Saturday, 7 March 2015

BT Business Bootcamp: Day 5 + Photo Friday #9 + School Careers Evening

Photo Friday is a weekly event on this blog where I pick a photo that means something to me and talk about it. This week is a bit different though, because as I had no internet last night I still have to write about the last day of the BT Business Bootcamp as well as my School Careers Evening. 

Which is like a metaphor for my life lately. But here we go, shoving everything into one blog post like a boss. 

This photo is of my team yesterday upstairs in UCD Nova minutes before our pitch, which I'll get to later on in the post.

So, I got up at the usual time and oh god I can't remember anything that happened yesterday. The night before, Rachael had told me that we had to pack all our stuff and bring it with us to UCD Nova, which was a bit of a pain. I did a lot of it yesterday but still had to frantically pack before going down for breakfast. 

I had Coco Pops and brought a croissant and a pastry thing (Danish?) to Nova. I probably did stuff before we got started but do you think I remember it? Nope, I do not. 

When all the buses had arrived, we had a talk from a Newstalk presenter called Jonathan (he does science news). He talked to us about effective science communication and had an acronym (because that's what all the #coolkids do these days), SPRUCE (something, Pop, something, Unusual, Creative? something). He spoke well and had a perfect presenter voice, but really we were all thinking about the pitch later that day. 

And then we had project work. I rewrote my part of the pitch to flow a lot better, then learned it essentially off (which I don't like doing but there you go). Then we practiced. Mark and I went outside the seminar room and ran through ours, and it was pretty cool. Mark has really come out of his shell and I'm glad I got to know him better. 

Kate, Emily and I argued about whether to use a PowerPoint or not. Eventually they agreed I could have one slide so I used the business model one I spent ages iterating. 

Ukulele Steve brought us up to the room where we'd be pitching to Dr. Tony Scott (founder of YS) plus some BT execs and other fancy people. Steve took my USB and put it up on the screen. We had food. Then people started finding out the running order. I think the mushroom fuel group was first. Turned out we were last, just after Rachael's Brap group. 

We chilled (not very relaxedly) in the room to where all our suitcases had been taxied and waited for all the other pitches. It's a pity we couldn't see the other groups, that would have been pretty great. Even through a camera.

Finally, we were brought up to a room beside the pitch room and took the photo you see above (on my initiative. The others weren't being very teamlike). From left to right there you can see Kate, Sean, Mark, me and Emily. 

I smiled as we went in to face the judges because hey, that's what you're supposed to do. I assume they'd been told to look intimidating because by god did they. They were just staring at us like Dragon's Den. 

So yeah, we did our pitch. It went off essentially without a hitch, although I'm pretty sure Emily being up until 5 am the night before was problematic. But yeah, went well. The questions, though, were tough. Tony started and asked a lot of questions, as did the other judges. But anyway, we were proud of how we'd done as we left and we had a fighting chance, which considering that this was 29 people selected out of over 4000 who applied for YS, is pretty damn good. 

Then lunch stuff, talked to Annie and Rachael, then the awards. It was a much more casual affair than the real YS awards, and a lot more intimate too. A girl from our group, Kate, won Best Individual there. We saw how good Kate was at speaking from the very first day, and I knew she did debating after that first speech. We got her to open and close our presentation because she has really emotive speech, and she did a great job. Talking to Rachael just before the awards started, I predicted that Kate would win, so that was pretty cool.

An Tionchar, the hurling boot, won Best Group. That was a bit disappointing, and I would've been happier if Homeless Wrap/Turtle or Brap won, but sure An Tionchar had the girl who won €1000 at YS for being the best communicator there, plus this guy who was really passionate about hurling, Renuka who was super duper conscientious and Jack who's adorable. But yeah, we did well.

The Bootcamp officially ended at 4.30 p.m. but we were waiting like an hour for a taxi that was super lost. Mari (head of YS) says to write and give out about the taxi drivers, so there you go. Honestly, I didn't want to leave.

I got a taxi to Connolly with Renuka and Louis, then got the train back at 6, arrived at 7, then walked with my bags from the train station to school for Careers Night and to pick up Moya.

I'd never been to a school careers night before and I was actually very impressed. They had a huge variety of people there. I went and talked to a guy in Biomedical Science and he actually made me doubt whether I want Trinity. I had always dismissed ITs because of their lower reputation, but apparently the DIT biomedical science course is better than the university ones because it includes lab as well as theory classes and you're actually qualified in something at the end.

Then I got home and had no internet and that was sad.

Tomorrow, I will hopefully have a post about what I've learned from Bootcamp, and maybe after that you'll get some highlights. Mystery.

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