Enactus World Cup: Judging Experience – Amy Dorney, Enactus UCC Alumna

Amy Dorney, Enactus UCC Alumna attended this year’s Enactus World Cup in San Jose and judged for her first time. Amy shares her experience with us and five top tips for teams this year!


I was part of the Enactus programme for three years while I was a student in UCC. Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to begin my fourth year with Enactus, and my first year as part of the alumni network, by attending the Enactus World Cup in San Jose, California. I was lucky enough to be awarded a bursary to attend the World Cup in 2018 as part of the Irish delegation, but this year was a different type of experience. This is because I was invited to be a judge.  


When Country Manager Liam asked me would I like to judge at the World Cup I was so excited, I couldn’t wait to be on the other side of the table and experience an Enactus event from a judges perspective and of course visit the beautiful state of California again.


Day one of the World Cup saw the Opening Ceremony with each country participating in the flag parade and the World Cultural Experience, where each country showcases some of their native traditions and produce. This was an amazing, uplifting day where the pride that each team had for their home country was ever present. The excitement around the venue was hard to miss!


Day two was when we got down to work. My morning started with the judges orientation breakfast. This was when the rules and guidelines were explained to the judges and we took our judges oath. At this breakfast I had the opportunity to network with some fellow judges which was really interesting. For many of these judges, it was their first experience of the World Cup, and indeed for some it was their first ever Enactus event and they didn’t know much about what we do. I immediately felt like an ambassador for Enactus, having been through the programme, and was extremely proud to explain the core elements that make up this amazing network of student, business and academic leaders who all have ‘a head for business and a heart for the world’. Everyone that I spoke to was so impressed and it allowed me to realise how lucky I am to have been a part of an organisation like Enactus.  


The actual judging part was really exciting, as I had the opportunity to ask the presenting teams some questions about their projects, something an audience member cannot do. I had a real say in which projects progressed to the semi-final and final rounds which felt really empowering. I did feel for the students as they prepared to present their projects because I had experienced a fraction of the nerves they were feeling, having presented at the Enactus Ireland National Competition in 2017. I tried to give smiles and nods of reassurance and I hope this helped them to relax a small bit.


I was amazed at the quality of projects that were presented by the countries that I had the pleasure of judging in both the Opening Round and the Semi-Final Round of the World Cup. The impact that students are making around the world is truly inspirational and hard to put down in words.


I thoroughly enjoyed my time as a judge at the Enactus World Cup 2019 and the privilege of having the opportunity to be a judge proves that being a part of the Enactus network and community can stretch far beyond your time in college. You can be a part of a lifelong family if you make the effort to stay connected. I already can’t wait for next year! If I could go back in time to when I was a student and give myself five tips, they would be:


1. Conduct a thorough needs assessment: This is super important to do when beginning a new project and indeed should be repeated throughout the different stages the project may go through. No matter how great an idea you think you have, it means nothing without people that want to work with you and will actually benefit from your idea.


2. Reach out to your advisory board: They are there to help and support you and your projects, and will be only delighted to do so, all you have to do is ask. Make use of their expertise and any contacts that they can provide you with.


3. Give your project the time commitment it deserves: Running a successful Enactus project is not easy work. Where possible, it helps to designate set hours during the week to work on your project, this helps you to put aside time where you can solely focus on your project and create and meet the necessary goals you have set for yourself.  


4. Take loads of photos and videos throughout the year: This helps when preparing for National Competition as you have records of all the events/trainings/workshops that you have completed over the last year. It is also a great reminder for your team of the fantastic work you have done and you can keep them forever.


5. Enjoy National Competition and take it all in: It’s an event you will experience as a contender only a handful of times at most so take part in everything and enjoy the day as best you can!


Best of luck to all students participating in the Enactus programme this year, I can’t wait to see the impact that you will create! #WeAllWin


Liam Redmond