Tech Industry Gold students experience first Tech Allies Summer Institute programme

Twelve Tech Industry Gold undergraduates were selected to take part in a smorgasbord of activity this summer created by the Tech Allies Network masterminded by Ryan Clifford from Barclays, Jon Carman from GSK, and David Sint from IBM. The four-week opportunity involved spending a week at a time at Barclays, GSK, and IBM. Each company ran a medley of insight talks and hands-on activities giving first-year students an in-depth understanding of the tech world in three different industries.

At the start of the programme, students were given the following challenges to solve, where they would present a solution on their final day, to a panel of expert judges. The three questions posed were:

• How can banks utilise their data and APIs (Application Programming Interface)?
• How can the Internet of Things (IoT) and cognitive capabilities be joined to transform a business?
• How can technology be used to enhance the customer experience within the pharmaceuticals industry?

Over the course of the programme, each student began to master critical thinking in a business context, teamwork, leadership skills and dealing with ‘curve balls’. They heard from experts in blockchain and cryptocurrencies to data science and learned the art of public speaking and presentation skills. The students applied the skills they learned in their final presentations as their delivery was impressive, well-rehearsed, and they used Prezi and PowerPoint proficiently.

As Tech Industry Gold accredited degrees give students a combination of technical, business and interpersonal skills, the panel asked questions covering topical areas, such as the impact of GDPR, competitor analysis, forecasting, and market research. The panel wanted to hear about the students’ tech skills and find out how they could also demonstrate business skills, which will place them in high demand for digital careers in the future.

The teams came up with the following solutions:

Team 1: An app to help car owners make a single payment for MOTs, servicing, and congestion charges.
Team 2: An app to help consumers budget more effectively.
Team 3: Enhancements to the customer/patient experience across the pharmaceutical supply chain.

The winning team, team 3, included Mihaela Roman, from UWL, Thomas Hoong, from Oxford Brookes, and Ken Onda, from UCL. They presented an innovative solution to the customer/patient experience accessing medication for chronic diseases, by pulling together data from sources across the supply chain. The concept would enable customers/patients to have a simplified user experience.

Each of the team’s presentations were well thought through, but the winners’ concept had identified a real gap in the market.

All the students experienced unique insights into the world of tech thanks to the hard work coordinating the programme delivered by Ryan, Jon, and David. There is no greater testament to the effectiveness of a great student experience than seeing its alumni giving back, and this is exactly what the Tech Allies Network intended – bringing together Tech Industry Gold students and alumni through the Tech Industry Gold Student Experience.

Keith Little, CIO at Barclaycard and a Board member for Tech Partnership Degrees, added, ‘The Summer Institute is an excellent initiative created by Tech Industry Gold alumni. The partnering together of three very different companies, Barclays, GSK, and IBM gave first-year students a unique placement experience. When the students head back to university in the autumn, they can apply what they have learned from industry over the course of their degree – bringing together practical experience and academic study. We are pleased to be part of this exciting programme working with academia and industry to provide opportunities for future talent.’

Most students usually experience one or two industries before committing to the start of their career, whereas the Tech Allies Summer Institute programme enables students to become more informed about the range of opportunities available.

Finally, thank you to everyone at Barclays, GSK, and IBM for making the programme a great success. 

The following students took part in the Summer Programme:

Karolina Bargiel – QMUL
Ken Onda – UCL
Ridhwan Haque – UCL
Ylenia Ylenia Rahmati – Northumbria University
Maxine Malekhi Setiawan – UCL
Ekrem Hassan – QMUL
Barbie Leung – UCL
Mihaela Roman – UWL
Tariq Ahmed – UCL
Bilal Malik – University of Hertfordshire
Deborah Evangelista – UWL
Thomas Hoong – Oxford Brookes University

Click here to find out more about Tech Industry Gold degrees

Click here to follow the Tech Allies network on Twitter @TechAlliesNtw.