Written by Imke Bertrams
I am Imke Bertrams, a Communication graduate from Arnhem Business School and a new staff member here. What do I do? Among other tasks I help out with the intensive project International Trade Fair Management (ITFM).
This project is one I am really enthusiastic about! I have travelled a lot and love to work with people of different backgrounds. So here I am enjoying the ITFM project which definitely combines my passions. During the two weeks programme I help out with all the practical matters of rooms, internet, handouts and students questions. But the most exciting so far is to be the voices of the students and share their experiences through a Blog. Why? Because they have a challenging and quite busy schedule during the project.. they have their hands full with classes, group projects, presentations, etc.
A bit of background info for you – International Trade Fair Management is a two week intensive programme where students from three universities work together: Antwerp, Munich and Arnhem / Nijmegen. For the students the two weeks will be all about receiving tons of information, working together, doing research, visiting trade fairs and reaching deadlines.
It is week 1 of the project. First impressions?
The first day was an introduction to the course and cross cultural management stood out. The ice was broken! It was fun to talk about the clichés that are told about the cultures of the participants. The students also got to know each other better during the informal setting of the welcome dinner. Gaëlle described the first day:
“The first day was a pleasant day. We got the chance to get to know each other during dinner in the evening. Before dinner there was a class that was very interactive, so that was good. The teacher gave us an assignment which we had to make by the end of the day and have a presentation about the assignment. I have learned a lot the first day and also at night we got together with a couple of German people and Belgian people to play a game and have a drink.” Gaëlle Verplancke
The vibe in the classroom is striking. Enthusiasm and eagerness to learn is what comes to my mind! Students work in groups and believe it or not…sometimes even skip breaks to try to reach the deadlines of the assignments. Even though the classes are great, there is something else in the air: the pressure of the deadlines! Day two and three:
“The theory about International Entrepreneurship was very interesting and new for us. Especially the game were we had to link the entrepreneur with the logo and a photo was really fun. The assignments we had to make, were well explained in class, but the time that was scheduled for group work was to limited to finish it all. Because of that, we had to work on the assignments at home, which is quite hard to do when you already have very intensive school days.“ Anne Meeussen
“The lecture of Mr Zollner was really interesting. But the assignments are very exhausting and challenging, because time is too limited, not enough time to do research, discussion, power point presentation and a really good presentation of the results at the end. And we should hand in a business plan, or parts of it on Friday…so, we are still working on our presentations. In the opinion of our group, the amount of work is far too much for the scheduled time and unfortunately in order to this reason, the program is becoming too exhausting!” Daniela Huitl
“Today was very exhausting, because we had more lectures then we had before. The group work was also a lot again, so we had to finish the work from day 2 and day 3, and also start on the business plan for Friday after hours. The first lecture and the lecture about budgeting were very interesting.” Joyce Gijs
“Today we have again had a lot of work. This was even the first time that a couple students of our group did not have the time to lunch. We have worked during the whole time to make our presentation and still we were not able to finish it. The content of the courses are very interesting but the tasks are a little bit too intensive. It would be better to give smaller tasks or to give more time to realize them. But the content is very interesting. Wednesday a good teacher lectured us. He was prepared to help us with every question we had about the course.” Eveline Creupelandt
Game on! Pressure as well, I would say. Students act as an agency and must give advice on an international level to the case company. The light at the end of the tunnel is the PITCH – a presentation of their business plan. We want to know why their plan to internationalize is the best.
Self-doubt with students comes with the territory: Is my work good enough and will I make the deadlines? I must say I am less worried. The deliverables the students need to hand in each day look really well. The presentations are impressive and the teachers are quite happy with the input so far. They are proud of the hard work that is put in by the students and the results they present at the end of each day..
So students … keep up the good work !! and make sure you also enjoy this challenging and interesting experience during the ITFM!!