2014 Robyn bowman student winner of Gold at the Roses Creative Awards 

Winning a Roses Award gave me confidence, recognition and a piece of glassware that could easily kill a man. Ambitions affirmed, efforts validated; the career I'd always dreamed of seemed a little more tangible after this nod from the industry. A year on and I've got my feet firmly under an agency desk, the winning advert still in my book and the award sat pride of place on my bookshelf. Anyone thinking about entering should probably just get on and do it.

2012 Sean Kinnear and Sam Ngai – Winners of Brief 8: Ready for Take Off.  With Dinosaur

The Roses Student Awards are a great opportunity for would-be designers.  It enables us to compete with other individuals within the design world that are across the country. Enabling us to show our peers in the professional sphere that we can commit to a task, think outside the box, work with others and produce work to a professional standard.

Working together, Sam and I experienced what it would be like working as part of a creative team – albeit a small one – where we could throw our ideas back and forth, divide tasks and contribute our differing perspectives towards a final outcome. To win this brief and to be nominated for an award, whether it be gold, silver or bronze is an important accomplishment for us both, and shows that if you work hard you can achieve great things.  Not only do we have something tangible to show for our work but we have the added bonus of a placement with Dinosaur, where we will continue to learn new things and gain incredibly great experience.

2012 Alexander James Edwards – winner of brief 2: Wot R U talkin about? With BJL

Language has always been a love of mine, which is why I chose to tackle this brief. As it focused on language in relation to texting, so I thought an appropriate way to highlight the issue would be to place the English language back in its natural habitat, the printed page.

The idea behind the book that I produced was to celebrate the craft of the English language. Not only in relation to the written word but also the craft of book making and typography. These elements combined give the written word a sense of value rather than the throw away commodity of a text message.

The book sets Act 2, Scene 2 of Romeo and Juliet in text speak first, but the reader is instructed to flip the book over, revealing a full English language version which is of course far superior to the text speak version. By flipping the book over, the reader actually fixes the problems of spelling, grammar and readability that text language presents. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the tutors that helped mentor me through this project, Andy Reay and David Gardener.

I feel it’s a huge privilege to have been selected as the winner of this brief. Not only is it a huge confidence boost as I enter the final major project of my degree, but also winning a placement with a major awarding winning agency is a once in a lifetime opportunity that I welcome with open arms. Being selected as one of the students in the running for the Roses Creative Student Award is a huge honour and I am looking forward to attending the awards ceremony as it will be a great opportunity to meet people from the industry.

 Feel free to follow me on twitter @alphajulietecho

 2012 Abigail Burch – winner of brief 1: Alternative Therapy.  With Tayburn

I enjoy graphics most when I'm learning new things, so a large part of the approach to this project was researching into laughter: why we laugh, how we laugh and what benefits it has.  This majorly influenced the direction the project took.  It led to a focus on the fact people laugh most amongst groups of friends and family and that laughter, like good food, has a positive effect on the body.  This resulted in the 'The Laughing Spot', a comedy club and restaurant that provides a healthy dose of food and laughter.  As the brief required the project to make people smile, I was able to really have fun with the copy and imagery.  

It felt fantastic to find out I had won the brief I entered, so to realise I was also up for either Gold, Silver or Bronze at the Roses Creative Awards was incredibly exciting!  It is encouraging to know your work can compete against some of the top students in the UK and to feel the hard work has paid off.  

Gemma Brownhill – 2011 gold winner

"Winning gold last year at the student awards was a fantastic experience. The awards night was really enjoyable and I made many new contacts with people from the industry which gave me a head start in getting through the door for an interview.  The placement I won with the Elmwood gave me an invaluable insight into working in the industry. I never thought I would win gold but I did and it really helped me to get to where I am today I would encourage every student to enter the Roses awards."

Jordan laird - Past Winner and now one half of The Leith Young Team

"I have to say that I would highly recommend the Roses Student Creativity Awards to any aspiring young creative, says the old hand with 9 months experience. I felt that the briefs were more open and focussed on using creative thinking to solve a problem as opposed to some of the other student awards that I personally felt were a little more corporate and were looking for more strategic integrated campaigns. Since winning the awards I met full time advertising guru and part time litter collector Gerry Farrell, Creative Director at The Leith Agency who gave my partner and I an opportunity. Since then we have become a full time junior creative team at Leith and have been lucky enough to work on some huge campaigns for brands like IRN-BRU. If it wasn't for the Roses i may not be doing that now."

Stephen Woowat - Designer for Elmwood

"Entering the student Roses awards is something I'd encourage any design student to think about. It’s a great opportunity to get your work in front of people in the industry and provides the chance of picking up some valuable work experience.

I decided to enter a brief during the third year of my graphic design degree at Staffordshire University. I was fortunate enough to win my particular brief, and was rewarded with a two week placement at Elmwood, the agency who set it.   Winning the brief was a welcome confidence boost, knowing that my work could stack up well against that of other graduating designers. It was also comforting to know that I had a placement lined up straight after finishing uni. If your course allows you to enter competition briefs it seems a bit of a no brainer – you're going to be producing work anyway so why not direct some of that time to a project that can provide some extra benefits? Competition briefs also encourage you to improve the standard of your work. You need to come up with ideas that satisfy a specific objective – but can also stand up on their own without your presence there to help explain and defend them.

The knowledge that there are other people out there also fighting for the prize, challenges you to critique and push your work that bit more. You give it the extra craft and attention it needs that could elevate it above someone else's design in front of the judges.  My placement at Elmwood worked out well and I was offered a full time position as a designer. I've now been working at Elmwood for about five years. Over that time I’ve had the opportunity to work on a wide range of projects. Branding and identity work is central to a lot of the briefs I work on. Some have specific objectives in mind from the beginning – so you may be working towards a piece of packaging, literature or a website – but ultimately every brief is different, and you never really know where a project may take you.  

The variety of clients I've met and worked with has allowed me to cross into areas that I probably wouldn't have otherwise. Learning about a variety of different things with each project is one of the most enjoyable parts of the job. Projects I've worked on have ranged from designing stamps for the Royal Mail, to fresh fish packaging, a Design Council identity for a presentation at Downing Street, and the staple Elmwood Christmas card.   I've also continued my involvement with the student Roses awards in the years since graduating. It's been great to be invited back to set some briefs and sit on the judging panel. It's nice meeting some of the new generation of designers coming through."

Karl Sanderson - Judge at Viv-id

"Year after year the standard of entries get better and better, the briefs we set have to be consistently more engaging and exciting or else they want even be considered, there's nothing more rewarding than seeing countless entries from students who've chose to tackle your brief.
From a business perspective the Roses are an excellent market place for recruitment, from previous years we've employed designers after seeing their and meeting them at the awards evening, so entering clearly is a must and a great platform for students to preview themselves and their work. It’s a foot in the door with agencies and a change to open your networks, which in an extremely competitive market is priceless.
Every time we attend the judging and awards ceremony we leave with a tremendous amount of pride and energy, channelled directly from the passion of the students."