Hult Global Business Challenge winners – Team Torbay!
One of our students, Amalie explains a little bit about the amazing experience of taking part in the Hult Global Business Challenge.
Hello everyone! My name is Amalie and I am a student at EF academy Torbay, studying the IB program. This will be my first blog post, updating all of you guys in English. I am really excited to start writing these blog posts, not only to update all of my friends and family back in Norway, but also informing present and maybe future students interested in EF Academy. My post for today is going to be al little bit different and weird, because that is exactly what those three days have been like. I have to start by giving you guys some back story. At Torbay I study among other subjects, Business. It´s one of my favourite subjects and a while ago our school was given the opportunity to enter the global Hult business challenge. This was a competition and the task was to develop a product that Ford was going to sell and aim at generation Z (teenagers). Our group immediately started thinking about what this product would be and we figured out quite quickly that we wanted to develop a bike, an electric bike. This bike was going to be special and customisable for the customers need. It was going to have 25 different accessories that we defined as “add-ons”. Safety, gadgets and extra design was the three categories we had, each containing about seven add-ons. It was really exciting.
We worked and developed our concept for over two months. Then came the day when all the different groups from our school gathered together to compete against each other. The jury consisted of teachers from our school and people from Hult university. We presented last and we were told later that we literally “dropped the mic”. We won this competition and we would be competing in the finals in London the 14th of January against two other groups. One group from EF Academy Oxford and the other one from EF Academy New York.
We had two months to prepare ourselves for the finals and during those two months, we had our winter break. We worked on our presentation in our business class and off school. It was fun, but a lot of work. We experienced a period were there were no new ideas and cool things to add. Our minds were stuck in the box.
The 12th of January we left the Academy and headed towards London. I’ve never been to London, so it was an AMAZING experience to see the London taxis, the London Eye, Big Ben and the London Bridge. Let me just tell you, reality beats movies and HD pictures! We arrived at Hult four o clock and was greeted by DittH, one of the people working for HULT. Me and Chalisa (one of my teammates) shared room at the campus. We were expected at the reception one hour later to socialize and meet the other teams. I was a bit nervous to mingle with everyone, but it turned out to be a great experience. All of the students were amazing and super, super nice! That night we had a lot of fun, eating good pizza, talking, getting to know each other and listening to live music.
Friday we woke up at seven thirty to get ready for our exciting day at Hult. We ate a good breakfast and enjoyed our surroundings (by that I mean the funky canteen at Hult!). We than went to class were Eli Bohemund held a really good presentation about public speaking. I learned a lot and he helped us calm some nerves. “If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail” was something that got stuck in my head after his class. This is especially important if you are going to try to convince your audience to but your idea! Btw, here is a smart tip we learned from Eli. If you ever feel your mouth drying up before a presentation, eat or drink something sweet. It will help you and may even calm you down a bit! After Eli´s class we had a coaching session with Daniel Rukare were he helped and prepared all the individual groups for our presentations on Saturday. Daniel did a really good job helping our group. He helped us think outside the box and make our ideas POP! He was truly an amazing coach helping us along the way! After working for a long, long time we finally went to a restaurant and ate some really good steak! Hult had booked us tickets for a Stomp show, and yes I was as confused as you probably are now. Stomp? Stomp uses the body and ordinary objects to create a physical theatre performance creating rhythms, music and acrobatics. And it was unbelievable! It was so much fun and was so cool!
Saturday we took the bus to Ashridge were the finals was going to be held. It was a one and a half hour drive from the Hult campus. We had been told it was an amazing castle, almost looking like a Hogwarts replica. I am not exaggeration when I am telling you guys, this place was one of the most beautiful places I had ever seen in my whole life. The pictures can explain for themselves!! Wow!! We were guided to some parts of the castle and it was so amazing! We separated in to our groups pretty fast after arriving and started the last finishing touches of the presentation. We had lunch at 12:30 and had to present the final product to the jury at 14:00. I was SO nervous. My heart was pounding so hard in my chest, I swear my shirt was moving up, down, up, down. We were the second group to present, after New York. New York had an amazing presentation with a complex prototype of their product. I got the feeling we had already lost before even entering the “stage”. When it was our turn my mind went from chaos to focus. Things went pretty smoothly, other than getting the “one-minute warning” a bit sooner than we had expected.
We answered the questions from the judges in an okay-way. We took our seats again and listened to the last group from oxford. I was really disappointed, because I was 100% sure we had lost. One of my team mates, Juan from Mexico was super confident and whispered to everyone “We won, we won, don’t worry!”. We had to wait for over an hour for the results, and finally we were asked to come to the Ashridge chapel were we would get the results. The judges gave every group feedback of their presentations and gave certificates for attendance of the competition. It was so nerve-wracking, it felt like I could get a heart attack any minute. The judges gave as good advice and told us that the most important thing in life is to grow and always strive to do better. And finally, the judges announced the winners. There was a long pause. I didn’t like it, not even one bit. My whole body froze. “And the winner for the Hult challenge 2017 is the school from… Torbay!!!”. The most awkward squeaky sound came out of my mouth when I heard the judge say our school. I couldn’t believe it!! I was in complete shock, so many emotions at the same time! I must admit, my eyes started sweating a bit, when I saw an electric Chalisa crying in front of me. We were given a round of applause from all the people in the room and were given diplomas. OMG, I was so happy! I called my parents as quickly as possible and announced the great news!
I am so happy to have been a part of this great experience, I have learned a lot and I have made so many new friends! Thank you, EF and thank you HULT for giving me this amazing opportunity, this was truly incredible!