Eoghan O’Donnell & Paul O’Dea, MSc Management Strategy, reflect on the experience of Dragon’s Den.
Today, we had the rare opportunity to experience both sides of the situation. Exactly a year ago, we were presenting our unique heat retaining GAA glove to a board of Dragons. Today, our task was working to help the current year Business students prepare for their pitch. It brought back a flood of feelings that we don’t think we will ever forget. Nervousness, excitement and most of all relief when it was over! It’s not often you get the opportunity to revisit an experience like this and we feel privileged to do so. It gave us the opportunity to reflect on our experience last year taking part and to see how we have implemented what we learned so far. As part of the Business Strategy Masters Course, there are presentations every other week but none with the same pressure or high stakes as the Dragons pitch. This experience has made us more confident speakers but also has given us an insight into how a real pitch works in the business world. If you can present in the Dragons Den, every other presentation seems like a walk in the park!
The overriding feedback from our group exactly a year ago to the day can be summarised in one quote: “That involved many sleepless nights, but I’m glad I did it.” This was the common consensus from students leaving the Den yesterday, having completed a key element of their Business course experience. The polar opposite emotions between nervousness for groups entering the Den and joy/relief for groups leaving it was a sight to behold and one which is evident from the before and after pictures from groups. However, through all the stress, sleep deprived nights and endless hours spent in the U rooms (which we didn’t even know existed!?), the one overriding feeling for groups coming out remained throughout the day: “I’m glad it’s over, but I’m glad I did it!”