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Reading students win O2 apprenticeship opportunity – University of Reading

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Reading students win O2 apprenticeship opportunity

Release Date 04 May 2006

John Hendry, Head of Business School The University of Reading, Peter Erskine, CEO O2 and Russ Shaw, Marketing Director O2 with winning team members Rachel Peck, Heather Dawson, Victoria Jarvis and Athar AhmadMuch like the BBC Two's The Apprentice, five student teams at the University of Reading won the opportunity to present their work to Peter Erskine, Chief Executive Officer at O2. The student teams showcased their abilities to impress the 'big boss' in the hope of winning a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the top three student teams to join O2's award winning marketing team on a highly sought placement for a number of weeks over the student summer holidays. Since the start of this year, O2 has been working with the University of Reading, supporting the curriculum for almost 100 marketing students, using O2 as a case study to bring the marketing concepts to life. O2 has provided the resource and materials to support the project, aimed at developing the next generation of management and marketeers. Out of the five winning teams Rachel Peck, Heather Dawson, Victoria Jarvis and Athar Ahmad were selected to take part in the placement. Russ Shaw, Marketing Director, O2 UK, said: "It has been great to witness the fresh creative ideas Reading students have been capable of. However, the real test faces them when the winning teams have to convince Peter Erskine and I that their ideas represent what they have learnt through the university course and they understand what O2 marketing is all about. The winning teams will join us here at O2 for a placement opportunity to practice putting their newly acquired marketing skills in place - in real-time." Dr Christine Phillips, from the University of Reading Business School, said: "O2's involvement has been inspirational - it has both delighted and wowed our students. The company's dynamic and vibrant marketing team have led Reading management students through the marketing experiences of one of the UK's leading companies. The course has excited and challenged everyone. Students have responded by producing some really outstanding and innovative projects. "We believe the partnership between O2 and Reading has provided students with a truly unique business and academic experience, and we are very much looking forward to continued involvement with O2 next year. In the words of one student, 'it really has been awesome'." end For further information please contact: Nicola Green 02 Press Office 07976 957 810 Graham Lee Cohn & Wolfe 020 7331 5352 Eleanor Holmes Press Officer The University of Reading 0118 378 6166 About O2 O2 is a leading provider of mobile services to consumers and businesses in the UK. It is the leader in non-voice services, including text, media messaging, games, music and video, as well as always on data connections via GPRS, 3G and WLAN. Every month, O2's 16 million customers send well over a billion text messages. O2 (UK) Limited is a subsidiary of O2 plc which also owns O2 branded mobile operators in Ireland and Germany as well as the Airwave O2 emergency services network in the UK. (For b-roll footage of O2, please visit About the University of Reading The University of Reading is one of the foremost research-led universities in the UK. Founded in the nineteenth century and gaining a Royal Charter in 1926, we offer a wide range of programmes from the pure and applied sciences to languages, social sciences and fine art. New research and the latest thinking continually feed into undergraduate teaching, with our academic staff working at the forefront of their fields of expertise. For further information visit

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