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Business Seminar Reflections

Deloitte seminar: Innovation Unplugged

The seminar, held by the company Deloitte on December 10th, 2010, was dedicated to such issues as accounting and financial reporting, the funding cycle, taxation policies, and enterprise risk management (Deloitte & National of College Ireland, 3). This organization is the largest provider of consulting, financial and business advisory services (Deloitter, unpaged). The seminar was attended by several Deloitte representatives, for instance, Greg Hogan, the corporate Finance Director, Gary Comiskey, ERS director, Louise Kelly, Tax Director, and so forth. These people shared their knowledge and expertise with students and entrepreneurs. The discussion, which I found particularly useful, evolved around the principles of investment and those precautions the investors should take in order to insure themselves against possible losses. During this seminar Deloitte representatives explained how the investor can assess the feasibility of business projects and creditworthiness of the person or a group of people, who act as the borrowers (Deloitte & National of College Ireland, 15).

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This discussion seems to me particularly beneficial those people, intending to become entrepreneurs, especially if they need to identify the sources, from which they can obtain extra funding, for example, angel investors, BES funds, seed capital funds, etc. Those people, who attended this seminar, learned more about the terms and conditions, set by various financial organizations. This knowledge will help entrepreneurs to make more informed decisions, when they will select the source of funding. When speaking about funding circle, I would like to mention the discussion, dedicated to the taxation policies. The representative of Deloitte identified the key opportunities and challenges that would arise in connection with taxation policies, namely, the exemption from taxes for start-up companies, patent exemption etc (Deloitte & National of College Ireland, 30). Moreover, this seminar could be of great avail for those people, who want to learn more about tax-deductable expenses such as operational research, data collection, design, computer programming (Deloitte, 31). The key advantage of such seminars is that they enable people to get a gist of certain information in a very short time: one would have to spend days or even weeks to find and analyze this information (Jacques, 8). In contrast, by participating in such seminars a person can make this process less time-consuming and more interesting because the consultations are based, not only on theoretical knowledge, but on some real-life examples as well.

Refresh: Getting to work with new technologies

In his posts David Barrett, who is currently employed as a front-end developer in such a company as Contrast. He introduced such front-end technologies CSS3 or HTML 5, and described how these technologies can be used by modern web-designers and programmers. Furthermore, this presentation includes abstracts from program codes (Barrett, unpaged). While discussing of HTML 5, David Barrett primarily referred to the so-called “cleaner code” which means that the programmer does not have to use many unnecessary elements and his work is eventually made less time-consuming (Barrett, unpaged).

It should be noted that the previous version of HTML was widely criticized because the developers had to perform a great number of redundant operations (David, 3). In his post, David Barrett also explained the principles of sectioning content blocks described the use of some important tags like “header”, “footer”, “mark” “progress” “meter” and so forth (Barrett, unpaged). The major advantage of this learning material that it contains visual aids and this enables students to quickly get the gist of the ideas, expressed by the author. In this article, the author explains how developers should the connections between HTML 5 pages and Google, in particular, he argues that the use of tags can improve the visibility of the website. This is view is supported by those scholars and programmers, who study the functioning of search engines (Enge et al, 212). Therefore, to some extent SEO programmers may also find this article beneficial.

David Barrett also discusses the difficulties, which arise when a person tries to write an outline algorithm. These guidelines can be of great use to professional developers and those people, who are only mastering the principles of web-design and programming. It has to be acknowledged that this information can be easily found on the Internet or in textbooks; however, the student will have to spend much time to analyze it and single out those bits, which are really useful. Besides, it is always beneficial to receive consultation from someone, who has already had experience of working with HTML5 or CSS3. Certainly, one should not assume that only by reading this presentation, he/she will become versed in the principle of SEO or web design, yet, in some cases, these posts can save much time and effort, especially if the programmer needs to find a quick solution to a certain problem.

Mike Schroepfer, Facebook VP of engineering talk

This conference was held at the Paccar theatre, on December 10th, 2010; this meeting was organized by the Trinity College Dublin (Science Gallery, unpaged). The organizers invited Mike Schroepfer, who currently works as the Vice President of Engineering in such a company as Facebook (Science Gallery, unpaged). Previously, he was employed by such companies as Mozilla Corporation and Sun Microsystems. Thus, it is quite possible to say that his experience can be of great assistance to people, who major in computer science or project management. Mike Schoepfer attempted to explain the peculiarities of innovation process to the students as well those difficulties, which entrepreneurs should expect.

It should be noted that over recent years Facebook has grown significantly and turned into one of those organizations, which connect people from all over the world. During the seminar, Mike Schroepfer discussed those challenges, encountered by the management as well as those strategies, which they took to overcome those challenges. One of the reasons why this company has grown so rapidly is its ability to customize services, offered to the users (Goldman, 97). Mike Schoepfer believes that prior to introducing any innovation one has to consider how this change will be perceived by the end-users. In particularly, he warned managers about the fact that even the most progressive-minded person subconsciously resists changes.

