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Source: Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology

Students from Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology got a unique opportunity to showcase their work in front of 300 business leaders at the Westpac Tauranga Business Awards 2020.

Five students from the Certificate in Communications Media course worked alongside event organiser and Tauranga Chamber of Commerce engagement co-ordinator Anne Pankhurst to pre-record interviews with all of the award entrants.

These interviews were then showcased at the awards event, a Love Local cocktail evening Trinity Wharf, which saw about 300 people from the business community come together to celebrate business success.

The collaboration was initially suggested by Chamber board member and Toi Ohomai Chief Executive Dr Leon Fourie, who put Anne in contact with course tutors Adrian Maidment and Simon Maxwell.

Anne, who has a background in television, mentored the students for three weeks as they recorded, edited, and went through post-production to prepare all of the videos needed for the awards night.

Adrian says the real-world experience of working on a commercial project such as this is a crucial part of the students’ learning.

“It allows them to build on the practical skills they have already gained (such as filming and video editing), plus developing crucial soft skills such as communicating with a client. I’ve found the more real-world experience they students gain, the better equipped they are for success once they graduate.”

Anne says she enjoyed the passion of the students and their willingness to learn and improve. She adds that the process is thorough, which is important as it prepares them for the realities of filming for the corporate world. 

“We start from a three-page brief and work over about three weeks quite intensely to make that brief something that is played at a high-end corporate event. 

“I invite them to the rehearsal where they see for the first time their work on the ‘big screen’, then to the actual awards evening so they can enjoy their work, be among the attendees of the event, and get that real sense of pride that they did that.”

At the awards rehearsal afternoon, the students were also presented with a certificate of completion for their CVs by Tauranga Chamber of Commerce CEO Matt Cowley.

This is the second year that Anne has worked alongside Toi Ohomai students and finds it personally a “very fulfilling experience”.

“I really enjoy seeing them work on their first commercial project that has a beginning, middle and end, and the learnings that they get through that – including how to direct to get what you need from the client/entrants, my needs as the client, the level I need it to be, how to manage content, what is the content, and to see the project through to completion. 

“I feel very proud of them and their achievements.”

Adrian adds, “They loved being part of it. They got to network with passionate business owners and gain insight into what it takes for a business to succeed. It was fun working with Anne and inspiring to see how passionate business owners are.”

Toi Ohomai is a proud sponsor of the Tauranga Chamber of Commerce.