Nikoloz Gachechiladze from Georgia has recently graduated from LCC International University with two awards: Highest Major GPA and Highest Cumulative GPA. An International Business Administration alumni who went to Silicon Valley, USA in 2016 as part of the GIST competition and received feedback about his project from Daphne Koller, one of the co-founders of Coursera, is now searching to learn more about marketing and storytelling.
Could you tell us more about the web based training competition and how you got to the finalist position?
The competition was titled “Global Innovation Through Science and Technology” (GIST) and it had two categories. As part of the initial screening and then voting stage, I became a finalist of the project and went to the USA to pitch my idea to some of the coolest professionals in the world. One of my mentors, for example, was Jeff Hoffman who is a popular and impactful serial entrepreneur. My project was about video shooting automation. The idea was to come up with a system based on the person’s motion that records lecture in a classroom or a closed environment with multiple cameras and the system tries to understand which camera should be the primary output. It sort of edits the video as the person is speaking. I was more on the business aspect of this project and I was working with an engineering team in Klaipėda to do the technological aspect of this. However, in the end there were little details that did not work out and we had to discontinue.
How was the overall experience in the Silicon Valley?
I was there for five days and the idea behind the trip was to visit Silicon Valley, get mentorship for three days, meaning to refine the idea on the pitch, pitch the idea and attend some events and call operating activities. It was a global entrepreneurship summit, so pitching was happening at the same time. This summit gathered the majority of the world entrepreneurs and company leaders such as Mark Zuckerberg, Reid Hoffman from LinkedIn, CEOs of Uber and others. Main idea was to network during this visit and receive feedback on my project. I had really good experience in learning how to pitch, and what is important in business, what needs more development and refinement. One of the highlights for me was interaction with Daphne Koller, who is one of the co-founders of Coursera. This is the platform that I use and also my idea is related to education and it was amazing to get feedback from her.
During the Commencement you received an award for the best Management or Marketing thesis. Could you share more about your thesis?
My thesis was about social media platform Pinterest and it was a case study for the company’s marketing campaign. I tried to understand whether or not Pinterest can be a valuable tool for businesses in Lithuanian region, to use for their business purposes. The focus of the research in this case was organic content because Pinterest does not support promotions for Lithuania. The findings of the research showed that Pinterest was quite successful at improving brand awareness.
You also have an online blog focusing on various social media platforms and how they operate. Where does this interest come from?
I personally think that social media has a tremendous impact on how society functions today. My experience with social media started in 12th grade, when I was studying in Texas, USA through FLEX program and I participated in a project called Global News Media Lab. We were developing social media pages as well as websites that were focused on different types of social impact. My project focused on volunteering and that was the first time I had an experience with social media impacting.
What did you like about LCC education the most?
I think the best thing about LCC is the diversity and wholesome education and what it allows you to gain, especially if you look at technology and how fast everything is changing. It might be a cliche statement that the job you are looking for probably does not exist right now, but this happens more often now. In the fast changing technological society it is good to have a variety of skills and to be more agile in constantly acquiring new ones.
Do you have any plans now, after you graduated?
My plan is to take an internship position in London at the Innovation Agency and to focus on storytelling and marketing driven world. I like marketing and I am really interested in a more general aspect of it. I believe that people think and interact in terms of stories, when you give someone statistics or just numbers they do not really represent anything unless it is translated into stories. Therefore, delivering a concise story that is impactful and is interesting to people is important in our society, especially when there is much content and news that are irrelevant.