The Bistro in the Edinburgh Business School is a good place to run into people, especially Professor Heather McGregor, our Executive Dean and the designer of the MBA for entrepreneurs that I and many others are studying for.
Back in October, after Professor McGregor spotted fellow student Charlie Bingham and I having lunch, she came over and asked us if there were any additional speakers we would like to see visit the School.
I plucked up the courage to tell her about my idea to contact the BBC Dragons’ Den
for an insight to their entrepreneurs' experiences. "Ooow, that's a great idea", she said. “I'll see what I can do, and will get back to you".
After a few other points of discussion regarding our MBA, we finished lunch and said our goodbyes. Before I could blink, she had contacted the BBC and got us an audience with the Executive Producer of Dragons’ Den, Darrell Olsen!
Darrell visited Edinburgh Business School on Friday 24th November 2017. He gave a fantastic insight to the Dragons’ Den programme’s background and history. He also shared with us how best to research material and gather all relevant facts and figures to answer challenging questions from potential investors. The Dragons give entrepreneurs a good run for their money.
Darrell shared with us dos & don'ts about pitching an idea and tips on how to prepare for a good pitch. The session was straight after our Entrepreneurship & Creativity assessment – made me think, I should have met him before! The discussion helped me immensely to refine the material I prepared for my business plan. After the session, I confess I ended up watching a few more episodes of Dragons’ Den, for my own curiosity andI couldn’t stop!
Our cohort has been very spoiled – we have had private round table discussions with so many key people this term. This has included James Reed
(CEO of Reed.co.uk, the world’s largest privately owned recruitment company), Dr Robert Buchanan (Chancellor of Heriot-Watt University, and the founder and owner of many successful mining companies, who has got me addicted to Blink,a book by Malcolm Gladwell) and now Darrell Olsen. I felt this couldn’t get any better for an MBA.
I was wrong. It got even better. A week later we had a round-table discussion with the CEO of Tesco Bank, Benny Higgins
(the most stylish and unassuming CEO I’ve ever met) and some members of his executive management team, who talked to us about their products, corporate strategy and information technology to mention a few of the topics discussed.
What’s going on here? (I wondered). Well, it’s an MBA. What do you expect Theo, I said to myself. When you come to study with someone like Heather, be careful what you wish for! Well, she can do anything! I wouldn’t put it past her, I just hope she doesn’t integrate these corporate interactions and executive audiences into the EBS MBA
programme curriculum for a write-up and assessment. Ooops!
Heather stuck to her promise made to us in the Bistro and delivered beyond, and for that, I say “THANK YOU Heather!”. More of those Bistro promises please!