Aston student, Chris Parnell, is nominated for the much coveted Aspiring Talent accolade at this year’s ceremony. The BYPY awards celebrate and reward the most talented individuals within Birmingham’s burgeoning business community.
Chris, in the last year of a Business Computing and IT degree, recently completed a 12-month work placement at the multinational technology giant IBM. While there, he became Project Manager of the IBM’s Undergraduate Careers Academy, leading a team of ten people spread out across the UK in organising a large careers event for 400 students. The 2015 Careers Academy, which involved guest speakers, workshops, executive Q&A sessions, technology demos and more, was rated by IBM executives as ‘the finest example of a student conference’ and ‘the best Careers Academy in six years’.
A determined and entrepreneurially minded young man, Chris’s accomplishments do not end with excelling at one of the world’s largest corporations. In 2015, Chris demonstrated his zeal for enterprise by founding social media marketing company, Kairos Talent Management.
The business, launched immediately after Chris completed his placement year, operates in the emerging field of influencer marketing, working with the new wave of online personalities, artists and commentators who have grown huge followings across YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Kairos is currently partnered with over 200 ‘influencers’ across the globe, reaching 105m subscribers and 950m viewers respectively.
In addition, the company has worked with more than 20 international businesses to publicise their goods and services, including Logitech, Sony, Sennheiser and Warner Bros Pictures. Kairos has been highly successful, with nearly £1m of transactions passing through the business within its first two weeks of trading.
Candidates for a BYPY award compete in six different categories. The overall winner is chosen from the winners of each category and named Birmingham Young Professional of the Year. Alongside these categories, the BYPY also recognises those aged 16 – 24 who are in full-time or Higher Education with the Aspiring Talent award.Aston students and graduates have fared particularly well at the BYPY awards in the recent past. Last year, Business and Economics student, Lewis Parry, won the Aspiring Talent award, while graduate, Sarah Bennet, was named winner of the Finance category. In 2014 and 2012, Aston students were again the recipients of the Aspiring Talent honour.
The BYPY awards ceremony will take place on 12 May at the ICC Birmingham.