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Overall winner Lynsey McClean,  a BSc Hons Business with Marketing student at the Coleraine campus.

Five student innovators were recognised for their outstanding achievements at the Ulster Business School’s 2010 Placement Innovation Competition Awards ceremony.

Each received a prize for their contribution to driving innovation and excellence during their placement year.   
The innovative projects ranged from developing new marketing strategies in the third sector to delivering technology solutions to improve management processes in the public sector.

The overall prize went to Lynsey McClean, a BSc Hons Business with Marketing student at the Coleraine campus.  
Lynsey completed her placement in NIE Energy. During the placement year Lynsey observed that in the current economic environment consumer behaviour was changing and there was a desire for greater financial control of household expenses.  
Lynsey successfully capitalised on this trend to promote the Pay-As-You-Go Keypad meter in a well targeted marketing campaign delivered in partnership with the Post Office.

The project outcomes exceeded all expectations according to Lynsey’s placement employer at NIE Energy, Kerstie Forsythe: “Lynsey spotted an opportunity for the business to actively promote Keypad at a time when customers were particularly interested in saving money and being in more control of their finances.  The increase in the number of customers changing to Keypad, as a result of Lynsey’s work, has reduced the risk of bad debt for NIE Energy and improved cashflow.”

Speaking at the awards ceremony, Professor Marie McHugh, Dean of the Ulster Business School said: “Despite the challenging environment that the business community and the public sector are facing, we are delighted that 300 students across the School are currently benefiting from a one-year placement.

"We greatly value the tremendous support that we receive from all of the organisations that we work with through the placement process. These prize winners and their employers are outstanding examples of the value that placement can bring to both the student and organisation.”

Dr Adele Dunn, co-ordinator of the awards, added: “Our winners demonstrate an openness to new ideas and have the drive and confidence to make these happen in the work environment, these are key skills that employers seek in our graduates -  we are delighted to celebrate the success of our placement innovators.”

The full list of award winners includes:

  • Jaime McCormack - The Sea Pines Resort
  • Stacey Hebborn - Protect Life·
  • Lynsey McClean - NIE Energy
  • Ciaran McBride - Belfast Urban Sports Ltd
  • Lee Brolly - Business Services Organisation (Health and Social Services Northern Ireland)