AND Digital heads back to school for BIMA's Digital Day
16 November 2022 • 4 min read
BIMA's Digital Day took place on 9th November this year: a day that unites industry with education annually, to inspire the next generation into digital. In our ongoing mission to close the digital skills gap, volunteers from AND Digital's Clubs went back to school for the day; this time as teachers.One of our biggest challenges in closing the skills gap lies in articulating what the digital industry is really about (spoiler alert: it's not just coding!) and getting young people excited about the breadth of careers available to them.
That’s the purpose of BIMA’s Digital Day: pairing industry professionals with schools across the UK to engage students in tackling real world challenges, with impressive prizes for the best ideas. This year, AND supported nine schools across the UK; in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester, Warrington and London. As ever, it was as enlightening and enjoyable for the ANDis as the students.
What's involved in Digital Day?
For thousands of 11-16 year-olds, the school morning starts a little different on Digital Day. For our schools, it looked a little something like this:
- Intro: We kicked off the day with an introduction, both to ourselves and to AND. We explained what each of our roles look like in the industry, and what the day-to-day of working at AND looks like.
- Discovering Digital: This is a great way to initiate a change in mindset. We asked the students what they thought digital was, and expanded on their answers to show the real breadth of digital that we all use and experience in our daily lives.
- The Brief: Every year, the Digital Day brief describes a real-world problem that companies are looking to solve using digital, and this year it was set by Royal Mail and Primark. With the brief broken down, we set them on their way to research, look at competitors and ideate how they'd like to approach the solution as a team.
- Design: One they'd settled on an idea as a team, we asked them to start fleshing it out, guiding them to consider target audience in their designs, and then create user journeys and wireframes.
- Deliver: Pulling all the hard work together. The students compiled their research, design and sketches into a presentation, which they confidently presented to our panel of judges. Then we chose a winner!
From limited knowledge of the concept of digital, to delivering fully worked design ideas to a panel, all within one school day!
Rachel Johnson, Marketing Lead at AND Digital said:
“It’s fascinating to see the light bulb go on with students. They use apps, play games, watch movies and message on social media constantly, but they rarely connect those things to a potential career. Digital Day has the power to show young people that whatever their skillset, and whether they are analytical problem solvers or creative, artistic thinkers, there’s a role for them in digital."
Here’s what some of our ANDis had to say!
Mauricio Rodrigues, Associate, Club Gladys: "It was great fun. The students were really engaged and seemed genuinely inspired, which makes it all the more rewarding."
Josh Haagsma, Club Executive, Club Curie: "We were blown away by the students, they were so diligent and really came together to problem-solve as a team. Even their presentation skills were amazing."
Amy Donaldson, Product Analyst, Club Somerville: "The school has participated in this event for the last six years (missing the last two for Covid) and said they would love to have us back again. The team would certainly love to help out again too. I think this is a great initiative to get students thinking about product and how digital doesn't always involve coding!"
Holly Sephton, Product Analyst, Club Gladys: "Loved it! I think some of those kids could do our jobs with their eyes closed. So talented."
Here's what some of our students had to say!
"It was great fun, it really helped to push me out of my comfort zone."
"A big day of learning! I learned how businesses can use digital to be more sustainable, and learned that there are more jobs in tech than just coding. Plus, I learned how to present to a panel."
"A really fun change from the usual school day! Learned so much and loved our panel of judges."
Our mission to close the world's Digital Skills Gap
AND Digital is on a mission to close the world's digital skills gap. To do that, we need a shared understanding of how we define "digital skills" - across sectors, cities and demographics, and we need to clarify where the gaps lie.
With extensive national research, we now have the data to define the gap AND the insight on how to close it. You can download that research here.