Presenting pitches to Google!

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The Business Analysis and Strategic Management (BASM) programme is one of Alliance’s oldest MSC degrees. As such, the Business School routinely tries new ideas out on the students, and students are often not aware of the opportunity until weeks before. Most recently, the school arranged for BASM students to visit well-known companies, such as Google and Phillips, interact with decision makers, and pitch ideas for improving the company. The trips were designed to mimic the upcoming client-facing project, and give an opportunity to practice presenting an idea in a formal setting. I was on the first of these trips, which was to Google’s European headquarters in Dublin.

The day started by meeting everyone at the Manchester airport at 6 am. The school arranged the flights for us, so we had to be there early in order to be at Google by 10 am. I have not been on a school field trip in at least 10 years, so despite how early it was, it was fun to travel in a large group of friends to a different city. Once we got to Google, we were briefly shown around before heading to a conference room to speak with Google’s Head of Performance X. Two things that stood out to me were how we were more formally dressed than most of the Googlers, and how the office was smartly decorated in a variety of bright colours and rugs.

The Head of Performance X is a Manchester MBA alumnus. He took the time to speak about his method of management and how to collaborate with a variety of people. He said that as a manager of creative people, he encourages people to enjoy their work, learn to lead, and to have a sense of ownership in their projects. He believes this ultimately encourages people to be creative and solve complex problems. For him, this was necessary in order to solve his most complex challenge, which was to innovate Google’s strategy in 90 days after Google was dealt a €3 billion fine.

Later, we were given the opportunity to present a pitch to Google. In teams, we were asked to identify Google’s goal and anything that constrains their revenue growth. Then, we had to come up with a solution to help Google expand and grow its business. It was unique because after each pitch, the Head of Performance X would give us feedback on our presentation and ask questions about our ideas. Afterwards, we were shown around the rest of the building and then had a few hours to see Dublin before catching a plane back to Manchester. Overall, the experience was an unexpected delight and enriched the BASM experience.

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Thomas Humphrey

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