Like most people, final year marketing student Julian Major enjoys watching movies, so being able to incorporate them into his Vacation Scholarship made for an exciting project.
In just eight weeks Julian produced a five-page research paper, which will soon be submitted to an Australian-wide marketing conference.
"The research scholarship was a big challenge but I have gained a lot of new skills, particularly in research, writing and working to a deadline," he said.
Julian's research, which aimed to find out the content of word-of-mouth about new movies, had some interesting findings.
"My research found that people say the same things before a movie is released compared to after the movie is released in cinemas," he said.
"People generally give overall opinions about movies, whilst comparisons to other movies and discussions about the on-screen talent were also quite common".
Julian will graduate from his Bachelor of Marketing and Communication at the end of this year and is still deciding whether to continue his studies or move into the workforce next year. Nevertheless, this experience will benefit him in whatever path he chooses to take.
"It is a fantastic opportunity for students, particularly those considering postgraduate studies. It gave me insight into what research is like and I made some valuable contacts in the field," he said.
The Ehrenberg-Bass Institute offers Vacation Research Scholarships to high performing marketing students each year.
Students are paired with a senior researcher who guides them through a specialised research project.
Vacation Scholarship Coordinator, Dr Jennifer Taylor, said the program is unique as it enables students to gain experience in research while completing their degree.
"Throughout the eight weeks students get first-hand insight into the research process; reviewing previous research, developing questions, gathering and analysing data and producing a report. This experiential learning gives students the hands-on experience they need to stand out against other graduates in the job market," she said.
The program runs for around eight weeks over the summer break and, as well as experience, scholars receive $300 per week for the duration of the project.
"Doing the program in the summer holidays not only gave me something to do, but meant I could focus a lot of my time on the project. It was an opportunity to do something different and the experience will provide an edge when applying for jobs in the near future," Julian said.
Learn more about Vacation Research Scholarships and other special study options available to undergraduate marketing students.