Kicking off Extreme Blue 2016!


Hello and welcome to Extreme Blue 2016! To get started this year, Team WBA is making the first blog, and these will continue through the next 12 weeks with frequent updates on our respective projects. Meet our team below:


Business Intern: Giulia Gandolfo

I’m a second year Information Management for Business student at UCL. But here I am WBA’s team business person! As those sharing my kitchen have found out already, I’m obsessed with healthy food, chia seeds being my personal favourite. Other than that, I’m a member of UCLU Pole Fitness Varsity team.

Technical Intern: Cameron Spence


I’m currently studying physics at the University of York. I applied for the Extreme Blue internship to get some insights into the tech industry and follow the process of creating a product from the design phase to distribution. Academically I am most interested in Quantum Computing, but when I’m out of the office or uni I love skiing, snowboarding, writing and playing guitar.

Technical Intern: Emily MillerEmily

Hi there! I’m Emily and I’m a second year Computer Science student at The University of York. Having met all of our account mentors and our client, I cannot wait to get started on the project and hopefully produce something innovative and useful to our client. In my spare time I love playing sport, in particular netball, where I am captain of my club at uni, as well as skiing and playing hockey!

Technical Intern: Nathan SkelleyNathan

I’m a forth year mechanical engineer at the University of Bath. Over the next 12 weeks I’ll be filling both a technical role and the more general role of WBA old man, bringing with me a wealth of sarcasm that is sometimes mistakenly labeled as wit. I’m looking forward to getting into the nitty gritty of the design process, and seeing a project all the way through from conception to prototype. I’m also powerless to resist the call of post-its galore, writing on the windows in pen and using soft play furniture quite clearly designed for children (for the sake of “free thinking”).

Other members of the WBA team are Percy and Terry, both of the Tree division.

Mission Statement

To increase engagement with the 16-24 year old demographic in Boots stores and provide feedback on purchases and browsing

Weeks 1&2: Market Research


We spent most of our first week wondering exactly what our project was. In a tense meeting reminiscent of the X-Factor, the teams and projects were unveiled, and the WBA team was formed.

Team Picture

Our mentor team is fantastic. They took us out for a (free!) dinner on the day we met, along with the IBM Managing Director of the Walgreens-Boots-Alliance team in the US. Since then, they have been enthusiastic and helping us hugely with getting our heads around the problem statement and thinking up solutions.

During the first week, we learned the true value of Post-it notes, and our walls are now covered in them from floor to ceiling, with empathy maps, social media analysis, and to-do lists.

At Work

We were given £50 to go into Boots stores and see what our own experiences were, as we all lie within the target demographic. This was where we discovered that if you walk conspicuously into a Boots store with iPads and notebooks, you will be challenged by security, head office will be called and you will be invited over for a nice chat with the store manager. Fortunately she was very understanding and we gleaned some useful information from our slight misadventure.

In week 2 we met one of our contacts within Boots. He joined us at a design workshop and helped us develop our solution ideas, as well as profiling some more customers.

So what’s next? We’re going to refine our ideas and begin to construct our project, which as it stands will be a kind of platform for browsing, personalising shopping experiences and purchasing, with support for in-store “digital shelf” and home-based Smart Mirror support. Check back next week for the WBA blog update!

– Cameron, Giulia, Nathan and Emily

Quote of the Week: “Why doesn’t that slug have a house?” – Giulia

Categories: WBA

One thought on “Kicking off Extreme Blue 2016!

  1. Reading this with great interest & can’t wait to find out what ideas you come up with & well done IBM for giving you such a great opportunity. Although I am not in the target demographic I use boots a lot & think it could do more to engage young people.


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