Ellie Hillcox, management mentor for the project, asked the consultant team some questions about their FreshSight experience.
EH: What has been the best part of your FreshSight experience so far?
Sophie: The best part of my FreshSight experience so far has been forming such a great relationship with my team. It has surprised me how quickly you can transform from being complete strangers working together on a project to a strong team with a genuine passion for the client and their cause. It has been great to have such a hardworking and supportive Lead Consultant and Mentor as it has enabled us to be effective in such a short period of time. I have learned so much from everyone in the group and it is amazing how each individual brings a different perspective and skill set to the benefit of the team and the client. It has been so rewarding seeing all of our work come together and I am very proud of everything we have accomplished together in the past couple of months.
EH: What have you learnt about the socially conscious FinTech industry?
Helena: I think the main thing I’ve learned is just how fast growing this industry is. Being able to use up and coming technology to improve the third sector and make it more accessible to so many more people, is such an incredible thing. Whilst researching for our project, we’ve seen how many socially conscious organisations are utilising FinTech to further their aims, and this is only increasing further. I’ve also learned that using FinTech does have its difficulties for socially conscious organisations, particularly given that it can be fairly costly to implement, and many of these organisations do not have the funding to use its full potential.
EH: How have you used the skills FreshSight has taught you in your everyday uni life?
Hardik: Working as a part of FreshSight has taught me some much-needed real world skills. I have developed the ability to make a point without making an enemy. The constant presentations have taught me to solidify my reports and present then in a neat format. In general, I have become comfortable in knowing which responsibilities I can take up as part of a group and in interacting with other members, which clearly reflects in my other engagements.
EH: What was it like to present your research to a panel of business professionals at FreshFactor?
Lauren: It was both exciting and terrifying. Overall, it was a really great experience as the progress we had made was so evident and very fulfilling to see. When facing business professionals, it was very intimidating as this was my first time presenting in such a formal environment. I feel that the experience, however, has made me feel more confident in both my public speaking skills and the overall research our team had done. The excitement that came from panel really helped push the project forward and continue making progress.
EH: What has your role been in the team?
Alycia: Alongside working on the consumer research component to our project, I’m Lead Consultant for the group which involves organising meetings, coordinating the group’s schedule and making sure work is completed at the right times. The best part of my role as LC has been getting to know our client and building rapport with her. I’ve been communicating updates throughout the process and it’s been so gratifying to see our recommendations be taken on board already! I’ve gained so much from being in this client-facing role and I’m definitely looking forward to using my new skills during my internship this summer.
EH: So, this is your second semester with FreshSight, what makes this project different?
Archie: The biggest difference is that my team this semester has had a much closer and rounded relationship with our client than my last FreshSight project. This is due to the greater logistical feasibility of meeting face-to-face with this semester’s client, who’s located in Edinburgh. This had made the project even more engaging; it has also enabled us to have a far more nuanced understanding of both our brief and the client in general.
Outside of our great relationship with the client, the biggest difference from my last project experience has been the advent of workshops. Last year saw consultants receiving two hours of group training each Tuesday. This year the format has changed, with consultants choosing one two specific skills-based workshops- a great innovation of the indomitable Claire Chen and the inimitable Hajira Kamran, the two headed hydra of training expertise.