Revamping the way students study - Raphael’s library booking app
12 November 2018
BSc International Management student Raphael Nahoum recently launched book-a-desk, the desk reservation pilot scheme with Warwick Library. In this blog he discusses how one of his undergraduate modules inspired him to turn his idea into a reality.
It all began in my first year of studying BSc International Management with one of my core modules. Starting from scratch, I was asked to write a business plan as well as create a 10 minute video pitch. After experiencing daily difficulties finding a seat in the library, I decided to leverage this module to see the potential of my business idea: an app for booking library seating. By working on the module, I developed the necessary skills and tools to understand the environment of the entrepreneur and I realised the significance of this project to me; I became set on turning my idea into a reality.
After two months of individual work following the submission of my assignment, I managed to meet Warwick University’s Head of Client Services and Head of Academic Services respectively. They had been looking for an innovative alternative to the current system for a few years and were interested in my app. However, they were not able to process my idea further due to lack of funding.
WBS students have always been told to not give up and that’s exactly what I have done. I could have tried to contact investors to secure funding but I was extremely keen to work with Warwick University. I only had one, slightly unrealistic, option left: to contact the Vice-Chancellor of the University. Throughout my childhood, I was always told “never try, never know.” This pushed me to contact the Vice-Chancellor directly, explaining the details of my app. A few days later I received an answer and he expressed an interest in the project. He arranged a meeting between myself and the Executive Officer of the University. After the meeting, they were impressed by the potential of my idea and the benefits it could bring to the library. Since April I have been working closely with a 13 people team and a trial was launched in October 2018, targeting the third floor extension of the library. If the results are statistically positive, the booking system will be implemented throughout the entire campus.
Being an International Management student is extremely beneficial for the development of my app in terms of adding an international angle. I have been supported by WBS to secure an exchange semester in one of Asia’s best universities: The University of Hong Kong. Studying abroad not only has a lifetime of benefits in terms of the learning, but it also offers me an opportunity to further explore the scope of interest in the app. Throughout my two years at University, I have realised that Warwick Business School creates a unique environment allowing diverse endeavours and paths to be explored and mastered by students. I am extremely proud of my achievement. My key takeaway is to never give up even if you face hardships and challenges during the process.
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