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Win big with student competitions

Win big with student competitions


If there’s one thing all students will agree on, it’s that making a little bit of money while at university is a great thing.

Last year, the impressive money pot was offered by a student competition named ‘Designed for Business’ and held by two design-related organisations – BE OPEN, a Switzerland-based international foundation that support creativity in all forms among younger talents, and SBID (Society of British and International Design) that act as a professional association, accrediting body and supporter of UK design standards.

If there’s one thing all students will agree on, it’s that making a little bit of money while at university is a great thing. With the rising costs of tuition, and let’s be honest, everything else, many students do not just have to exist on a minimum budget, but also take huge debts into their professional life, and carry that load for years and years after they graduate.

Nowadays, it is hard to find a student who does not spend weekends and afterschool hours working at cafes or shops, doing freelance works and what not. But not everyone knows that there is another way of making some extra money while enhancing your CV, gaining publicity, and impressing your piers and future employers all at the same time – and that is student competitions.

Luckily, there are more competitions for students and graduates every year. They cover almost every academic sphere; most of them are not concerned with the actual location of their competitors and are accessible online on every stage from launch to award.  From impressive cash pots, scholarships, internships and employment, to 6-moth pizza supplies and cinema tickets, there is a huge variety of competition prizes depending on the sphere and difficulty.

Older generations are used to the thought that such projects are mostly held by schools themselves or education-related charities, yet in the past 10 years the situation has changed:  more and more businesses and professional associations see competitions as a powerful recruiting and publicity tool. While schools, on the contrary, may sometimes be not so open and supportive of commercial competitions, being possessive of students works and successes.

Anyway, whether to build brand-awareness among the active millennials, or engage with the future leaders of the industry – for businesses, competitions have it all. And the more businesses get drawn in, the higher are the stakes, and the more impressive the entries.

In particular, there is a whole range of competitions run on a regular basis to harness students’ creativity, to encourage young people to widen their skillset and come up with innovative ideas – because that is what any business needs, that is what pushes the industry and the world in general forward. There are competitions specifically targeted at designers, artists, writers, engineers, inventors and innovators in general.

Unsurprisingly, these types of competitions are often the toughest and require the most effort, but the prizes can be totally worth it. To prove the point, let us take a look at the three most and lucrative recent competitions for creative students across the world.

Last year, the impressive money pot was offered by a student competition named ‘Designed for Business’ and held by two design-related organisations – BE OPEN, a Switzerland-based international foundation that support creativity in all forms among younger talents, and SBID (Society of British and International Design) that act as a professional association, accrediting body and supporter of UK design standards.

It was their first collaboration across the UK universities, and its aim was to specifically connect the students with their potential employers.

The overall winner got the life-changing £30,000 provided by the head of BE OPEN, no other that the richest woman of Russia Elena Baturina. The organised announced plans of further competitions – good news for students, as the sum that covers the whole of the tuition cost is an invaluable help to any aspiring designer.

Secondly, Lexus Design Award offered the prize of $25,000, a mentorship in NYC, and an invitation to Milan Design Week to exhibit the work. The award was created to ‘help support designers and creators whose works can contribute to a better future. It seeks to honor designs that go beyond shape, form, and function to become a solution to overcome challenges.’

The Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI) international design competition with the top prize of $15,000 invites scientists, engineers, and designers to annually submit ideas for large-scale and site-specific public art installations that involve energy infrastructures.

Red Dot Design Awards features three categories: communication design, product design, and design concept. The lucky winner got €10,000 as well as the opportunity to be part of the Red Dot Design yearbook, and to have their designs in exhibitions around the world.

There is a great progress in how many students understand the value of taking part in these competitions and how much effort they are willing to make.

The organizers do not fail to stress how professional, skillful and deliberate young people are with their entries, and how much they deserve not just the cash, but also employment, training and general publicity, So these competitions are not just about the prizes – gaining a reputation of a creatively gifted professional before you even leave the university is a great asset for any graduate.

So let us hope we see more of their success stories, more competitions, and more support from universities for both.



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