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Victory for Team Aphrodite

Published: 12th April 2007

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Team Aphrodite - the L'Oreal Marketing Winners (from l-r: Michael Boyle, Toni Symons, L'Oreal HR manager Alex Snelling and Michael Barker).

FOUR and a half thousand applicants in 32 countries, it could be Europe’s biggest job interview.

And three MMU undergraduates have their feet on the first rung of the career ladder after winning L’Oreal’s Brandstorm UK Final for marketing.

Michael Boyle from Manchester, Michael Barker from Plymouth and Toni Symons from London were announced as UK Final Winners by the company at London’s Tate Modern.

The three, all aged 20, and studying on BA (Hons) Advertising Management impressed with their rebranding, new packaging and international marketing strategy for L’Oreal’s Redken for Men products.

Organic product marketing

Their concept is based on bringing natural images and ingredients to market hair care products in urban settings.

"The whole point of our product is organics and there's been such a boom in organic consumption," says team member, Michael Boyle.

The trio, from MMU Business School, beat off rival undergraduates from 30 universities and competed in the final against Cambridge, Warwick and Bath.

Nicknamed Team Aphrodite the three will face young business teams from 31 countries in the Worldwide Finals in June, with around 50 jobs and 75 internships up for grabs for the best. The winning team also takes €10,000 off to ‘a capital city of its choice’.

A delighted Michael Barker said: "We submitted our pre-case study and within a few weeks we were in L’Oreal HQ in London – it was so exciting!"

Enterprise culture at MMU

Head of Marketing at MMU Business School Dr Ruth Ashford said: "My congratulations to Michael, Michael and Toni in winning their place in Paris and also for winning the best new product. We place great emphasis on entrepreneurial skills and business experience at MMU, so I am not surprised that we are the judges’ choice."

L’Oreal’s ‘competition’ is increasingly common as companies vie to recruit the best graduates.

"We are looking for creative students who are business focussed, which is a delicate balance," says L’Oreal’s human resources director Richard Humphrey.

For more about courses at MMU Business School, go to www.business.mmu.ac.uk/programmes