Michael Spiers business competition
Business students from Plymouth University have a unique opportunity to hone their skills after being chosen to work with one of the South West’s most highly regarded companies.

The students, on courses within the Plymouth Business School and Postgraduate School of Management, have been selected to participate in a new competition run in partnership with award-winning jewellers Michael Spiers.

They will be tasked with undertaking market research into the jewellery and watch market, before producing a marketing strategy designed to target a specific audience.

The partnership is being spearheaded by the recently launched Futures Entrepreneurship Centre, and will aim to further the University’s enterprise mission and enhance students’ employability skills.

Penny Hele, Inspiring Futures Project Officer for Futures Entrepreneurship Centre, said: 

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with Michael Spiers in this mutually beneficial competition. The students will deliver a valuable service to the company, bringing fresh eyes and ideas to the development of a marketing strategy. But it is also a chance for them to put some of the theory they have learnt into practice, gaining essential transferrable skills which will benefit their future careers.”

Students taking part in the competition will have five weeks to draw up their strategy, which will then be judged by directors and senior managers at Michael Spiers.

The top three will then have to present their strategies to a specialist panel, a process designed to give them practical experience of scenarios they may face on a daily basis in their future careers.

Michael Spiers, which was founded more than 60 years ago, has locations across the South West, with showrooms in Plymouth, Truro, Exeter and Taunton. It won ‘Best Fashion Retailer – Accessories’ and ‘Retailer of the Year’ awards in 2013.

Keith White, Managing Director of Michael Spiers, said: 
“As a successful South West business we are thrilled to be able to share our experience and help foster the next generation of business leaders. With a long and proven track record, our reputation has been built through exceptional products and customer service. We understand the importance of looking to the future and staying innovative and look forward to the fresh thinking the Plymouth University students will bring us. There is the potential for this to make a positive tangible impact on our business and help us to maintain our position as one of the region’s real business success stories.”

The winner of the competition will be announced during a presentation ceremony held at the Michael Spiers showroom in Plymouth’s Cornwall Street in March.

3 pairs of students and 7 individual students are taking part:

Pair 1  
Imane El Hakimi - MPhil/PhD Business with Management - Stage 3
Xiaomei Wang - BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance - Stage 4

Pair 2 
Emma Williams - BA (Hons) Marketing - Stage 1
Rachel Wortman-Williams - BA (Hons) Marketing - Stage 1

Pair 3
Oliver Weston - BSc (Hons) Business Management - Stage 1
Lucy Elson - BSc (Hons) Business Management - Stage 1  

Individuals: 
  • Tom Harvey - BA (Hons) Business Administration - Stage 3
  • Stan Jones - BA (Hons) Business Administration - Stage 3
  • James McKellar - BA (Hons) Marketing - Stage 3
  • Callum Metcalfe - BA (Hons) Marketing  - Stage 3
  • Cara Fawcett - BA (Hons) Marketing - Stage 1
  • Robert Hughes - BA (Hons) Business Administration - Stage 3
  • Lucy Gray - BSc (Hons) Financial Economics - Stage 2
For an informal discussion about setting up a business competition, please email: inspiringfutures@plymouth.ac.uk. 

Students, keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter feeds for information about upcoming competitions and how to apply.

Students’ experiences of business competitions

Hear what students had to say about taking part in a Futures business competition run in partnership with Michael Spiers.