Deputy Mayor of Reading recognises student achievements at Oxfam Projects presentation event

27 March 2015

Deputy Mayor of Reading recognises student achievements at Oxfam Projects presentation event

Crowdfunding, flexible in-store technologies & online loyalty schemes were hot topics on 24th March, when Deputy Mayor of Reading, Cllr. Sarah Hacker, recognised achievements of Business School students for their projects to support Oxfam online operations.

Crowdfunding, flexible in-store technologies and online loyalty schemes were the hot topics on Tuesday 24 March, when Deputy Mayor of Reading and University of Reading 'Alumnus of the Year 2015', Councillor Sarah Hacker, recognised the achievements of Henley Business School students for their projects to support Oxfam online operations.

As part of their study, undergraduate students taking the 'Technology Advisory Practice' module at the Business School have been supporting Oxfam’s E-Commerce Department. Students completed market research and worked with Oxfam to produce recommendations and strategies for developing operational practices for crowdfunding, flexible in-store technologies and online loyalty schemes.

The event saw students presenting to an audience of Oxfam representatives, fellow students, lecturers, and a professional review panel of industry consultants. Ideas put forward by the students included: recruitment of student brand ambassadors, online campaigns and fundraising events to engage with student communities and encourage crowdfunding; an online points-per-pound loyalty scheme to build brand engagement, where customers and donors reaching a set level of points are entered into a prize draw and given examples of the support their money or donation is providing; and introduction of in-store tablets to enable staff and volunteers to easily upload donated items to the online store and allow customers a more interactive shopping experience, with the ability to browse online.

Dr Danny Gozman, Lecturer in Business Informatics at Henley Business School, comments:

"Our students have performed remarkably well and risen to the task of providing valuable advice to Oxfam. Working with the charity has given them the chance to experience and solve "real-world" business problems, gain practical experience and develop their problem-solving, client relationship, presentation and team working skills, which will increase their knowledge and attractiveness to future employers."

Stephanie Lovell, Senior E-Commerce Manager at Oxfam, continues:

"The students have exceeded my expectations and given me lots to take back to Oxfam. They asked pertinent questions, gave original opinions and ideas and made an effort to understand the organisational culture and value of what we do."

Councillor Sarah Hacker, Deputy Mayor of Reading, adds:

"The projects sound extremely interesting and I think there are other communities within Reading that would benefit from the ideas the students gave. Collaboration between Oxfam and the Business School is a great idea, as both the students and charity benefit; I hope they can find other ways of working together in the future."

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