BAME Student Day

BAME Student Day is a workshop day which is held with an aim to encourage and inspire students from the Black Asian Minority Ethnic community to explore opportunities in the IT sector, particularly within Microsoft. It also allows them to gain exposure to the Microsoft Apprenticeship scheme, with hope to increase the number of BAME applicants that we get here at Microsoft.

Throughout the day, students had the opportunity to take part in engaging talks from inspirational people who work within the company: Andrew Fryer, an Evangelist in DX, spoke about App Design; John Young spoke about Project Management; and Steve Beswick, Director of Education in the UK, spoke about Sales & Marketing, which covered many aspects of the company students may be interested in.

The main bulk of the day was a project challenge. The objective was to enable students to apply the knowledge they will have acquired from the talks on App Development, Project Management and Sales & Marketing. The competition gave the students an opportunity to be creative and experience real changes that may be asked to undertake in a work environment.

So… the most exciting bit: the students had to create a “Super App”. This is an app that is likely to be adopted by many users, to be beneficial, adds value to individuals, businesses and the environment, and generates revenue. The students had no more than 5 hours prior to the day to brainstorm on what their idea could be for the app and prepare to create it.

The process of the task allowed students develop many skills. For example, a team leader had to delegated, along with separate tasks for individual team members, enabling them to utilise individual and team strengths. The students were also able to benefit from the wide range of technology Microsoft had to offer, such as the Surface Pro 4.

The judging panel marked each idea based on 5 categories:

  • Originality – how original is the app?
  • Impact – how beneficial is the app? Target audience? Cost/investment analysis? Sustainability?
  • App development – Does the app contain relevant functionality and features?
  • Project Management/presentation – How well did the team work on site? How well did they present to the audience?
  • Sales & Marketing – has the team explained their sales and marketing plan? Is the app likely to have mass appeal or be adopted by significant number of users?

As you can see, the criteria was not easy to meet, but all the students throughout the entire day worked really hard and every app idea was brilliant.

Written by Sophie Ware, Apprentice

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