Monday, May 7, 2012

24green on the Elevator Pitch!

24greenThe title above may be ambiguous or simply nonsensical to those who don’t really know (or have never heard of) such words or phrases. I’ll explain them one by one.

24green is the name of my team which consists of 3 people: Ria, Hining, and I. We were one of the teams competing in the very first elevator pitch competition in Indonesia which was held by UGM (Universitas Gadjah Mada). The theme for the competition was “Elevating the Benefits of the Green Industry”. This competition was one of the many events held by the Faculty of Industrial Engineering to promote the green industry.

The name 24green was derived from two elements: 24 and green. We basically wanted people to implement the green ways of living in the 24 hours of their lives each day. So this became the name of our team as well as the name of our main project for our elevator pitch.

Now what exactly is an elevator pitch? It is quite a new thing in Indonesia. Meanwhile, students in the US have been participating in this type of competition for years. So I was rather curious as to what it was – that curiosity being the reason for me joining this competition in the first place.

Wikipedia says that an elevator pitch is a short summary used to quickly and simply define a product, service, or organization and its value proposition. The name "elevator pitch" reflects the idea that it should be possible to deliver the summary in the time span of an elevator ride, or approximately thirty seconds to two minutes. So I understood it as a kind of speech plus presentation plus advertisement combined into one which consequently turns it into none of those things in the end (laughs). Anyway, after seeing further information and examples from my buddy YouTube and the internet, it became clear what an elevator pitch was supposed to be like. My teammates and I discussed it frequently to reach our conclusions about it. After all the basics were clear between us, we did our research, brainstormed for all the possible projects, and practiced giving our pitches in public.

I really enjoyed our meetings and practices. I think we understood each other and had a good sense of loyalty for the team. We had great chemistry so it was always fun for me, even when we were studying hard and burying our minds in the research material. Sometimes we reached a lull because we couldn’t think of any ideas for a certain topic, but we always had a laugh about it afterwards.

Anyway, we tried hard through and through. I was the leader of the team so I was in charge of the meetings and practices. Ria was the research manager, so she kept track of all our material, discussion notes, and reports (tough job, I’ll say). Hining was our administrator, so she had to manage our registration process and keep in touch with the committee for information about the competition.

We gave our best at the competition. Sadly, it wasn’t our time to win it. However, Allah always gives hikmah. Every cloud has a silver lining. We achieved a lot of things in the process. We acquired knowledge about the green industry. We gained deeper understanding about how important it was to save the environment. We thought of so many great ideas for future projects. We upgraded our cooperation skills. And best of all, we became closer as friends.

As a team leader, I have to say that I am so proud of my friends. They say that they have never followed such a competition that required them to speak in English in front of so many people. I realize that their courage isn’t something to be thought little of. I admire them for their perseverance and efforts (and also their willingness to work with such a leader as me, hehe…) all this time. I am sure they worked really hard to prepare for this competition and with that hard work they gained their own personal achievements.

I thank Allah so much for this chance and this experience. I hope we use every bit of knowledge we got from it to achieve our best in the future.

Keep reaching for the stars, 24green!

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