The long-awaited contest fair of JA Student Company and JA Skills for the Future Company of the Year took place on Thursday, April 14. Traditionally, our student company participated in the fair. We were represented by the members of our presentation team in the following composition: Petr Červenka, president of the company, Tomáš Vojkůvka, marketing director, Marek Tlolka, production director, Markéta Makarová, personal director, Adam Václav Bajger, technician and developer and Marek Ferianc, our conductor.
41 companies attended the fair in total and most of them also participated in the JA Student Company of the year competition. The Skills for the Future competition, which was patronized by Hyundai Motors Czech s.r.o., was taking place simultaneously.
Some of us had to arrive a little earlier due to complications during the transport of the loaned train seats. In the end however, we all gathered at the fair and built a booth in the style of a train compartment.
Just before sticking on the inner walls, we lost one due to a careless competitor from another company. We were under pressure and nervous but the accident did not unsettle us. Everything turned out great and we managed to impress the jury that visited our booth.
When they invited us to the podium, the hands of half of us were trembling. The presentation device has failed us in the middle of our presentation. But we managed it well and caught up with the delayed images in the presentation. After it, I felt even more tension as it was time for the panel discussion. I was perfectly prepared so I did not fear. Every one of us was perfectly prepared. But competition from other companies looked menacing.
The jury pushed our backs to the wall immediately and asked tricky questions. Thanks to our prior preparation and consulting with Ms. Mgr. Taťana Szlaurová and members of previous student companies, no questions surprised us, except one. When they asked us why we did not use the same manufacturer that produces pillows in Swiss trains, nobody knew exactly what to answer. Markéta saved the situation, when she recalled that in Switzerland they do not have pillows from memory foam and that therefore the reason for choosing our supplier were higher quality demands than they have in Switzerland. After the panel discussion, we were not confident. We have not sold a single piece yet, and it was in our view a great disadvantage compared to others who have were already selling their products.
After 3 PM, everyone began to gather around the stage. Announcement of the winners was about to come. It started a little late, but that only raised tension among students. Everyone was curious to see what happens. Less significant prizes were awarded first. For example, I would mention award for team spirit, best booth and the best financial management. But the main thing followed after. The Skills for the Future JA Company of the Year was announced, a competition in which it was all about creating a product concept into a car, and we could not believe our ears when we heard the name of our company which was on the first place. It was like a dream. Then it continued to the next major competition, JA Company of the Year. Our hopes to occupy the first place were small. We almost did not believe we could win both of them. But that is exactly what happened and we were extremely happy. We became the first company in the winning line of the Ostrava-Hrabůvka grammar school that achieved double success – we are going to represent the Czech republic both in June in Madrid and in July in Luzern!!!
This victory bound us to a long journey not only in the competition but also across the real market. The real success is, as I like to say, a functioning, stable and prosperous company, and in some areas we still have something to improve. As the saying goes, no one is perfect, and we too have gained a lot of experience at the fair. We believe we can finally reach even the international top level and get our school’s name into knowledge of the whole Europe.