My experience on the I Accelerator Work Experience Programme: Project Management, Presentation and Collaboration.
By Donally Gonsalves, 3rd year Business Management student

Microsoft Business Challenge

The I Accelerator is a one week work experience programme where you can work on projects from large organisation, attend a range of workshops to boost employability and network with industry professionals. This programme was designed by Frances Trought, the former talent development leader here at Pearson College London. She is also the founder of the tart-up: Everything D & I. This is a new platform designed to directly engage and communicate with students on opportunities and work experiences available.


The First Day

The first day was designed to get to know everyone. This included presenting an elevator pitch about yourself; what your strengths are, where you hope to see yourself in 5 years and challenges that you had to overcome. All this had to be delivered in less than 30 seconds. Although this was a difficult challenge, I can say that everyone in the programme successfully delivered an elevator pitch that was personal and aspirational to their career journey. After this, we were briefed by Andy Coker (Account Executive) and Alex Stanton (a retail technology strategist) from Microsoft on the Business Challenge.

The Business Challenge

For the challenge, we were put into groups of five and were set the task to deliver a presentation on a retail strategy which would lead to the successful implementation of the Microsoft HoloLens, an augmented reality headset device to help solve real-life retail problems within the current market. Microsoft views the future of retail changing due to the technology present through the HoloLens.


The program additionally features a range of workshops. During the second day, we completed a workshop delivered by Andre’ Lewis, a former recruiter from Google on how to build your personal brand. He emphasised the importance of having your own personal brand to make you stand out from a sea of applicants and the storytelling process that is unique to your own career journey.

This was then followed by a talk, delivered by Nadia Mensha, a current assurance manager at PwC, who told us about her career journey into PwC and the struggles she had to overcome to get into the position that she is currently in.

To conclude the week we had the opportunity to take part in CV workshops to help students improve their CVs and Linkedin profiles to maximise their employability. All the workshops were designed to inspire, engage and refresh the students on what makes them employable and the different ways they can gain internships and graduate roles.


The Final Presentation

The final presentations were at Microsoft's London office in Paddington, where we presented to a panel of high personnel within Microsoft including Financial Directors and Retail Managers etc. This was an exciting prospect to showcase our ideas, the innovation we hope to bring and lastly our ability to present with confidence. I can say that all the teams brought amazing ideas and presentations, and even though my own team did not win, I can say that I brought back skills and experiences which are not only great for my CV but also ones which I can take away to improve communication and presentation skills in the future.


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