Interview with Minerva Owl, the winner from the “1st JobberHack Challenge” idea contest

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  • Experiences, Preparation and Benefits gained from “1st JobberHack Challenge” idea contest
  • Recommendations from Minerva Owl to those who want to participate in a competition.


    In the era where everything has gone digital, including market trends, social media, website, smart phone applications; “Digital Literacy” becomes more and more important for everyone, especially students. The government, as well as many companies and organizations have attached great important to it, and consequently have supported the students to enhance their digital literacy.

     When it comes to the famous leading companies in digital technology, Microsoft and AIS are definitely considered to be on the top. On May 5, 2020, both companies co-organized the “1st JobberHack Challenge” idea contest, with an aim to equip university students with necessary digital skills for the 21st century jobs.

      The Minerva Owl team, which is comprised of Mr. Apakorn Kengkanna, a 4th year student, Miss Vipawan Jarukitpipat, and Mr. Pada Kanchanapinpong, 3rd year students from the Faculty of Information and Communication Technology, Mahidol University (ICT Mahidol), won first prize over 29 competitive teams from 9 universities.

     The ICT Spotlight team has some preparation tips and inspiring suggestions from the Minerva Owl for you guys!

Why did you join this competition?
   In the first place, this competition was co-organized by 2 large leading companies like Microsoft and AIS. Moreover, the challenge of this competition was very interesting, as we were assigned to use the products and tools of both companies to create technological solutions to solve real business problems for the SME (Small and Medium Enterprises). Therefore, we took the opportunity to form a team and join this competition.

How was the atmosphere of the competition?
    At first, we joined the opening ceremony at AIS Tower 1. In the morning, there was a SMEs entrepreneurs’ talk session where they shared their experiences, challenges, and problems of their business. In the afternoon, there was a Design Thinking training.
After that, we were given about 2 months to compile ideas and develop solutions to fix the SMEs’ problems.

     The competition atmosphere was totally different as it was held online via Microsoft Teams.  During the competition, we only had 5 minutes to pitch all of our ideas and demo the system that we have created. Thus, we felt very excited.

How did you prepare?
     Apart from forming a team, another challenge for us was the communication among our team members. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we unavoidably had to work separately. We had consulted, made plans and organized our project through Microsoft Teams online meeting after our classes. In addition, we used the Microsoft Teams to inquire, consult and test our created system with our customer (SMEs entrepreneur) as well.

     Before the competition day, we’ve done many rehearsals, including rehearsing presentation timings, completing and precising the scripts, as well as preparing answers and defenses.

     During the competition day, everything went smoothly as expected. It was very worth devoting our time to this project.

What did you gain from this competition?
     We’ve gained a lot from this competition, including getting more understanding of Microsoft and AIS products, especially those we used as tools to develop our system, realizing our full potential, and most importantly, applying and integrating the knowledges and capabilities we’ve acquired from our classes to this project. Besides the technical skills and experience, we also learned how to work as a team, improve communication skills, and solve unexpected problems. Additionally, participating in this competition helped us break through the wall of fear, and boosted up our confidence.

What would you like to say to inspire your friends and juniors who would like to participate in a competition?
     First, we would like to tell everyone that self-confidence is all we need to have. In a competition, you need to be confident in every moment, starting from applying in the competition until receiving the prize on stage. Moreover, being confident encourages us to accomplish our goal. Whenever any of us had some new ideas, P’Pae (the senior member of our team) always said that “I think, I can do it” and that was like our first gate which led us to achieve our goal and meet good unexpected things.

     Second, ” Grab the opportunity. Actually, there are many opportunities that can possibly happen in our lives, however, they will never be accomplished if we don’t grab them.” The most important things are to search and seize opportunities. “Although we do not know what will happen after grabbing an opportunity, but if we dedicate ourselves to do it, the outcomes are definitely valuable.

     Finally, we have to thank the Faculty of ICT, Mahidol University for offering us such a good opportunity to improve our capabilities, as well as, encouraging us to “Do it” by applying our acquired knowledge. For those who are interested to participate in competitions, please stay tuned to the Faculty of ICT’s channels.


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