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This is one of the reasons why transition to new technologies has to be done gradually. More importantly, this process is based on incessant cooperation with the customers who can point out the drawbacks in the system and make some valuable recommendations. Mike Schoepfer urged the managers to remember that even the most groundbreaking idea mail fail to be implemented only because the developers did not assess it from customer perspective. Overall, this workshop was very fruitful to students, managers, and software designers because the participants were able to exchange views about technological innovation. It has to be admitted that the questions, analyzed by Mike Schoepfer might be familiar to the people, who attended this conference; however, interactive form of learning appears to be more beneficial because it enables the students to critically evaluate their own and other people’s ideas (Mishra & Sharma, 11). This is the reason why more attention should be paid to meetings, like this one.

DCU Intergenerational project

Recently the administration of Dublin City University has implemented the so-called intergenerational project. One of its purposes was to demonstrate how the concepts of learning and teaching evolved in the course of last decades (DCU, unpaged). The participants, who belonged to various age groups, were able to exchange ideas about learning styles, educational methods, didactic principles, and so forth. Initially, this main objective of this project was to help old people to get more opportunities for education and self-development. The thing is that many of them cannot get used to the rapid technological development, especially, one has to speak about the search engines, educational databases, online encyclopedias, numerous educational websites etc. They can be very powerful tools for the students and for those people, who view life-long learning as a necessity rather than luxury. Thus, to some degree, participation in such seminars can give old people a good idea of how modern technologies can support learning.

Additionally, educational methods have evolved over the last decades; contemporary students are given more autonomy, and teacher acts mostly as a facilitator rather than some authoritative figure. As a result of this generation gap, many old people become excluded from educational process. Judging from my own experience, I can argue that people, belonging to different age groups, are often unwilling to understand one another; such behavior can be observed in several areas of human activity, including education. DCU intergenerational project aims to break such barriers, which are often created unintentionally. However, one should not suppose that this intergenerational project has been based on the premise that old people cannot assist modern students. Such an approach would have been slightly one-sided or even prejudiced. It should be borne in mind that some of the participants were experienced educators, who could help present-day teachers to solve a great number of problems, occurring within or outside the classroom. Their knowledge and expertise can be of inestimable assistance to teachers. This is why this DCU project should be viewed as a form of partnership between generations. In my opinion, such projects should be organized on a regular basis in order to improve the quality of education.

How to Assess the Value of an Idea

This seminar was organized by Trinity College on November 18th, 2010. Its guest was Vincent Browne, the CEO of Flint Telecom (Innovation Dublin, unpaged). During these workshops, Vincent Browne explained the methods of evaluating entrepreneurial ideas and opportunities and the strategies of translating them into practice. Vincent Browne focuses such issues as market research, identification and analysis of the target audience, estimation of the demand for a certain product or service, competitive strengths and weaknesses of the enterprise. Furthermore, this person has to think of how to distinguish the product or service from similar ones. In Vincent Browne’s view, unwillingness to pay attention to these issues is one of the reasons why many promising ideas did not come to life. These instructions can be of inestimable help to those people, who are pondering over the idea of starting one’s own business, and to those individuals, who have already opened their business, but do not know how to expand it.

The key point, which the lecturer wanted to emphasize, is that an entrepreneur is the person, who has to be act as researcher, analyst, lawyer, and so forth. One of the major recommendations, made by Vincent Browne is to put oneself into the position of the potential client, who would choose among various products and services. The would-be entrepreneur should also evaluate the competitive advantages of the product, in other words, why it will appeal to the customer. During these workshops, Vincent Browne also identified those sources from which a person could obtain extra funding. To a large extent, Vincent Brown’s recommendations are in line with the ideas of leading scholars, however, the major benefit of such seminars is that they are more oriented toward the practical challenges, faced by entrepreneurs rather than theoretical aspects of management and finance. Besides, a workshop is based on continuous interaction between a student and the lecturer and many controversial question can be easily clarified (Jacques, 8). Moreover, consultations, given by a person, who have already achieved entrepreneurial success, seem to be much more authoritative. It should be taken into account that Vincent Browne is the founder of a rapid-grown company that has established a strong position in the U.S. market (Innovation Dublin, unpaged). This is perhaps the most valuable advantage of such workshops.

Works Cited

Barrett. D. Getting to Work with New Web Technologies. 2010. Web.

David. M. The HTML5 JavaScript Model. Focal Press. 2010.

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Dublin City University. Intergenerational Learning Project. 2010. Web.

Deloitte. “Responding to the New Economic Environment: Evolve to Succeed:” Deloitte & National of College Ireland, 2010.

Deloitte. The Official Website. 2010. Web.

Enge. E. Spencer. S. Fishkin R. Stricciola. J. The Art of SEO. O’Reilly Media, Inc, 2009.

Innovation Dublin. “How to Assess the Value of an Idea”. 2010. Web.

Jacques D. Learning in groups: a handbook for improving group work. London: Routledge. 2000 Print

Goldman. J. Facebook cookbook. NY: O’Reilly Media. 2008. Print.

Mishra S. & Sharma R. Interactive multimedia in education and training. Idea Group Inc. 2005. Print.

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Science Gallery. “Mike Schroepfer, Facebook VP of Engineering talk” 2010. Web.

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