Within the framework of the English-language MBA programme International Business Management, a networking trip could finally take place again in June 2022. Eva Nefen, Director international MBA office of the Graduate School Rhein-Neckar, organised a trip to Scandinavia together with the Programme Manager Sophia Richter.
The first part of the trip was to Copenhagen, where the ISPIM Innovation Conference took place. The Junior Research Lab offers young scientists the chance to exchange ideas and to set new impulses for research approaches. Workshops, thematic discussions and panel discussions offer exciting insights into the latest academic research results and are linked with practical case studies from industry. With their course leader Prof. Dr. Andreas Gissel, the students had the opportunity to synchronise these impulses with their study content on site.
The group of students was expanded in the second part of the trip to include lecturers and alumni from the German and English-language continuing education programmes. The partner university SAMK, Satakunta university of applied sciences, is located in Rauma, Finland. The delegation was welcomed there by Marina Wikman, who, together with Eva Nefen, promoted the double degree between the two universities last year. With an additional semester, students can earn a double degree in Business Management and Entrepreneurship. The study programme at SAMK is very diverse and includes, among other things, a Master's in Maritime Management for captains and marine engineers who want to deepen their management knowledge. In the Maritime Simulation Centre, participants were able to sit at the wheel of the ship and simulate setting sail.
How the networking of theory and practice can be successfully lived became clear during the company tour of Kongsberg Maritime Finland Oy. Teppo Lundell, Senior Lecturer of Business Competence, encourages his students to develop their skills outside the classroom. A SAMK alumnus gave a tour of the impressive factory premises, where the latest technologies are developed to provide solutions and products for everything from the ship's digital core system to the propeller. So SAMK students will be employed is not just a marketing claim.
Kari Sallinen, the owner of Motoseal Components Oy and long-time business partner of Prof. Dr. Rainer Busch and Christian May, provided exciting insights into his family business. His Masi snow tools are the leading brand on the Scandinavian DIY market.
Finally, Daniela Tanhua, Head of Teaching, technology and maritime management, guided the group through the historic old town in Rauma, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site for over thirty years.
Faouzi: „It was a great opportunity to meet people from all over the world, what made it special is the fact that it came after the COVID lockdown and related uncertainty. Students as well as teachers have had an equal passion to exchange ideas and information about different topics. It was a very rich experience where we got to know the culture, traditions, and habits of each other’s.
The warm welcome by the SAMK team and the university as well as the city tour were of great value to all the participants. Thanks to the good organization, we were able to visit 2 medium sized companies, where we have met their senior management, got to know their field of applications, their solutions, and the challenges they are encountering whether routinely or due to the global events (pandemic, war) and the severe consequences it had on their respective businesses.“
From the 28th of September to the 8th of October 2018 a group of MBA students, from the MBA distance learning courses of International Business Management and MBA of Corporate Management as well as the business-integrating degree program of Business Economics stayed in the province of Guangdong in China led by Prof. Rainer Busch, Dr. Alexander Unger, Eva Nefen and Christian May. Following 2012, 2014 and 2016 years it was the fourth visit of a MBA group to our network partners in China. The city Guangzhou, which comprises a region with around 11 million inhabitants, is an important industrial and commercial location (“factory of the world”) in the Pearl River Delta, including the large cities of Hong Kong, Shenzen, Dongguan, Foshan, Jiangmen, Huizhou, Zhongshan and Zhuzai. Over 100 million people live on an area the size of Baden-Württemberg. Guangdong is the most populous province of China with its 104.30 million inhabitants. During a visit to the MBA Business School of the Guangdong University of Economics and Finance, students from Ludwigshafen discussed with their fellow students, for example, the consequences of globalization in the context of the trade dispute between China, the USA and Europe as well as the particularities of establishing relationships in China. The representative of the German Chambers of Commerce Abroad (“Außenhandelskammer” in German, also known by the abbreviation “AHK”) in Guangdong, Mark Piesberger, reported on the serious changes in the institutional environment that German companies have to face in this province of Canton. The founders of the start-up company “Air parking” (developer of a parking management system) from Guangdong were again very interesting discussion partners during this visit. Another highlight of our group's residence was the visit of the Chinese Internet giant Tencent (WeChat, QQ); numerous developments in the field of technology and social media formed the basis for the discussions. The visit was also focused on formal discussions with entrepreneurs with the furniture industry about marketing opportunities in Europe, but also about the environmental challenges, as well as joint (informal) dinners (with all its “culture-led challenges”). The final stages of the trip were Macau and Hong Kong.
An impression of Felix Stauder, who had been studying at that time on the MBA International Business Management course: “The network trip to China was an absolute highlight for me as part of my MBA program. The meeting with Chinese start-ups and already established companies gave a distinctive insight into the Chinese business culture. At the evening business dinner with the entrepreneurs the discussions could be continued in a relaxed atmosphere. The discussions with Chinese students about topics such as globalization, trade wars, and environmental protection were very informative. It was also fascinating to learn about Chinese culture, particularly in Lantau Island and to experience the dynamic life in Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Macau. The good organization and the great cooperation within the tour group made China an incredibly impressive experience.”
From the 3th until the 11th of December 2016 a group of MBA students, led by Rainer Busch, Eva Nefen and Christian May, stayed at Fuzhou University in Fuzhou, China. Following 2012 and 2014 years it was the third visit of an MBA group to our long-standing partner in China. On the Chinese side the preparations for the visit made Alan Lu (Head of the Office for International Exchange and Cooperation at the School of Economics and Management at the University of Fuzhou) and Anja Feege (Director of the Rhineland-Palatinate Academy).
