Cooperations

From November 2017 to February 2018, an intercultural project was held in close cooperation between the European University of Applied Sciences (EUFH) at Bruehl near Cologne, and the university in the Dutch capital The Hague. This happened in the framework of the dual study programme. Through meetings in The Hague, Cologne, and Bruehl, as well as remotely through tools such as Skype, students collaborated closely to achieve results for companies.

Partners

GLOBALG.A.P. was the partner of the one of their projects. Three business IT specialists and three general managers worked with 15 Dutch students to critically scrutinise the organisation’s IT project management. Naturally, a company like GLOBALG.A.P. is constantly evolving, and there are lots of project proposals at any given time. The students dealt with how to optimise the selection of particularly promising projects.

Kick off

The project was kicked off at the end of November 2017 at a meeting in the GLOBALG.A.P. IT department in Cologne. The actual work began after the task had been explained: to analyze and optimize the company's IT priority management process.

Mixed groups of students had to develop solutions and periodically discussed their intermediate results with the supervising instructors in The Hague and Bruehl. Prof. Dr. Rainer Paffrath and Dr. Jens Nesper supervised this project at the EUFH. The students made the important discovery that it is not so easy to coordinate teamwork through Skype, WhatsApp, or e-mail and achieve presentable results. Different examinations periods at the universities and a number of other factors made progress considerably more difficult.

Presenting Results

Ultimately, the results of the four participating groups were supposed to yield a single final presentation that could provide real benefit to GLOBALG.A.P.  Students had therefore to develop a keen customer perspective and to condense the many findings of several months into a convincing presentation under time pressure. Not an easy task. The students succeeded in presenting results with which GLOBALG.A.P. representatives were highly satisfied.

Social

In addition to plenty of work, there was also an entertaining joint leisure programme on the agenda: the students also stopped by a traditional brewery on their guided tour of Cologne. In The Hague, there was another guided city tour, which the Dutch students themselves had organised for their German fellow students. In addition to the valuable experience in international teamwork, the social aspect with its fun factor was not neglected.

Photo and article courtesy of European University of Applied Sciences (EUFH).