At the 2014 Social Impact Summit Vol-star, a website that links volunteer opportunities and local talent, took home the gold for the Pitch with a Cause competition. Nelson Caudillo, who was a member of the winning team, told CAUSE about his experience at the competition.
What did you gain from giving your pitch in front of a live audience and judges?
I think that was one of the best things to come out our experience with the competition. In many of the classes as the CoB you are required to present in front of your professors and fellow classmates, however, it is people you have grown to be familiar with and perhaps presented in front of before. With Pitch with a Cause you have a much larger audience and it includes many people you have never met before. While that might seem a bit challenging (or even scary) to some people it gave us an excellent opportunity to showcase the presentation skills we have been learning since attending the College of Business. After our presentation, there was a stronger sense of confidence among our team and it is something that many of us have included in our resumes and speak about during job interviews.
As for the judges, once again it is an opportunity to put our education out into the real world and see how those skills translate. You learn a lot about professionalism, public speaking and how to handle questions under pressure. These are things that will 100 percent help out ANY student after they graduate!
What are some advice you would give to someone who thinking about applying?
If you have a great idea and are looking for a platform to get heard this is definitely for you. If you want to strengthen your presentation and speaking skills this is also definitely for you! Don't let your emphasis or even your major stop you from thinking this is solely for "business people" types. There is wealth of knowledge to be learned from entering a competition like this and it isn't always about what comes out of a book or a course but what you actually do that helps you understand those important life lessons. Can't stress enough how these skills are viable for just about any individual.
A last note, if you manage to get in the competition, Practice, Practice, Practice. Preparation was key to our team and ultimately what helped us take home that grand prize check! =)
Applications for the 2015 Pitch with a Cause competition are due March 6th! A long business plan is not needed, just an idea for a social business. The top three submissions will present at the Social Impact Summit April 10th in front a panel of judges who will choose the winner. Did we mentions first place takes home $1,500, second place $1,000 and third $500? Sign up today for the 2015 Pitch with a Cause!