Thursday, 5 March 2015

BT Business Bootcamp: Day 4

I barely wrote anything last night, so this time I'm starting the blog post early. Our pitch is tomorrow so I doubt there'll be a #gaffparty tonight. 

We just had a meeting with our UCD experts. They were Enda and Peter, who have engineering degrees and are currently doing MBAs in Business, so the business was what they focused on. It was very relaxed, all groups in the same room around round tables. 

We had a very fruitful discussion, about a lot of things related to the project. We talked about the features, strategies for business planning, product lines and our business model and supply lines. So that was really great, and I have loads of notes. The lads were also really sound. We were given lots of other ideas too, but I don't want to go on for pages.

It's really amusing watching a spokesperson for each group describe what we learned because everyone's so fake-bubbly. We've all learned speaking skills, but to what end? Heh.

So this morning I woke up at quarter to eight, put on my white dress with pink flowers plus a red and white long cardigan sort of thing, and went down with Rachael to breakfast. I had Coco Pops (again) and brought two croissants with me on the bus and into UCD Nova. Mm, croissants. President Michael D. Higgins wasn't here today so at least we got to use our normal break room. 

I haven't even the slightest clue what we started off doing. I remember doing a flowchart until the last bus arrived, but then ... *checks timetable* 

Oh yeah! We had a cool guest speaker, going by the timetable he was Jonathan McRae, but anyway he'd been a senior employee at Microsoft - by his own admission his salary was in the top 0.5% of the country - but he quit/retired early three weeks ago because he wanted to start his own companies and write books. As you do. His talk was really interesting and you could tell he was comfortable up there. He also said there are currently five generations in the workplace, which was cool but I'm not sure of the veracity or how exactly you'd distinguish it. Generation boundaries are fuzzy. 

Shortly afterwards we had Break, then the timetable fails me as we did improv and talked about pitching and creative thinking. The improv infomercials we did were great craic, especially when John and Steve did theirs with the ukulele. 

Then Lunch - some teams stayed back to keep working, wish mine did - and then we walked from UCD Nova to the central concourse in UCD. We're in the Science building at the moment for the expert talk. We're now on Break, and someone from the IDA is coming in next to talk to us. I feel very lucky that they've convinced all these people to give us talks. 

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Now we're back in the hotel. It's 17.29. The talk from an IDA woman was short but really interesting, especially the factors that attract companies to Ireland and the map of all the multinationals with their EMEA bases in Ireland. I also learned what EMEA means (Europe, Middle East and Africa). Felt the first shreds of nationalism. 

We then worked for an hour on our projects and made good progress, enough that we could do a very rough run-through before we left on the bus (we were in a room in UCD and had to let the real college students in). Then we left and came here. I don't think we're going out for food tonight, which is good because (a) the Indian was awful (b) we have more time to work on our projects (c) The hotel restaurant is nice.

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We had a set menu with shitty food, except the mash which was both perfectly cylindrical and nice. The apple crumble was also good. Then we went back up, socialised in 153, rehearsed our pitch a bit - I went through all the maths and finance stuff with Mark again after we had to change it - and now I'm back in the #gaffparty.

Goodnight. Big day tomorrow, which means I should totally be asleep right now. 

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