning curve around time management and design issues. I've tried to keep the design simple and clean so that the students' work becomes the focus. It's been an excellent placement and I've learned a great deal which I hope will prove invaluable when I graduate and look for work in the future.”

Nick Plant, Placements Coordinator in Bristol Institute of Technology said, “Kieron's placement is unusual but is offering him a fantastic experience by enhancing employability away from the classroom this year. We aim to ensure that students get the chance to develop their work through on-the-job learning. The Foliomatch idea is fantastic and I think Kieron has done a great job. The design is clear and concise and it means that Kieron now has an excellent example to add to his own portfolio. Many thanks to Gemma for coming up with a great idea and entrusting this to Kieron to develop – it's been a very successful collaboration.”


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