Tech Firm Leadership students win ‘paperclip challenge,’ snag photo with Chancellor Carol Christ
Students Fionce Siow, Tammy Chan, Peru Dayani, Mina Nezam-Mafi, Ryan Chiem in the Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology’s INDENG 171 – Technology Firm Leadership course proved their entrepreneurial prowess by exchanging paperclips for something priceless: A group photo with UC Berkeley Chancellor Christ.
The team participated in a challenge, led by course instructor Dr. Pamela Park, who asked her students to go out into campus and “trade up” paperclips for something of higher value.
“This exercise taught me that despite having limited physical resources like just a few paperclips, success can come through great communication, teamwork, and thinking outside the box,” said Chan.
The group’s first stop was a tech talk at the UC Berkeley AugCog lab, where they bid farewell to their paperclips in exchange for some free packed lunches. Since one of the group members had a connection at CITRIS Foundry, the team decided to use their resource.
“We decided to exchange the lunches for a few hours with Citron the teddy bear, CITRUS Foundry’s giant stuffed mascot,” relayed Dayani. “We used him to make friends and build a network.”
After walking around with the bear on campus to no avail, they changed their strategy and concluded that they wanted to get a photo with the bear and Chancellor Carol Christ.
“It was a mixture of our creativity and pure luck that we managed to snag a quick photo with Chancellor Christ right as she was about to go to her next meeting,” said Siow.
According to Dayani, they approached a guard, and then an assistant, and then another assistant who finally led them to Chancellor Christ, who said yes!