Please enter: At the start of their business project, our students were invited on a personal tour of a Düsseldorf construction site. At the suggestion of Christopher Züll, responsible for the business project on the Arcadis site and project manager at the Arcadis location in Cologne, the students of the bachelor’s degree programme “Intercultural Management” were to experience the everyday work of a project manager for themselves. Equipped with safety shoes, vests and helmets, project engineer Duygu Yavuz led the students around the site and gave a detailed account of her tasks. With this new experience, the students, accompanied by Christina Röttgers, lecturer in International Politics and Cultural Anthropology, immediately got down to the project work: As usual, in this business project they were faced with the challenge of developing a well-founded solution strategy for a practical business case for their client.
Driving forward global networking
Arcadis, which has numerous branches in over 70 countries, commissioned the students to identify the cultural differences and similarities with their international colleagues and to develop concrete tools to strengthen cooperation and reduce possible cultural barriers. “It was a great experience to work across borders. We approached employees and conducted interviews with them. What challenges do you see in communicating with us Germans? What improvements would they like to see in the cooperation? “, Bachelor student Ann Sophie Mechernich described her approach in the group.
Virtual mid-term and final presentations
After the kick-off meeting with Arcadis in Cologne, the groups had two weeks to develop their “work plans” and present them to their fellow students. Due to the Corona pandemic, they presented their mid-term presentation to their customers via a video conference and obtained important feedback. The final presentation also took place virtually: the three groups presented their product ideas, such as posters, flyers, booklets and workshops, to over 30 Arcadis employees at the invitation of the management. Client Christian Ulrich, Chief Operations Officer of Arcadis Germany and host of this conference, was enthusiastic about the creativity of the students: “This business project was not only a practical exercise for the students, but it gave us at Arcadis valuable impulses”.