Sunday, December 2, 2012

Hello London! Using Skype to present their projects to Mr Richard from University College London (UCL)

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you would have known about the 14 days trip that our DBIT students took to London in Oct this year.

As mentioned in that blog entry, the students did not merely visit London "for fun". They had to work on serious projects both during the trip and after the trip!

The 16 students were divided into groups of 4 and worked on the following topics for their projects:
  • Business Analytics - Eng Dewei (Leader), Lorena Wee, Alivia Heng, Chester Chung
  • Entrepreneurship - Richmond Goh (Leader), Eng Zhaowei, Jeremy Eng, Vixson Yap
  • Marketing - Muhd Shazly (Leader), Teo Zhong Meng, Chong Xinman, Elise Tan
  • E-Learning - Devin (Leader), Kenneth Tan, Lam Wanting, Liyana

Mr Richard
In London, the students had already started researching on their projects and gave two face-to-face presentations to their London supervisor, Mr Richard Pettinger.  Mr Richard is the Director of the BSc/MSci Information Management for Business programme at University College London.  University College London is currently ranked 4th in the world university rankings!

DBIT students have a distinct advantage if they enrol in UCL's BSc Information Management for Business degree after their polytechnic studies.  They can be enrolled directly to the second year!  DBIT students also get consideration to the third year of the four year MSc Information Management for Business course!

Anyway, it was the first time the students and school had tried out presenting projects via SKYPE to an overseas mentor, so it was quite exciting for everyone as we gathered in the DMIT office at 5 pm on 30 Nov 2012 (Fri) to start the session.  While it was nearly evening for us in Singapore, it was only 10 am in London.

After some initial connection problems, we finally managed to get connected to Mr Richard! All of us started laughing when we first saw his face appear on the Skype interface; it was kind of so surreal, he was so near and yet so far! :)

Technology is truly amazing.

We were so excited to see Mr Richard on Skype! :)

The students gathered in front of the laptop
to say "Hello" to Mr Richard

After the initial "Hello" greetings and lots of giggling and chatting, we started getting serious and one by one, each group started to "present" their project to Mr Richard via Skype.

First group to present - Business Analytics!

The first group to present was the Business Analytics group.  Lorena and Alivia took the helm and shared with Richard how they were going to work for their client,  Elixir Technologies, to come up with a prototype of a restaurant application that uses Business Analytics to give suggestions to the restaurant patrons to enhance their experience.

Alivia was the first one to present! :)

After Alivia, Lorena took over and presented to Mr Richard

The slides of the Business Analytics group were
projected to Richard via the Skype "share screen" feature

Second group to present - Entrepreneurship!

After the Business Analytics had strutted their stuff, the all guys group consisting of Richmond, Zhaowei, Jeremy and Vixson took the stage.

The group shared with Mr Richard their business idea about a website related to sports. 

Richmond the group leader started off his group's presentation

Jeremy who was the third to present, after Zhaowei

Sharing their challenges with Mr Richard

Third group to present - E-Learning!

The third group to present was the E-Learning group led by Devin of DBIT 2B01.  Unfortunately, Devin was having a fever that day, and could not attend the Skype session.   Another member, Wanting was having a Korean test and missed the session as well.

Fortunately, the group has a very good assistant group leader, Kenneth Tan who helped to handle the presentation very smoothly that day!

Liyana started the ball rolling for her group

Kenneth explaining his part to Mr Richard

Fourth group to present - Marketing!

Finally, the Marketing group made up of Muhd Shazly, Zhong Meng, Xin Man and Elise wrapped up the presentation session by outlining their research that they have done for their project which is to come up with marketing ideas for the DMIT Fiesta 2013 (You can read about DMIT Fiesta 2010 here).

Xinman presenting her group's ideas

Her group looks on and gives her support

Elise's turn

One of the presentation slides by the Marketing group

After the presentation

To be honest, the rception was not fantastic and we had problems making out what Mr Richard was saying and he also could not hear us clearly most of the time.

But it was a fruitful session nonetheless and you can tell how serious Mr Richard took in each group's presentation as he patiently gave each group different comments and suggestions to improve based on what they shared with him.

The Business Analytics group listening to Mr Richard's
comments after all the groups had presented

Thank you Mr Richard!

What we learnt from this session is that to have an effective presentation session 'across borders', what is very essential is a good video-conferencing software.

We could have done better at this session if we had prepared a microphone as well; throughout the session, Mr Richard could not hear us very well as we were just using the default microphone built into the laptop.

The session finally ended at almost 7 pm SG time and everyone was really exhausted by then! But it was a good experience, and we look forward to the next one in Jan 2013 / Feb 2013! :)

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