Pernod Richard Challenge Winner

Mayank Trivedi, a Masters student in Integrated Marketing in the School of Continuing and Professional Studies, shares his experience with a corporate competition.

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A few weeks ago, Pernod Ricard, a conglomerate that produces distilled beverages, came to the Wasserman Center with a student challenge. You may be more familiar with some of the brands such as: Becherovka, Chivas Regal, The Glenlivet, Jameson, Ballantine’s, Kahlua, Malibu, etc.

Pernod Ricard’s challenge was called “How to Reduce Drunk Driving” and while they were giving their presentation at the Wasserman Center and telling us the details of the challenge, my brain was already producing ideas.  What could be a better idea than a Mobile app which can provide answers to your questions when you need a ride home after a night out?

Their selection criteria was awesome: the first step was to submit a draft of your idea. They received several ideas from different schools in United States before the top three ideas were selected and able to give a final presentation.

GUESS what? I was selected in the top 3 and I was motivated enough to make my selection a victory. My idea was simple, yet innovative and engaging. I worked for almost a week on my presentation to make it clear, precise and informative. I designed a blueprint of my idea and divided it into different sections in my presentation to give a clear perspective of what features every section of the App possesses.

Finally, the day came and I presented my idea in front of company executives. They appeared to appreciate my idea and I thought things went well. I was then asked to wait for further communication.

A couple of days after, I received an email from the company inviting me to the French American Entrepreneurship Award ceremony where they were going to announce the top two winners. I was so excited, happy and confident about the fact that my ideas were deemed worthwhile.

On the day of the decision, I went to the award ceremony with one of my friends and we enjoyed some lively wines and delicious food. The executives who viewed my presentation came to meet me and shared some praise about my presentation. They also introduced me to some other members of the company and guests. I was feeling proud when people took pictures with me and praised my idea.

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Later, the award ceremony started and the VP of Communications was going to announce the top two names of the student challenge. He started “We received some great ideas, but I had high expectations from these two schools and they proved it – the top two winners of 2014 Pernod Ricard Student Challenge are New York University and Columbia University”.  The smile on my face was BIG enough to be seen by everyone. We were then called on stage and were honored with a certificate.

It was a great experience and I’ll advise all my fellow students to keep looking for these kinds of business challenges and competitions. You will get to learn a lot and it will add a great value to your resume.

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