Sarah Mitchell, a 21 year old third year student at the Vega School of Brand Leadership (Vega), in Durban, has been named the winner of the prestigious Student of the Year Award at the 2015 AdFocus Awards, held in Rivonia in Johannesburg. Vega is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE).

The Student of the Year award is coveted by students working towards a career in the advertising, communication, design and marketing industry, not only for its R35 000 prize money, but also for the prestige and recognition that comes with it. Aimed at recognising outstanding young creatives and the role they play in the advertising industry, the award provides the winning student with an incredible platform from which to network and grow.  Sarah’s portfolio, on which she was judged, was compiled during her three years at Vega. Her outstanding campaign comprised of, packaging, branding, publication and illustrated components.

“The attention that has come with winning this award has been wonderfully overwhelming,” said Mitchell. “To be recognised for my hard work is great and it has given me a sense of accomplishment. I am eternally grateful to everyone who made it possible, especially Financial Mail Editor-in-Chief, David Furlonger, who is such a wise and generous soul, and my tireless navigators at Vega.”

The win is just another illustration of the creative energy instilled in the students produced by Vega, which is a brand of the internationally renowned Independent Institute of Education (IIE). Its unorthodox approach focuses on providing world-class theoretical guidance through lecturers (navigators) who are themselves leaders in their field, while simulating real-world situations for the students to become accustomed to the pressures and challenges of the industry.

Part of the experiential aspect of studying at Vega is being given opportunities for recognition by industry heavy-weights, so that students are known to prospective employers on graduation. This is done through a wide variety of means during the course of the student’s studies and includes entry into awards such as AdFocus. It goes without saying that Sarah Mitchell’s name will be top of the recruitment list, as both acclaimed Student of the Year and respected IIE- graduate from Vega.

Sarah’s work can be viewed at

Find out more about Vega

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