EMS students attend summer programme in Germany

Posted on July 28, 2017

Three students from the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences (EMS) at the University of Pretoria recently attended the European Bachelor Summer Institute course titled 'The Business, Political and Cultural Environment in Europe', presented at WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management in Vallendar, Germany.
The visit was inspired by the ongoing talks between the Faculty and WHU, as the two parties work towards concluding a memorandum of cooperation that will leverage the similarities in the scholarly pursuits of the institutions. The partnership seeks to promote interinstitutional cooperation as well as scientific and cultural exchange, with the aim of promoting international understanding, contributing to the pool of global knowledge and advancing the development of South Africa and Germany.
The programme, which took place between 28 May and 9 June 2017, attracted international students from South Africa, the United States of America, Canada and China. Among them were three EMS students who detail their experiences below:
Cassandra Mayer, BCom (Marketing Management) honours student
The two-week course covered topics such as trade and monetary integration in the European Union; competing in European markets; strategies of foreign direct investment; and luxury brand management, among many others. As part of the programme we also had company visits, as practical business examples.
Cultural experiences were threaded into most days' activities, which included visiting the Marksburg Castle built in 1231, exploring and shopping around central Frankfurt and going to the top of Main Tower, Frankfurt's highest vantage point.
There were a total of 24 international scholars on the programme, which allowed networking and a fantastic lecturer-student ratio. It was extremely fascinating to engage with students of different cultures and nationalities.
Maatabudi Mokabane, MCom (Financial Management Sciences) student
The programme was aimed at teaching students from across the world about trade and monetary integration in Europe and the European Union, emerging markets in Europe, competing in European markets, and intercultural communication.
The academic programme consisted of lectures on each topic, two group assignments and an examination. There were company visits to the Union Investment bank, where the Chief Economist engaged our group on issues facing Europe and the European Union and how the bank deals with those challenges. We also visited Hachenburg Brewery, where we learnt about how they maintained their competitive advantage, and Rasselstein manufacturers, where we learnt about the steel manufacturing process.
The programme exposes students to the business world in Europe and it was interesting to note the differences in how we do things in South Africa compared to the Europeans. There is so much we can learn from them in terms of building a successful economy and it was great to experience the German culture and meet peers from across the world.
Janie Eiber, MCom (Business Management) student
My knowledge of business in the EU grew immensely thanks to the variety of business-orientated classes that were presented to us. These classes were interactive and fun due to the way that the lecturers presented it and provided us with case studies that we had to analyse in smaller groups.
The case studies were discussed by the lecturers afterwards, which provided us with the opportunity to ask questions and give our opinions. To further our understanding in some of the fields under discussion, we visited companies. These visits were very insightful and interesting, because it showed us the link between the theory and practice.
This experience was a golden opportunity for us because it expanded our business and general knowledge. It is truly something I would recommend to any EMS student!
EMS Dean Prof Elsabé Loots (third from left) with Cassandra Mayer, Maatabudi Mokabane and Janie Eiber before the students left for WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management in Germany
- Author Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences

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