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Technology pays - Students get $200K scholarship for animation challenge

Published:Friday | February 8, 2013 | 12:00 AM
Winning duo Dwayne Carridice (left) and O'Neil Daley proudly show their $200,000 scholarship awarded by Bill Express, and new BlackBerry smartphones. Contributed photos
The top three teams in the Bill Express BBM Animation competition show off their winnings - new BlackBerry 9320 handsets.

Northern Caribbean University student (NCU) Dwayne Carridice and teammate O'Neil Daley will not have to worry about tuition fees for the next semester.

They are winners of the recently concluded Bill Express BBM Animation Challenge.

"We set out to spark creativity in young people," explained Patria-Kaye Aarons, sponsorship and communications manager of the bill-payment agency.

"The world of technology is fast-paced and a part of everyday life. We wanted to find a way that was 'techy' and exciting to connect Bill Express with our customers."

Bill Express has taken a novel approach to communication. Social media and personal interactions have been a big part of the brand's marketing strategy.

"We recognise the merit in being where our customers are," said Aarons. "Convenience is king today. Not only our services, but also our advertising needs to be readily accessible, be it on Facebook or, in this case, on BlackBerry."

convenience to pay

Humour was the overwhelming theme throughout the submissions. This, too, is aligned with the Bill Express way.

"People don't like paying bills. It is a dreaded activity every month, but it is necessary. Bill Express attempts to take the pain out of that process as much as possible. It provides 250 locations islandwide and the convenience of being able to pay over 40 bills in one spot. It is strategic with the sponsorships it selects."

The winners were selected from entries submitted by students of the University of the West Indies, University of Technology and Northern Caribbean University, all client companies of Bill Express. The judging criteria included:

  • Use of the Bill Express logo
  • Facebook votes
  • Viral potential
  • Emotional impact
  • Complexity

Chief judge, Norval West, commented, "The entries were all good. However, some of the teams went the extra mile to engage viewers' imaginations."

A technology expert at GraceKennedy Money Services, West had good advice for the entrants.

"You have to love what you do, and be really good at it. Consider identifying the areas in IT that you are genuinely interested in and create a plan of how you can make a career getting there. You may not get to work in the area of interest initially, but many IT skills are transferable. Approach every job with the mindset that you're going to be the best, so that you will establish a reputation of excellence."

The top six finalists received BlackBerry Curve 9320 handsets.