Marketing students are helping Life Education Victoria (and Healthy Harold) increase their relevance among school children and parents.
Postgraduate students undertaking the Services Marketing course have been operating as consultants for Life Education Victoria as part of a live industry project.
Course Coordinator Theresa Saldanha, says the live project is a key focus of the course, allowing students to put their learning into practice.
“Service Marketing suggests that service is the fundamental basis of exchange, and students of this course will leverage off evidence-based information and research to critically analyse services issues and opportunities in order to design innovative service solutions,” Saldanha said.
“We always choose a transformative service marketing challenge for the students - or in other words - one that impacts the wellbeing of society.
“Last semester we partnered with Life Education Victoria, a division of Life Education Australia, which is one of the biggest providers of health and wellbeing education to school children, recognisable via their mascot, Healthy Harold.
“In an economy that is increasingly service based, Life Education needed to increase their relevance to children, their schools and their parents.”
The project was strongly supported by the ex-board member, and interim General Manager, Campbell Mackintosh, who ensured that students had all the required information and access to staff in order to deliver an outstanding result.
The new General Manager, Andrew Bennetto, who stepped down from his role as Chairman of the Life Education Australia board after eight years, is passionate about ensuring that the organisation makes this transition to the new economy.
Life Education Victoria said that the presentations and project work delivered by our students would rival work done by top consultancy companies.
Bennetto described the students’ work as extremely helpful in gaining valuable insights into Life Education’s service delivery and overall business model.
“The detailed analysis demonstrated a real understanding of the service provision and highlighted a number of areas for us to improve or transform,” he said.
“It was the commercial approach to this project and not an academic one which I really valued - so much so that I offered a couple of the students some contract work to help me on the ongoing progression of the initiatives.”
Saldanha says the overwhelming feedback from the students was that they enjoyed working on a real life project with such a ‘feel good factor’.
“Being part of a project that enabled them to impact the wellbeing of school children across the country was rewarding and fulfilling,” she said.
“On a personal note, it was extremely satisfying to see the exceptional work that was generated by the students and to observe how much the industry partner and students gained from the interaction.”
Student Paul Kubik who is a General Manager in the telecommunications industry, said that working on an industry project helped to formulate the consulting based, marketing skills of the class.
“Life Education was a good selection for a company since they are a non-for- profit organisation, did not have a dedicated marketing department and most of us had a connection with the brand,” he said.
“My experience is that other universities do not get the chance to pitch to real customers as part of their major assessment
“The project required us to perform primary research which included interviewing staff of Life Education and teachers responsible for organising extracurricular activities.
“The customer was impressed by the quality of the outcomes which resulted in a short term consulting role for some of the class.”
Theresa Saldanha is the founder of an innovation and strategy consultancy, WhyNot! Innovate.
She has spent more than 20 years working for blue chip organisations such as Cadbury Schweppes and Coca Cola’s Food Division, both in Australia and overseas.
Theresa specialises in brand and portfolio reinvigoration, insights and innovation and her current focus is helping businesses challenge current thinking and develop future markets, in an age driven by technology and the social media revolution.