AT&T Challenges Students in the Netherlands to Gain Business Experience

The below post is by Paul Floris – Director, Global Services, System Integrators, AT&T and originally appeared on our People | Planet | Possibilities Blog.

In the Netherlands, AT&T works with Junior Achievement to mentor local students. During the 2015-2016 school year, our employees impacted 229 students!

To wrap up the year and give these students business experience in a fun setting, we organized the first AT&T Challenge. At our office in The Hague, 5 student teams were paired with an AT&T employee mentor to imagine a business and prepare a growth plan in 1.5 hours. They then gave a 3-minute pitch to our panel of judges to compete for a fictitious €100000 capital investment.

The team of StudentVisum, mentored by my colleague Joost Jansen, took first prize for its innovative business model, impressive pitch, and research. The team’s award included a guided tour through the AT&T data center in Amsterdam.

“It was quite stressful to set up an investment plan in such a short period of time, but we have worked under pressure before,” said Rodin K., a JA participant and CEO of StudentVisum. “Overall the AT&T Challenge was fun and informative.”

“What impressed me most about coaching the team is their drive and ambition. I was very happy that they were genuinely interested in learning new skills and insights under immense pressure,” Joost told me.

Events like this demonstrate the power of sharing knowledge and experience with students in their formative years. Plans for next year are already in progress and we are committed to making them as successful and impactful as this event!