August 31, 2011
When Oti Agbeyegbe
(MIE 1T2) signed up for Impact Apprentice – a business competition based on Donald Trump’s famed Apprentice – he was excited.
It wasn’t competing against peers from across Canada or possibly being named the best in the country that filled his stomach with butterflies, but the opportunity to prove that engineers posses just as much business savvy as they do practical knowledge.
“Sometimes people assume that engineers are only capable of building things, but that’s not the case,” he said. “I like the idea of problem solving, which is what we do here and what I’ll do in the competition.”
The third-year engineering student spent the week of August 23 putting his skills to the test, while competing in a series of business challenges in downtown Toronto.
In the competition, 32 university students at post-secondary institutions from coast to coast were selected to participate after undergoing a series of tasks to narrow down the competition. One of the unusual tasks included pitching themselves to judges in a short one-minute video.
For Oti, creating the video
was a big departure from normal tasks he's been assigned while at school, but it worked out great in the end. “I worked hard on that video, and it ended up paying off because I was chosen to compete.”
Although he didn’t end up winning, the experience was invaluable and helped him build on the entrepreneurial skills he learned at U of T. For instance, he used the know-how he learned in business U of T Engineering classes to package and market products to strangers during tasks and improve upon business processes, alongside seven other teammates.
He wouldn’t trade his time in the competition for anything else and cherished the moments where he was able to showcase his skills. “Being in this competition let me apply other skills like communication and entrepreneurship in a different environment and really show more of what I can do," he said.
For more information about the contest, please visit Impact Apprentice