Fuzhou with its 6.5 million inhabitants is the capital of the Fujian province (36 million inhabitants) which is located on the South-East of China. So, Fujian is the province partner of Rhineland-Palatinate. The students from Ludwigshafen had an opportunity in several days and numerous conversations with their fellow students and professors, as well as visiting cultural sights to get more familiar with Fuzhou. The group from the University of Ludwigshafen joined four students from the course of International Business Management (IBM), who were at that time in Fuzhou to complete their year abroad. In addition to numerous cultural activities, the following lectures (together with Chinese MBA students) and company visits were held:
1. A lecture “Innovative network model ... from a German / Chinese Perspective” (Prof. Busch)
2. A lecture “Chinese culture” (Prof. Lu)
3. A lecture “Chinese economic development” (Prof. Tao)
4. A visit of “Wine city” in Fuzhou / Changle
5. A visit of Fuzhou Free-trade zone
6. A visit of the communication company “Newland” in Fuzhou
7. A visit of Daimler-Benz Van production in Fuzhou
8. A visit of a manufacturing facility of the world's largest manufacturer of monitors TPV in Fuzhou
9. A visit of the Rhineland-Palatinate chocolate manufacturer WAWI in Xiamen
10. A visit of the Austrian stamp manufacturer Trodat in Xiamen
“A trip to China gives you a unique opportunity to get to know the Chinese culture and to learn a lot about the companies there. The trip is very well organized and you experience a lot in a short time. As a private person, you would never have an opportunity to exchange views with the managing directors and to gain exciting inside knowledges. The visit of the company TPV, a manufacturer of screens and television sets and the WAWI Chocolate, where tasting the chocolate lasted a little bit longer, were the highlights for me!”
“The study trip to China, which was carried out during the study on the interdisciplinary MBA Corporate Management course, presented itself as a special added value for me as a participating student. Such events at the University of Fuzhou as the exchange with the participating companies and especially the people and their culture, have left the unique impressions about that experience.
On the one hand, there were gained good first impressions about the establishment of business networks in China, on the other hand, an excellent opportunity to get into conversation with company representatives and executives. The chance to experience one's own partly foreign determined perception of the country, its culture and business practices in a new light completed this journey.
I can highly recommend every student to take part in such events.”
Andrej Jackzentis, Executive MBA-graduate/ General Management:
“Conclusion: “Yes have” - it´s an extensive study trip to China has absolutely succeed in its organization and execution. So you will be looking forward to experience those impressions and insights once more. At this point I would like to thank especially Mrs. Eva Nefen for the organization and Prof. Dr. Rainer Busch, Head of the group. In my opinion, there were possible to make a first-class knowledge transfer into the areas of people, culture, business and country with a limitless potential and a great commitment and vision. I hope that many students could receive this experience and participate in such trips.”
The complete feedback you can read here.
“Thanks to the international study trip to China (Fuzhou/Xiamen) we, the MBA students, were able to obtain a good insight into the Chinese culture. The on-site program had a multi-faceted content. On the one hand, we have visited various companies, such as Trodat or TPV, on the other hand we have also had a classic sightseeing. In particular it is worth to mention the car-free island of Gulangyu of Xiamen. I totally recommend the international study trip. You will remember the diverse impressions for a long time. I thank Prof. Dr. Busch and Mrs. Nefen very much for the very good organization of the trip.”
From the 10th of April till the 14th of April 2016 Prof. Dr. Rainer Busch, Prof. Dr. Andreas Gissel, Dr. Alexander Unger, three MBA-/ Master students, as well as Eva Nefen came to Casablanca for discussions at the ENCG/ Université Hassan II
For more information see the report.
The visitors from Ludwigshafen The compony visit
with the hosts Nabil Benchekroun
und Karim Gassemi
An impression of an MBA student about the Workshop “Teaching, Research, Transfer at HWG-LU / ENCG“ in Casablanca, Morocco, from the 7th of June till the 10th of June 2015:
“Morocco, the specialization of the study trip, was presented by means of entrepreneurship and inter-cultural communication skills. The visit to Casablanca was very successful. The presentations of various companies were the central subject matter of the event. The areas of offshoring, medical / pharmaceutical industry, as well as the food and beverage industry were presented very interesting. Visiting companies we gained impressive insights. Networking being the key of the event could enable and significantly facilitate a further future cooperation.
Conclusion: a successful workshop on all levels, which should be repeated, and which enhances the cooperation between ENCG Casablanca and HWG-LU and offers us students exceptional opportunities in knowledge transfer.”
For more information see the report
On the 10th of December 2014 Prof. Rainer Busch together with the Vice-President of Fuzhou University, Fuzhou, China, Prof. Zhigang Huang within the framework of the accompaniment of a MBA students group from our University. The FuDa is a long-time partner of the University of Ludwigshafen. Fuzhou with its 6.5 million inhabitants is the capital of the Fujian province (36 million inhabitants) which is located on the South-East of China. So, Fujian is the province partner of Rhineland-Palatinate. The conversation with Prof. Huang focused on the starting points of a cooperation in the field of “entrepreneurship”. (Here is the link to the visit).
In addition to numerous cultural activities the following lectures (together with the Chinese MBA students) and company visits were held from the 5th till the 14th of December 2014 under the leadership of Rainer Busch, Anja Hausmann and Ai-Ming Gao at Fuzhou University in Fuzhou, China (here is the link to the report).