A Leeds Trinity University alumnus has enlisted the support of 10 current students, to support his creative marketing business VISCO Agency.

27-year-old Thomas Haigh graduated from Media and Marketing at Leeds Trinity University in 2016. He established VISCO last year as a visual communication agency - supporting clients with creative design, social media strategies and digital marketing.

In April, Thomas welcomed four second-year students during their professional work placements, and this week will welcome another six first-year students. As well as supporting Thomas with existing clients including Jackaboos Play Gym and Farsley Celtic Football Club, the students have been, and will be, generating new ideas, writing strategies and meeting prospective clients.

Thomas said: "The students each had their own specific roles and part to contribute to VISCO Agency - they contributed with their own expertise and developed new skills whilst conducting their placement. I think what helped inspire and motivate the students was that I was once in their shoes, which meant I could relate to them and offer advice and guidance, especially about what to expect after university."

Ben Gormanley, who worked as a Campaigns Strategist during his placement and pitched a campaign event to a client to bring more excitement to their business and customers, said: "I have thoroughly enjoyed my time on placement with VISCO Agency. Tom is a charismatic and approachable person who does his upmost to ensure students are informed, engaged and have fun on placement. This is done with the aim of producing quality material for clients.

"On placement, I was given the opportunity to meet clients and even pitch to one. The Enterprise Centre provided more than enough space and the equipment allowed me to get on with my work. The staff were very welcoming and took a keen interest in our placement."

In December 2018, Thomas received a £500 bursary from the Enterprise Fund within the University's Inspiring Futures Programme. He used the fund to produce business cards, leaflets and pop-up banners to promote VISCO to a wider audience. Since then, he's gained nine new clients and is pitching to more. He is currently using offices at the University's Enterprise Centre and has benefited from additional support through the Leeds City Region Ad:Venture project.

Phillip Williams, Start-up Business Advisor at Leeds Trinity University, said: "When Thomas applied for the Inspiring Futures Programme funding he was at a crossroads in where to take his business next, so seeing his business flourish in the last few months has been fantastic. I'm delighted the fund has given him the confidence to take the leap and really move forward with his business - I wish him all the best of luck for the future."

Thomas added: "If it wasn't thanks to the Inspiring Futures Programme, I don't think I would have had the confidence, time or budget to kick-start VISCO Agency. I would highly recommend to current alumni and future graduates that are freelancing in their chosen field of study, to look into the fund as it will help, and it is so beneficial."

The Inspiring Futures Enterprise Fund is currently open for applications from graduates who graduated in 2017, 2018 or summer 2019. The deadline to apply is Friday 7 June 2019. Find out more atwww.leedstrinity.ac.uk/ifp.


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