2016 Mid-Semester Formal Dinner
On April 6th the 2016 Mid Session Formal Dinner was held at New College. The dinner marked the return of the semester after students had enjoyed a short break over the Easter period. The guest speakers for the evening saw two charismatic alumni, Matt Schiller and Ed Kearney, return to address residents and provide a few words of wisdom.
The night began with Isabella Beatty serenading students with beautiful live piano music as they mingled over appetisers and took their seats awaiting the introduction of the guests of honour.
Speaking with a sharp sense of humour, Matt and Ed regaled those present with stories from their time at college and many life lessons from their unique journeys after university. The two are now business partners in a successful start up, conceived while they were residents at New College, known as “Gown Town,” that sells graduation gowns to students at competitive prices. It is a wonderful example of how ideas conceived within communities can lead to successful innovation.
Their speech also recounted twelve things the two Alumni wish they had known while at college including lessons such as ‘learn coding’ and ‘try the impossible’.
At the conclusion of their presentation, the duo offered New Collegians two internships to experience a venture start up from the inside and gain valuable skills including coding, financing and business development. Residents left the evening inspired to take on new challenges no matter how impossible it may seem.
In question time, the tenor of questions demonstrated that New Collegians were eager to engage with the practical and theoretical approaches to start ups and how to realise their own original ideas.
The night also featured a performance from Hayley Morris playing on the recorder and Stephen Melhuish accompanying on piano. The enchanting performance eliminated any questions about the value of the recorder as a musical instrument. This was the 2nd time a recorder has been played at a New College Formal Dinner, the first time being in 2002.
Listen to Matt Schiller and Ed Kearney's entertaining presentation in full here: