Students from St Joseph’s Co-Educational School, East Wall recently visited the Dublin offices of Optum Global Solutions, located in the Spencer Dock area of the city, for a unique entrepreneurial experience.
Students spent the morning at Optum where volunteers took time out of their busy schedules to mentor their groups of students in preparation for much anticipated Dragons’ Den business ideas pitches to members of the senior management team, at this, Optum’s inaugural Dragons’ Den Event.
Optum’s mission, to help modernise the health care infrastructures of organisations and empower individuals as they take control of their own health, was very much in keeping with the ethos and objectives of Optum’s Dragons’ Den volunteers, who provided business mentoring and assistance of the students of St Joseph’s School, also empowering these bright and enthusiastic students, helping them gain an insight into the world of business and entrepreneurship!
Danny Boles, Associate Director, Optum Global Services, reflected on his experience: “As it was my first time volunteering, I would take part again as it is important to give something back to the community. Although time is precious for all of us, it is even more precious for children and me must make time for them to help them on their journey to adulthood so they can achieve their goals and dreams. You just never know – one comment or action may be the catalyst for them to do great things. Keep up the good work!”
Both the teachers and students were warmly welcomed by the team of Optum volunteers. Students were very excited and engaged throughout the morning where they got to work early, receiving one on one mentoring and support from their assigned Optum Business mentor!
Benefiting from the experience of team work, idea generation, brain-storming and deciding how they would bring their groups’ business ideas to the market, they were later given the opportunity to present to the hugely important and ‘influential’ Optum Dragons, who would ultimately decide on their level of investment in each group’s business proposal.
Presentation skills were developed, as well as the negotiation skills required to maximise the degree of Dragon investment available, without conceding too much of their company equity!
Lauren McKeon, Business Analyst, Optum Global Solutions said: “I was so delighted to get involved with the Dragons’ Den event and I loved working with my group “Clip’n’Go”. I was really impressed at how confident and innovative my team were. We had great discussions about sourcing suppliers, digital marketing, and lots more. Many thanks for the opportunity to help out, it was an excellent initiative and I really enjoyed it.”
Following a hugely successful day of learning and enjoyment, the students of St Joseph’s were presented with their well-deserved Junior Achievement – Optum Dragons’ Den Certificates of Achievement.