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Abertay students win chance to help BT with new venture

13 May 2016

BT-IGG May 2016

Five Abertay University students are being offered the chance to work with telecoms giant BT following a gruelling series of ‘Apprentice-style' presentations and tests. 

The five business and management students were chosen out of 120 students who took part in the three-day Innovation for Global Growth (IGG) event held by Abertay’s Dundee Business School in February.

IGG put the students into small teams and challenged them to come up with solutions to real business problems set by organisations from a range of business sectors including food-and-drink, banking, textiles and telecoms. 

The students then had to pitch their solutions back to the managers of the businesses face to face.

Fifty of the students took up the challenge set by BT, and senior managers from the company were so impressed they decided to invite 20 of them to take part in a further series of challenges. 

Senior managers Andrew Bailey and Chris Brook travelled up from BT headquarters in London to run the challenges at Abertay today, including sending the teams out to conduct market research on the streets of Dundee.

After hearing presentations from all the students, five were selected as winners:  Katy Souter from Dundee, Nicholas Ingram (Germany), Neil Beattie (St Andrews), John Gibson (Lanark) and Alyson McGinlay (Dalgety Bay).

The five winning students will travel to London in June to present their idea to top-level directors at BT, and their proposals will then become a key part of a new initiative to be launched by BT in the summer.  Details of the idea are being kept under wraps for the present for commercial confidentiality.

Charlie Malone, IGG project leader from Abertay’s Dundee Business School, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for the five students.  It’s very rare for undergraduates in their final year of studies to get the chance to contribute to a major new initiative being developed by a global brand like BT.

“This is also the first time one of the big companies taking part in IGG has decided to continue working with some of our students and put them through further challenges.

“We’re always looking at ways of making our teaching and learning practical and business-focussed. Facing the pressure of a commercial environment in a safe way is a very exciting experience for our students.

“We’re delighted that BT have recognised our students’ ability to contribute fresh new ideas for challenges they’re currently facing.”

As well as BT, this year’s IGG also involved Heineken, the Bank of Scotland, AJ Barr’s, Bonar Yarns and The Sea Fish Company.

CAPTION:  Picture shows the winning students (l-r): Katy Souter (Dundee), Nicholas Ingram (Germany), Abertay lecturer Charlie Malone, Neil Beattie (St Andrews), BT manager Andrew Bailey, John Gibson (Lanark) and Alyson McGinlay (Dalgety Bay). 

More info on IGG here:,28312,en.html 

More info on Dundee Business School’s courses here:


For media enquiries, please contact Kevin Coe, Media and Communications Director, Abertay University,  E:   T:  01382 308452    M:  07850 904110



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