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University of Ulster advertising students Sean Lynch and Laura Dears marked yet another major milestone this week at the University of Ulster’s summer graduation ceremonies in the Millennium Forum.

The students, who were both awarded first class honours degree in Advertising at the Magee graduations, have already notched up a number of other notable successes, both individually and as members of a winning team.

Sean (24) who is originally from Derry and now lives in Donegal, is a past pupil of St Columb’s College. After leaving school, he spent two years studying Biological Science at university before opting for a complete change of directionand signing up for the Advertising degree at Ulster, the only one of its kind in Ireland.

“Changing courses was definitely the right decision for me. I realised I didn’t want to be a biological scientist but I wanted to study something that I would really enjoy working at.”

His final year project – to create an integrated marketing communications campaign aimed at inspiring young entrepreneurs to come up with big ideas for starting their own businesses – clinched the Leo Burnett Award. The pitches were judged by Shane McGonigle, Managing Director of Dublin based Leo Burnett Advertising Agency.

Twenty-two year old Laura from Larne, is a past pupil of Larne Grammar School. She was named CIM (Chartered Institute of Marketing) Graduate of the Year and is now employed as a marketing executive with Antrim printing company W&G Baird.

Earlier this year, Sean and Laura were named ‘The Pitch NI 2012 Champions’ at an event organised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing Ireland, in association with Northern Bank. Their winning pitch consisted of a marketing strategy aimed at young people, which incorporated social media, a financial incentive and a viral video which was viewed over 1000 times in just five days.

Course Director of the BSc Advertising programme, Marian Norwood, said: “Sean and Laura worked exceptionally hard. Their success is testament to this and a wonderful endorsement of the Advertising degree at Magee.

“We are confident that our students are of the highest calibre and that the degree prepares them for the demanding world of advertising and marketing.”