Student’s idea to become reality after winning global PayPal competition
Undergraduate student Omar Abdelmageed faced tough competition, with 1,500 ideas submitted for consideration from Paypal employees all over the world.
The competition brief was to pitch an innovative and creative idea that would contribute to the company achieving its goals. Ideas were pitted against each other in a rigorous process involving several rounds which culminated in a presentation to PayPal’s CEO and Executive Vice Presidents in Silicon Valley, California.
Omar, who’s an Integration Engineer at PayPal during his placement year, had to come up with a 300 word pitch and as he progressed through the competition he developed a detailed business plan and designed a full prototype of his idea. From there he gathered a team who planned and implemented a campaign to gain as many votes as possible from PayPay employees. His team made it to the final three who then pitched to and took questions from Paypal’s top executives.
Now Omar’s idea is officially on the roadmap to be delivered and implemented in the future.
Omar, who’s studying Computer Science with an Industrial Placement Year, said: “It’s amazing to think that I could be involved in creating something impactful for such a massive corporation, and to have had the chance to pitch it directly to the CEO and VPs, all during an internship.
“It’s a great feeling. I’m really proud of myself and the team, and I’m hoping that we can get this idea out the door at some point even if I’ll likely have finished my internship by the time that happens.
“It was definitely tough at points, especially because I was very late in finalising my team and we could only collaborate on the final round. But overall it was an amazing experience and one of the many highlights of my placement year!”
Omar can’t share his idea publicly at this stage, but he can reveal he’s working with a team in the company to contribute ideas and gather data to help make it become a reality.
While the competition win was an undoubted highlight, Omar’s enjoying every aspect of his Industrial Placement Year.
“The problem solving aspect of this job I find very enjoyable,” he added.
“PayPal is a massive company with a lot of services and a lot of products. It can feel overwhelming, but every time I receive a case with a new merchant I’m always faced with new problems.
“It never gets old when I find the solution to an issue a merchant is facing, and there are always lots of things to consider due to the nature of the company having so many moving parts.
“I was also really lucky to land with a very supportive team, and collaborating with them has been very fulfilling.”
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