We sat down with Thibau Grumett, Level 4 Business Management student at Pearson Business School, to discuss his experience of the Intra and Entrepreneurship Industry Day last Friday at Pearson Business School.
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?
My name is Tibau Grummet and I am a Level 4 Business Management Student at Pearson Business School, thinking of doing Entrepreneurship next year. So far, I have started around 11 businesses and I am also an investor.
What was the task during the industry day?
We had quite a lengthy brief which specified a list of five new and upcoming technologies and ten attributes or qualities that employers hiring graduates would think are ideal.
We had to pick one technology from the list and one attribute from the other list and find a way to improve the skill using the technology. My team chose Virtual Reality and Working Under Pressure. We came up with two main ideas but the one we ended up going forward with was a virtual audience in the VR headset for the user to rehearse your speech in front of. This focused on being under pressure when public speaking. As the user rehearsed, the crowd would get tougher. It would start with one member coughing, then one laughing. One walks out. The hardest level would have clowns running around, fire and spontaneous things going on.
The idea was that when the user came to presenting the real presentation/ speech, they would be much better prepared for the added pressure of someone coughing or leaving the room, ad they have already experienced things much more distracting than this during the practice phase.
What did you do in order to win?
The key to our success was clarity and confidence. We knew our idea well and had prepared just as well as the others. When it came to sharing our ideas, we were outgoing and expressive, I think that impressed most of our peers. To be honest, when our team was called for first prize, we all were stunned.
How did the presentation element work?
It was set up like a science fayre, where everyone had an area where they set up their idea, and we rotated around each stall and listened to what they had to say and what they had come up with. A lot of people did pick VR and working under pressure, so it was a case of really making our idea stand out. The standard was really high and the ideas amongst the students were great! That was why we were really happy and surprised to have won the task.
What was it like to present to industry experts?
We were presenting not only to our peers but also to the professionals that came in to talk to us on the day and some members of staff from Pearson College London. The industry experts were very tuned in to our presentations, asking lots of questions and actively giving us advice. They were wildly more approachable than we thought. We enjoyed their feedback and challenging questions, but, it felt more like a discussion than a pitch. They were all wonderful and attentive.
What was the prize?
David Horne, who I was lucky enough to introduce to the panel discussion earlier in the day, was kind enough to give us, as the winning team, several tickets to his conference at the London Stock Exchange next Monday: “Funding Focus”. The event is about increasing investment in all women start-ups and small companies. He gave a shocking statistic that for every £1 invested in a start-up, less than a penny goes to an all-women team. He is trying to raise awareness and get more people investing in all-women start-ups. The whole team can’t wait.
How is Pearson College London providing you with industry opportunities?
There are so many! Pearson College London is incredible! Lisa Giles is doing so well to put on the industry weeks every half term, which is packed with incredible events and there are extra events posted around the campus on the walls and hidden in the newsletters every week. With an endless stream of opportunity, it’s impossible to grasp them all. I haven’t disliked any I have been to so far!
What advice would you give to other students when networking with professionals?
Networking is all about confidence and you have to find a common interest. So, the first step is approaching the individual. Firstly, don’t be scared or think that this person’s title or stature within an organisation is intimidating. You need to approach them, ask to join them and then have a normal conversation whilst trying to find common ground.
As an investor, I was trying to touch on investments; David invests too, mainly in stocks, so I got talking to him about cryptocurrencies. Having a good conversation that supports common interests will form a good networking relationship. There is nothing better than proving your interest in a professionals’ topic. I was lucky to speak to David Horne before the event and he was an awesome guy. I knew I wanted to see him again.
At the end of the conversation, if you are interested, it is a good idea to ask if the person would be interested in exchanging details and grabbing a coffee or some dinner at some point. By speaking about his upcoming book and investments, of which we’re both interested, I got a signed copy of his book and potentially will be meeting him again.
Networking is about building relationships for the future.