By Valeriia Reznik-Holmes
On Friday last week myself and a number of other Pearson Business School students got the opportunity not only to visit International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) headquarters but also to participate in a challenge alongside IBM’s interns, set by IBM’s innovation team.
David Stokes, CEO for IBM in the UK and Ireland, warmly welcomed us to the venue and has opened the event with a speech. He spoke about what IBM stands for, what they do, as well as how they are linked with Pearson College London. For those who didn’t know much about it, the information was found very useful and explanatory.
Glancing around the room filled with students and staff, you could witness the excitement and enthusiasm drifting all around and across from face to face of those present.
Duncan Anderson took it upon himself to talk us through a presentation based around the topic of artificial intelligence; more specifically talking about and introducing us to Watson (computer) and Ted Talks, which were both designed and developed by IBM’s specialists. It was good to know that IBM’s aim is not to replace people with computers and technology as Mr Anderson has said, but to create a smoother, better and faster access to information. This is where Watson comes in; Watson is an innovative question and answering interactive computer system, that was designed to read and account data and information to be able to give accurate advice.
With midday fast approaching, we were briefed by IBM’s innovation team. The task? Pitch a project using technology to inspire the imagination of students, teachers and institutions.
Bringing together the creative minds, the students could have taken the brief and incorporated it in any direction of their choice, since it was very comprehensive. However, with tight time laps or let’s say stages of development, some teams and individuals didn’t manage to shine through with their ideas and tackle the task as well as others. All the teams got the chance to pitch to their colleagues that were previously allocated. Voting was done differently within each group. Staff suggested for teams within my group to put in a written democratic vote, when in other groups staff chose their winners
I mean it’s good to have a variety, don’t you think?
Even though the group I was part of wasn’t chosen to pitch the idea in front of the judges in the final round, I wasn’t left disappointed. I viewed this overall experience to be extremely valuable and beneficial. I felt like I was taken into the future of technology, and was shown the process of how it is predicted to evolve over time. As a Business and Enterprise student undertaking Managing Communications, Knowledge and Information module this term, this will certainly come in handy when I will be writing my assignments.
Back to the challenge...
With the challenge underway, it was time for the five finalists (teams) to pitch their ideas to the rest. With everyone quietly hustling in their seats, the first team was up and ready to present.
The quality of the presentation, the creativity within and the confidence was excellent within all the five presentations. Pearson students simply stood out. The future of entrepreneurship has unveiled right in front of our eyes. Each of the final five teams pleasantly surprised us. No wonder it was tough for the judges to select an overall winner of the competition; and therefore, a huge well done to the winning team. It was a well-deserved victory!
Both Pearson Business School students and IBM interns learned and developed new skills such as communication, time-management, focus, resiliency and many more. Now, isn’t this just brilliant? I personally think so. You can’t learn these skills from textbooks; you have to take part in events and challenges like this one, in order to gain those. Pearson College London is exceptional when it comes to students’ academic knowledge mixed with practical expertise.
Please note: The opportunities are there, so why not take advantage of those?
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