• Student Prize winner completes 12-week internship

    • Jim Pope
    • News
    • 18 October 2016


    Our 2015 Student Prize winner has just completed his internship, and has had a brilliantly successful time, as this piece explains:

    “We’re so impressed, we’d like to define a permanent role for you here.” Those were the words Shaun Hickman was delighted to hear from eLearning company, Unicorn, at the end of his 12-week internship with them. Shaun earned the internship by winning the Student Prize in the 2015 New Media Writing Prize competition.

    Rewind 14 weeks and Shaun and David Gristwood, Unicorn Head of Learning Design, were on one of their weekly phone calls. These are calls Unicorn like to make when on-boarding someone they’re going to work with, even for a short period of time. “We find it helps get to know individuals in advance,” comments David, “then we can explain what we do and match the new starter’s skill set with the skills we’re looking for.”

    Soon, Shaun hit the ground running with 12 weeks of action-packed daily work at Unicorn, Bournemouth. Creating eLearning involves many skill sets: creative writing, graphic design, programming, project management, marketing, social media management, to name but a few. The on-boarding calls had established that Shaun’s skills and flexibility meant he was best suited for more than one of these roles. So, variety of work was very much the key for him.

    First, Shaun was involved in writing and editing for the staff magazine. Proving his writing skills there led to some script-writing for narrators of eLearning videos. More success there led to the final task – ‘the biggie’: write a whole eLearning course.

    “Having gained some experience writing videos, I could see that was just the tip of the iceberg,” comments Shaun. “The sky was the limit on what I could now write to bring a whole eLearning course to life. I could maybe write a video for it, but also create some interactive eLearning screens, add some multiple choice questions and perhaps a gaming element to enhance the user experience…and that’s just a few of the options!”

    Of course Shaun wasn’t left alone to do all this. David was on hand to provide guidance, help move ideas forward and on particularly specialist areas, Shaun worked with Unicorn design specialists such as Anna Licqurish-Coleman for graphic design and Debbie Thuesen for learning design.

    In a flash, the 12 weeks was over. With such a variety of work done to such a high level, Unicorn had quickly realised they shouldn’t let such an asset as Shaun slip through their hands and thought it time to offer Shaun a full time role.

    “I was delighted Unicorn recognized my work and were able to make such an offer,” said Shaun. “It’s also a brilliant outcome of their support for the internship,” he enthused, in concluding a busy, but highly engaging and enjoyable 12 weeks’ internship with BU New Media Writing Prize sponsor, Unicorn.