Have you ever wanted to know what life working at a thrilling creative agency is like? Have you yearned to feel the rush that is preparing creative ideas, and then pitching them to high profile companies? Well, each year at ZN, we give students the chance to experience all that and more during Project Week with Odisee de Co-Hogeschool and as hyperlearners—what we call interns.
Earlier this month, ZN co-organized Project Week with Odisee. The competition marked the fifth time ZN has opened its (digital) doors to give roughly one hundred first-year students a tangible feel for what it’s like to work in an agency and to choose a winner of the best mock pitch competition. During normal years, Project Week takes place at ZN’s office. This year (as well as last year) the students gathered online to pitch us their best ideas.
The 2021 Project Week Challenge
The challenge this year? To create a recruitment campaign for ZN’s celebrated internship program (for more information on the program, click here and here.) The broad instructions were to answer this question: Why is ZN the best virtual internship experience? The project: to portray these virtual internships as attractive and underline how great this experience is. The tools/methods: creative platforms, videos, social media, audio, VR or anything digital the participants could think up.
Over the course of a week, the teams brainstormed, they strategized, they created their projects. Finally, the whole week culminated in each team presenting a two-minute video pitch that introduced their deliverable, in other words, their concept and the technologies they used to create it. Based on those pitches, the judges made their decisions.
Why is Project Week Important to ZN?
Each year, Project Week offers Odisee students something special: the chance to gain real insight into life inside a digital agency. And importantly, we present both the exciting and challenging sides to this business so that students can have an accurate sense of what this career path would entail.
But that’s not the only reason we love doing Project Week. It also gives us as an agency the chance to stay connected to the new generation of creative, digital thinkers and to learn from their ideas and perspectives. Each year, we are blown away by the ideas the students present to us. Perhaps most exciting of all, many Odisee students become hyperlearners at ZN, and some even end up as project coordinators after graduation!
So, now that you know what Project Week is and what this year’s theme was, here’s the exciting part: a rundown of the winners! We made the announcements as part of a Facebook live broadcast, which received 1000 views, 162 comments, and 40 likes, and engaged much of the ZN network.
Chosen by two juries—one made up of ZN/Odisee people, the other made up of current and former ZN interns, known as hyperlearners. Out of more than one-hundred students, 5 teams were chosen for awards, which included Gold, Silver, and Bronze as well as the Wolf Award.
The Wolf Award
First off, the Wolf Award was given to the team that most signified the qualities of a wolf pack, which always seeks innovative ideas, holds ambitions and goals, and spots opportunities.
Congratulations to group 10, also known as #Lune! The judges made special note of #Lune’s clear and thoughtful strategy.
Congratulations to group 3, also known as The Toucan! The judges loved group 3’s personalized entry, how they listened to professors, and how their project reflected the feel of ZN’s culture.
Congratulations to group 5, also known as Social Z! The judges appreciated how group 5 made their message super clear, while also keeping the video fresh and dynamic. What’s more, the fact that they flipped the pandemic and portrayed it as an opportunity to work remotely was impressive.
The Hyperlearner’s Choice
Congratulations to Group 7, also known as InterThinking! The hyperlearner judges were impressed by group 7’s energy, and the clear message and international feeling their video had.
Finally, for the top prize, the judges were delighted to award Group 1, also known as Hakuna Matata for their incredibly creative rap video. In short, we didn’t expect it. It came out of left field in the best possible way. It really stood out. A big congratulations to Hakuna Matata!
So, what did Group 1 win? Some great ZN-branded masks and books on hyperthinking, but best of all, their video will be used as a part of ZN’s intern recruiting campaign across all social networks!
Moving toward a digital future
Though we now have our winners, the judges were blown away by the creative output of all the teams. For me, as I also teach at Odisee, it’s a great pleasure to be in touch with these bright young people. As I see it, they reflect the values and approach of ZN as a whole. I believe that constant learning is part of who we are, so every time we do this, it gives us new ideas on how to connect with our interns and how to work with them.
For David Zaruk, the coordinator of Project Week and a professor at Odisee, the feeling of witnessing these young people produce such remarkable ideas is exhilarating.
“You can feel the confidence. You just feel that wow, they’re going to do something good.”
He added how this makes him feel confident that the next generation is going to shine when life returns to normal.
Did you miss the awards show? Not to worry! You can watch it in full right here. Once again, a hearty congratulations to all the students and especially the winners! Interested in discovering more about becoming a hyperlearner, a program with illustrious alumni like William Zamundu, Raymond Chambers, and Hilda Tasiyan (and current interns like Anne Nguyen and Emmy Maene)? Here’s the link again: click!