“The Consumer Is Not A Moron. She’s Your Wife.” – David Ogilvy
The following five entries are recaps from Econsultancy's Graduate Digtial Bootcamp. It was designed to shape 20 of the UK’s brightest graduates into the next generation of talented digital marketers and e-commerce professionals.
|The Adventure Begins|
Are you ready? As I made my way to Regents College for the 1st day of Econsultancy’s Graduate Digital Bootcamp, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. But as the sky was clear and the sun was out, I couldn’t escape my good mood. There might even have been a slight bounce in my step.
I was the first recruit on the scene and exchanged pleasantries with the generals (course leaders) while we waited for the rest of my comrades in arms to arrive. The mission briefing began at 9.30am sharp when the recruits were introduced to the overall aims of the Bootcamp before being presented with some promising information – 55 companies had already expressed interest in the programme and between them were offering around 100 internships. As the digital recruits are only 20 members strong, this seemed like a promising start indeed.
This was followed by an icebreaker wherein the recruits were asked to pair up and briefly introduce one another as well as throw in one interesting fact about their partners. This turned out to be quite the revealing exercise as it became clear that the recruits were harbouring an array of unconventional soldiers amongst their ranks – a distant relevant of Chuck Norris who enjoys windsurfing with sharks, a girl with a fetish for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, a potential antichrist who was born on the 11th of the 11th at the 11th hour, a spy who claimed to be called Wilson but refused to reveal his real name, someone who failed to develop superpowers after being bitten by a poisonous spider, and a girl with an Olympian talent for drumming which was somehow discovered through dance.
The serious stuff began soon enough with a quick quiz to test our general knowledge followed by some brainstorming on how digital technology has forever changed the world. As the list we came up with was rather long, I’ll just give you the cliff notes – it has pretty much changed everything. My cliff notes too ‘cliff’ for you? In that case, perhaps it’s better to quote one general and say that “We are in the midst of a digital age that could be described as the biggest change the world has seen since the industrial revolution.” And this change is being driven by three core concepts – human creativity, speed of connectivity and decreasing the cost of storage.
The recruits then watched a video which showed how the internet developed from humble beginnings to become what it is today. I was having a great time until my comrades started playing verbal ping pong and using strange acronyms like CSS, CMS and HTML to describe how websites are made. Thankfully, I emerged from the abyss of confusion when a general decided to sum up all the tech speak as ‘gobbledeygoop’, concluding that it wasn’t crucial for the recruits to master all the coding as nowadays there are great sites like Wordpress that pretty much do all the heavy lifting for us.
Cue to a 1 hour lunch break which gave birth to what can only be described as a Sandwichathon - where sandwiches were consumed with such speed and vigour that I feared some recruits (including myself) were destined to fall prey to hazardous indigestion. Luckily all survived.
The afternoon began with the recruits trying to solve that indomitable question of ‘Who Am I?’, using various personality profiling techniques. We touched on emotional intelligence and Daniel Goleman’s assertion that it’s as important to business success as traditional task intelligence, the ‘iceberg’ principle, and the DISC formula for aligning certain personality traits with team roles. The biggest take away from this was that it’s important to accommodate for the existence of different personalities within teams in order to bring about the best working environment.
This warmed the soldiers up nicely for the next section which focused on building powerful teams and we had a look at Belbin’s Team Role Theory and discussed the different roles that people can take within a team. The key here was to remember that every role is just as important as the other.
A day that began with much fanfare and enthusiasm, quickly turned into a room haunted by a deadly silence once the generals divided the recruits up into units and dumped the week’s mission objective of preparing a pitch into our sweaty palms. Gulps all around. Eventually the dust cleared and the recruits soon regained the ability to talk. Excitement soon replaced anxiousness and not long after that there was a pungent smell of eagerness in the air. As day one came to a close, one thing became clear, although the bar had been set, and it was quite high, the digital recruits were certainly up for the challenge.
Quote of the day “Smile until your lips bleed” – Moira Kean
Charles Oben, Digital Recruit
Fellow recruits please feel free to share your thoughts, comments and memories.