On Saturday, November 19th, Work Hard Pittsburgh had six University of Pittsburgh students and one Pitt Business faculty member visit to learn more about Work Hard and Academy Pittsburgh. The group also teamed up with two small businesses in the Allentown area to develop a social media action plan through a Hackathon competition. Stuart Day Guitars and Day La Soul were the participants for the day.
Immediately after Work Hard Pittsburgh tour, Pitt students got right to work researching the two small businesses to understand how they could help in the short amount of time they had allotted.
The two teams hit the ground running at 11am and worked until their small business representative came in around 11:30am. Each team spent a fair amount of time talking with their small business representative to learn more about how they manage their business, what current needs they have, and the teams also received a tour of the small business to better understand the business’s look and feel. Pitt students worked diligently to create as much as a detailed and actionable social media plan as possible.
At 2:30pm, both teams put the finishing touches on their social media action plans and then turned them in for review. Everyone came back together to talk about what they learned from the Hackathon competition and what big three recommendations they had for their respective business partner.
The Pitt group left Work Hard Pittsburgh at 3:00pm and below are some of what the students had to say about their experience:
“This day was the first time that I had ever done anything like this. I think that the opportunity was wonderful, as we got to work with real people on real projects dealing with actual businesses. It also gave me a greater perspective of what it is actually like to own their own business, and what things to consider if I ever open my own business.” – Timmy Miller, Pitt Student
“The Work Hard experience was one of my favorite extracurricular events I have participated in this year. I loved seeing the space and learning more about entrepreneurship in Pittsburgh. I learned more about collaborating with a team and working with clients in my few hours working with Stuart Day Guitars than I would in months of in class lectures. I would definitely attend a similar event in the future.” – Cole Bradley, Pitt Student
“Yesterday’s visit to Work Hard PGH was so informative and engaging. What I liked most was actually being able to offer a social media strategy plan to Day La Soul Cafe. I learned a lot about social media marketing and putting together a business plan, two skills I know I’ll use in the near future. I’ve often theorized about getting involved one day, but I’ve never actually done anything concrete in this field….. I would definitely recommend this visit to others, and would be very interested to do this again in the future should the opportunity arise… “ – Priya Chandrasekaran, Pitt Student
“The Work Hard Pittsburgh hackathon was a powerful opportunity to apply the methods and principles of business design thinking and creativity in business development while (more importantly) giving back to the Pittsburgh community by assisting small businesses in the Pittsburgh area as best as we can. At Work Hard Pittsburgh, I immediately recognized the same down-to-earth, open-minded, and respectful entrepreneurial atmosphere that I was familiar with from my time at Silicon Valley.
As a fellow entrepreneur, I loved the chance to interact with phenomenal small business owners and apply my experience in social media networking and business design to help their businesses grow and flourish in the Pittsburgh region. I commend Work Hard Pittsburgh for the support they give to the small business community of Pittsburgh, the attention to creative detail that they strongly apply in their design space, and the opportunity to allow Pitt students to give back and understand how to solve real business problems.” – Aakash Sudhakar, Pitt Student
“I learned a great deal during our trip to WHPGH. Frankly, I had only the vaguest idea of what the organization does – I would have guessed they provide seed money to start-ups. I knew nothing about the cooperative nature of WHPGH. I enjoyed meeting Josh very much, and greatly appreciate the time he spent with us.
I was intrigued to ask Josh a question about how to provide feedback to a client that the client may not want to hear (especially given that I do this in my job nearly every day) – I found Josh’s response both thoughtful and thought provoking. Additionally, the trip to Allentown changed my long-held (and based on very little) perception of the neighborhood.” – Elizabeth Adams, Pitt Business Faculty Member