Brian Heffernan, who graduated with a marketing degree from the Dublin Institute of Technology’s College of Business in November, won the prestigious Global Undergraduate Awards 2018 for his research exploring how Generation Z uses Instagram to curate their online and offline personas.
In the same event, four other DIT students also received citations: Ciara Delaney, Mei Ling Tong and Orlagh Cramp who were also from the School of Marketing for their research in the Business category and Amy Grath from the School of Creative Arts for her work in the Visual Arts category.
The Undergraduate Awards is a prestigious awards body that recognises students’ award-winning submissions based on their chosen field, and allows them to share their work with a global audience across 25 disciplines in a 3-day summit. The event also gives graduating students an opportunity to network and share ideas with students from various cultural backgrounds.
The awards committee received a total of 4,887 research papers from 333 higher education institutions in 46 countries in all seven regions. The winners are then judged as (1) global, (2) regional or (3) highly-commended winners.
All global winners from the various categories are awarded with the following:
A gold medal and a Certificate of Recognition
Publication of their winning entries in The Undergraduate Library
A profile of their work published in The Undergraduate Journal
Access to the UA Alumni Portal
A free ticket to the UA Global Summit
Fully-funded travel to attend the UA Global Summit
Brian’s work was awarded the global winner of this year’s competition in the business category for his research paper, An Exploration into Online Impression Management and the Selective Self-Presentation Strategies of Generation Z on Instagram, which is based on his undergraduate thesis.
“I am fascinated by the immense influence that Instagram has in society, particularly among my age group – Generation Z. The significant role that it plays in identity formation was particularly interesting to me. Through my research, I was able to determine the primary motivations to selectively self-present on Instagram, the strategies that are implemented and further understand the complex relationship between online and offline identities. Through the expert guidance I received from Dr Tara Rooney of the School of Marketing in DIT, who constantly pushed me in my research, and some very discerning interviewees, I was delighted with the insights that I obtained,” Brian says, when asked to describe his work.
Dr Kate Ui Ghallachoir, Head of the School of Marketing at the DIT College of Business, praises Brian for his success: “Brian’s global triumph at the Undergraduate Awards is a testament to his talent, detailed rigorous research and creative thinking, and the wealth of expertise available in DIT School of Marketing.”
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(Photo credits: DIT, UA websites)