Meet Teni Ijabiyi
Teni is studying MSc Digital Business. In order to help develop her experience, she took part in the Global Business Challenge, where students from around the world work together in groups on real client projects.
She tells us about her experience and what she learned...
I decided to join the Global Business Challenge because I felt that it would be an opportunity for me to test my skills, to network and to understand how things are done in other parts of the world. I also wanted the hands on experience because I knew we were going to be working on live projects.
We worked on Pacari Chocolates looking at how to help the company penetrate the American market. We had to do a lot of brainstorming, strategizing, market analysis, SWOT analysis. We had to create buyer personas and figure out how they can benchmark against competitors in the American market. Real skills!
The group experience
There were a number of people in my group, people from Ecuador, from America, from Germany, from the UK, from India. It was a beautiful experience, you know, and understanding that everyone has their strengths and weaknesses; we had to harness the strengths and help people develop or grow where their weaknesses may be, or conquer their weaknesses. It helped us build confidence. Everyone had a go at presenting to the team, even the introverts who are so shy, they can’t talk in front of people. We let our team members practise with us, we were the guinea pigs, and that helped a lot of people to build their confidence and be able to speak in public, even though it was online.
You’re getting to speak to different people from different parts of the world. I learned how to collaborate more effectively because I had to work with people from different parts of the world, different time zones. We had to consider other people in their time zones, you always have to factor in different things to make sure that the team works together so no one feels left out. No one feels overlooked. No one feels that they’re not important to the team.
I'm a business analyst and finishing up my Master’s degree. So it was easy for me to apply what I had been taught at University, and what I had learned over time from my work experience, to apply that to the project. I was also able to teach people and learn as well from my team members. At the beginning, I was the listener, I listened and along the line, when I saw that some team members were getting discouraged and getting cold, it was at that point that I came in and we had to just hold ourselves by our hearts to make sure that we finished strong.
Support from the group coach
Our group coach was Laura Becerra. She was amazing, a good coach. She was able to balance the coaching with pushing us to achieve more. So there were times we were confused about what to do. She said, Oh, why don't you try this? Even though she knew the solution, she didn’t push us in that direction but allowed us to explore it and come back with results. So we had a very good experience with Laura, she was always there on point, on time and very positive.
We put in a lot of work and effort and, where we started from, we made tremendous progress, which was the goal for us. The journey was amazing. And we were able to develop ourselves as individuals.
I'm about to graduate and I'm currently job hunting. I’ve noticed that, every time I talk to people about the Global Business Challenge, they are excited, they want to hear about it, they ask me: “What’s your experience and how can you apply this when you get this job?” So the Global Business Challenge, not only does it give you exposure and a network, it also places you on a pedestal, where you can actually say “I worked on this project”, and employers are curious. So I'd say that the Global Business Challenge improves and increases your employability. And I got to meet beautiful lovely people!