Fourteen students who enrolled on the OCR Level 2 Cambridge Technical Diploma in IT in the Dungannon campus also chose to study the additional L2 IT Traineeship pilot qualification. One of the components of this qualification was the completion of a Project Based Learning module which culminated in a very competitive and enthralling Dragons Den event held in Dungannon campus.
Students formed their own teams and battled against each other to impress the Dragons by pitching their ideas for a new and revolutionary Mobile App. The winners received a monetary prize and also the knowledge on mentoring, help and advice should they wish to develop their ideas further.
The panel of ‘Dragons’ were experts in a number of fields including marketing, entrepreneurship, programming and App development. The event saw friendly rivalry between the judges as they battled against one another to convince the teams that they would be the best support for them.
Throughout their course, the trainees had been working within the various units to create a digital portfolio of resources such as Logos, Web Site, Mobile App etc. The teams then showcased their portfolio to the Dragons as well as demonstrating their knowledge of the target market, business models and marketing ideas.
The Trainees thoroughly enjoyed all the preparation leading up to the event as well as partaking in the Dragons Den event itself. Many of their skills were enhanced, including their problem solving ability, team work, presentation skills, leadership and project management.
Jack Neill, one of the trainees commented “The whole experience has helped develop my confidence so that I can describe to employers about what I did in this project”.
All of the teams were commended for their hard work and commitment in producing impressive pitches with digital portfolios. Trainees, Bruce Morrow and Fintan McLearnon, spoke highly of the experience stating that “It has been great working as a team to discuss, design and develop our digital resources. Our main aim was to win an investment from the Dragons”.
The Trainees were greatly supported by Dominic McGeown, Enterprise co-ordinator and Linda Clarke, Connected Project Officer. They organised a range of valuable workshops, guest speakers and industry visits, all of which gave the students an insight into the various aspects of commercial business.