Our Exciting Challenge

Employability Service

Category: Student support services

30 March 2023

In this blog, one of this year’s EDI University Business Challenge teams write about their experience.

Among the extra-curricular activities that The Employability Service supports is the annual national EDI University Business Challenge.  In this blog, one of this year’s teams write about their experience.

The Challenge is a live competition where teams of undergraduate students from UK universities apply their creativity and solutions to a real-world challenge. Sponsored by Microsoft EMBRACE ERG, the Challenge provides an opportunity for students (in this case for those who identify as Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic), to gain real problem-solving experience as well as build entrepreneurial skills.

I participated in this Challenge from November 2022 to March 2023, and it has given me a personal journey to gaining essential knowledge and experience into developing a better me, be adventurous in my individual work, and being confident in all my group projects!

Chalk board with the word Possible written on it

Teamwork and Collaboration

I had to work in a team of ARU students but from different courses which encouraged close and flexible teamwork and collaboration as well as developing decision-making skills and leadership. All members of the team had different schedules and had to manage our time together accordingly. It helped me to become more time-organised with my assignments, as well as being patient and more respective of people and their time.

I have also learned to become more proactive, to take the lead whenever needed, and to encourage others to contribute and support our work together. Group projects are tricky to manage, but I have learned to actively communicate and engage with my team members to make this Challenge worthwhile for everyone!

Entrepreneurship and Creativity

The Challenge also tested us to be innovative and realistic with our solutions. The two project briefs were based on business and societal-related issues that are very relevant today including the impact of the current cost of living crisis and the ethics and utilities of AI. The research that I undertook throughout the Challenge has broadened my knowledge on diverse talents and has given me insight into our intergenerational future.

Light bulb with Ideas written on it

Presenting and Networking

After creating our solutions, we had the chance to present our work through both a recorded presentation as well as a live one. The thought of presenting with a strict time limit to a panel of expert judges from both Microsoft and Tesco was nerve-wracking yet rewarding. The experience was valuable and has made me reflect on how I can present myself and my work better, as well as increase my confidence.  

Overall, my experience was worth the challenge and was a great opportunity. We all received a Certificate of Participation to add to our CVs and LinkedIn profiles. I will leave it to the rest of the incredible team I worked with to add their experience and insights here as well! Jericho Padrinao, BSc (Hons) Business Management

A Team Experience

The Business Challenge was a great experience for me. Not only did I make new friends, but I also had the chance to develop my skills and expand my horizons. It challenged me in ways but also brought me joy. My group was supportive and brought out a side of me that I didn't realise I had. The Challenge created friendships that I believe will last and if I could do it again, I would.  Samara Hooper, BSc (Hons) Pharmaceutical Science

Participating in the EDI University Business Challenge was an exhilarating experience and gave me the opportunity to work with some of the most respected brands in the industry and apply my knowledge and skills to solve real-world business problems. Throughout the Challenge, I worked collaboratively with a diverse team of students, all with different backgrounds and expertise, which allowed us to develop innovative and well-rounded solutions. The Challenge was fast-paced and required us to think creatively and strategically, as well as to communicate our ideas clearly and effectively to the judges. The whole experience was incredibly rewarding, and I learned a lot about the industry and myself in the process.  Chaohui Ruan, BSc (Hons) Computer Games Technology

This experience has allowed me to meet people from different backgrounds from myself and with the opportunity given by Microsoft and ARU,  I have created good friendships with people that have taught me a lot throughout the process and given me insight into many different ways to approach something and I will never forget the experience and lessons I have gained from this and will forever cherish the friendship formed from this experience. Thanusha Thayanithy, BSc (Hons) Psychology

EDI extra-curricular programmes and projects are advertised through social media and campus channels and the Shine Community.

Our Employability Service works with students throughout their time at ARU and after they graduate. The Service offers careers advice, online resources, and help with job searches, applications and interview preparation. Our Employability & Careers Advisers may mention some of these resources and services in their blogs, to give you an idea of the careers support that's on offer at ARU. Some of these resources sit behind a log in and can only be accessed by current students.


The views expressed here are those of the individual and do not necessarily represent the views of Anglia Ruskin University. If you've got any concerns please contact us.