update: I’m terrified by the intensive business course I’m about to take

Remember the letter-writer last week who was terrified by an intense business course she was about to take? (#2 at the link) I told her it was going to be much better than she was fearing and said I was going to send her a cupcake if I was wrong.


Here’s the update.

I wasn’t at all sure to expect but I really enjoyed my time there. It was four hard days, 8am – 9pm in most cases, with workshops, speakers and the big challenge – about nine hours to put together a business idea to pitch at a dinner to four business pros (i.e., like on Dragon’s Den, the TV show) and the rest of the audience.

On the first day everyone was a little jittery and very few people there were studying economics or business. In fact, the course was really skills and mindset oriented – although we did a little bit of business work to help with the pitches we had to do, it was mainly judgement assessments, working out our values, team simulations, and, my personal favourite, a speed reading crash course.

I was nervous about the pitch because I’m not a “natural” when it comes to presentations, but I was happy with my part and I definitely picked up a lot of tips about good presenting which will be invaluable in the future. Most importantly, I got a real insight into teamwork and how to operate in a team. For instance, I’d never had such a personality clash with someone and had to learn to stop wasting energy telling them things they obviously didn’t want to hear, but also learned that good teams have solid objectives and combine their skills to make the final product.

All in all, I had a good time, despite my initial reservations, and at the final dinner where we presented I did a smidgeon of networking and hopefully have a few more contacts for the future.

Thank you as always to you, Alison, for your blog and being so generous with your knowledge and also to the commenters for all their advice and support.

{ 37 comments… read them below }

  1. justsomeone*

    Yay! I’m happy for the good update! I’m glad OP had a good time at the workshop and had a lot of take aways!

  2. A Non*

    I don’t think I’ve ever said “yay no cupcake!” before. Congrats on going and doing the difficult thing! It will make other difficult things less daunting in the future.

    1. Graciosa*

      No, I haven’t either. My reaction on seeing it was the same as if Alison had declared NO SOUP FOR YOU!

      It turns out that wasn’t at all what she meant, but it took me a couple readings to straighten it out in my head.

  3. Chriama*

    I’m happy because things worked out for her, and also because CUPCAKE DENIED is my new favourite catchphrase. I’m going to start inserting it in random parts of totally unrelated conversations.

      1. JMegan*

        Yes! The only problem would be to decide if it should be the words CUPCAKE DENIED in yellow old-school computer font on a black background; or just a picture of a cupcake inside a red circle with a line through it. Nice problem to have on a Friday afternoon!

        1. Gene*

          Make your business case favoring one over the other and present it on the weekend Open Thread.

      2. Shark Lady*

        I want a two-sided sign that I can hang at my desk and flip as the occasion calls for it.

    1. TheCupcakeCounter*

      I just started a cupcake business and I want that shirt so I can wear it around people I don’t like (who have been eating my treats for years and now that I am trying to earn money at it are asking for “free samples”)

  4. Yep, me again*

    Hahaha!!!!! That’s the kind of update I like!

    Be better if there were cupcakes though….. just sayin’….

  5. Artemesia*

    Glad it went well for you. These programs are generally designed for the inexperienced and those without business training. Hooray.

  6. GH in YVR*

    So, OP is Canadian? Because, YAY DRAGON’S DEN! Shark Tank is a pale imitation.

    1. OP*

      I’m British actually! We have a British version / it’s a British show (not sure which but it is aired here with British business advisors).

      1. GH in YVR*

        Yes, I do think the UK version came first (it was shown in Canada, too), then the Canadian spinoff, then the US version (with some of the Canadian Dragon’s becoming Sharks as well).

    2. Dynamic Beige*

      Could be UK, they have it as Dragon’s Den there.

      Now I want a cupcake. Mainly because it had the word “denied” after it. :(

  7. Doy*

    “For instance, I’d never had such a personality clash with someone and had to learn to stop wasting energy telling them things they obviously didn’t want to hear…

    … but also learned that good teams have solid objectives and combine their skills to make the final product.”

    If those are the only two things you learned there, you have an amazing return on investment and will be worth your weight in strategic analysis reports to your future employers.

  8. March*

    I’ve never seen such a gleeful “CUPCAKE DENIED” before, I kinda hope it catches on when things go well in OP updates from now one.

    Congrats OP!

  9. Phyllis B*

    Alison, I think (with permission from the OP, of course) you should add a t-shirt, mug, (or both) to the AAM merchandise. (I know I would purchase them.) :-)

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      I have sort of given up on merchandise because stuff is so rarely purchased (admittedly in part because I do pretty much nothing to market it). Really, what I would like to do is license someone else to handle the whole deal for me.

      1. Nynaeve*

        You should make OP #1 from the last thread (Zee) look up patents and make the merchandise for you. After all, she owes you for all the work you did answering her question. :)

      2. justsomeone*

        I think you can do that on zazzle. You upload the artwork and they handle all the manufacturing and shipping.

  10. Adam*

    I feel like “Cupcake Denied!” could be a personal slogan…or maybe the tagline to a summer action-comedy movie.

    1. Gaia*

      In a world where intensive business courses are effective, transformative and worth your time….CUPCAKES DENIED!

Comments are closed.