Our trip to Durham for the Business Challenge was an amazing experience and I gained a lot from it.
The Challenge gave me the opportunity to demonstrate what I have learnt during my undergraduate studies so far.
After signing in for event on the Saturday morning we moved to a big lecture theatre all very impatient for the first challenge to start.
When all the groups arrived, we were given a briefing for the two days and the representative of PwC announced the first challenge. Then, we were split up into random groups and moved to a venue where we could work.
The first challenge was quite challenging for the time given. My group and I decided to divide the work in order to complete the task on time. I personally did not enjoy the PwC challenge as it was not based on the marketing sector and we had to go through a lot of slides in order to get a general idea about the project. From the feedback that we got after announcing the winner, we all realized that we spent too much time trying to analyse each slide and not focus on the main objectives and task of the challenge.
When the first challenge was over, lunch was served.
The second challenge was hosted by Asda. My group and I started reading the briefing of the project and came up with lots of interesting ideas. I was very keen on the Asda challenge because it was based on the marketing sector. We had to think of a product for children that would stand out for its health benefits as well as for its packaging, promotion, branding etc. We managed our time very well and we had time to make a really structured presentation. When we moved to the big lecture theatre for the final results we were feeling very confident. Then, the representatives from Asda announced the three groups that made it to the final round. My group was one of them! We were so excited but at the same time a little nervous about the upcoming presentation. We had time to prepare our speeches while the other groups were presenting. After our presentation, the Asda employers asked us a few questions about the product which we answered successfully. Later on, they announced the winner which was my group! We were so happy about it because the prize was an interview for a summer placement at Asda.
Sunday morning began with the WPP challenge. This challenge was based on the marketing sector too and it involved the application of our creativity skills. We had to create a new craft beer and promote it. I really enjoyed this challenge and my group was very confident about our idea. Although, we did not make it to the final round we were satisfied with our work because it was very creative and unique.
Finally, the Unilever challenge closed the event. It was a very challenging project about organizing and running an ice cream promotional campaign around Durham campus. My group had to consider a lot of factors about the event such as our budget, staff etc. We also had to fill in a risk assessment form. The time given for this challenge was definitely not enough. Due to the time constraints our presentation slides did not look very professional. However, the Unilever representatives gave to all of us ice cream straight after the challenge as a reward for our effort. The winning group really impressed me with their structured and creative presentation as well as with their consideration about all the factors involved with the project.
Overall, I really enjoyed this weekend. It was a bit tiring but fun at the same time. It also gave me the opportunity to network with other students and talk with different employers and lecturers from Durham University. I personally think that my presentation skills were improved after watching many students presenting in front of people, and especially employers from big companies, and also being able to reflect on my experience of presenting to them too. It was such a great experience and I think it would be amazing if Bradford School of Management organized a similar Business Challenge next year.