ESB International Staff Days: Skills for Future

Friends and partners from all over the world visit ESB Business School

“During our International Staff Days, it's all about meeting colleagues and friends, exchanging ideas and experiences, and catching up on the latest developments at our partner institutions” says Professor Dr Andreas Taschner, Head of International Relations at ESB Business School. From 15 to 18 April, ESB welcomed 21 colleagues from international partner universities to the second ESB International Staff Days on the Reutlingen University campus.

What an enriching experience this was! The four-day programme encompassed an interesting mix of expert workshops, presentations and focus groups along with a company visit to the LIDL Germany Head Office in Bad Wimpfen. Participants also had the opportunity to discover the historical city of Reutlingen on foot, experience the vibrant ESB culture during our International Campus Day and, last but not least, get a taste of the local Swabian culture and cuisine.

Getting to know ESB and Reutlingen University as well as our location in the strong economic region Neckar-Alb was the focus of the first day. Thanks go out to Martin Fahling from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Reutlingen for sharing valuable information on the local economy and to the Lord Mayor of Reutlingen, Thomas Keck, for the warm welcome in the city hall.  One of the highlights was a visit to the organic bakery Bio Bäckerei Berger. The business owner, Hubert Berger, took time out to tell the group about his family-run business and to share the art of pretzel baking. This really was a special experience and what’s more - they tasted delicious!

The subsequent two-day interactive workshop on ‘Skills for the Future’ gave the international staff members the opportunity to engage with speakers from business and academia in a series of expert talks and interactive sessions. Judith Koeritz from the Stifterverband kicked off the workshop with an introduction to the Future Skills Framework developed by the Stifterverband and McKinsey. ESB faculty members Professor Dr. Martin Mocker, Professor Dr. Dirk Schieborn, Professor Dr. Volker Reichenberger, Professor Dr. Maud Schmiedeknecht and Professor Dr. Florian Kapmeier then gave a deep dive into the specific competency areas of digital skills, AI and sustainability, sharing methods used in class to support students in developing these competencies. After all this valuable input, participants had the opportunity to discuss and share their thoughts in a discussion moderated by Carolien van der Hulst from the ESB Career Center.

Internationalisation in higher education, sharing best practice examples and discussing future trends were at the heart of the final day. The group also considered which new collaborative formats might help students acquire the skills they need to succeed in their future careers. Focus groups on Student and Staff Mobility, Collaborative Online International Learning, Career and Alumni Services and Quality Management gave participants the opportunity to concentrate on areas of particular interest. The International Campus Day took place in the afternoon giving all participants the opportunity to interact with the whole campus community.

What better way is there to round off this fantastic week in the Swabian region? The answer is to learn the fine art of making Spätzle (Swabian noodles) and to incorporate them into three delicious regional dishes – Kässpätzle, Linsen mit Spätzle and Gaisburger Marsch. And the team mastered the art perfectly!

Professor Dr Andreas Taschner draws a positive conclusion: “These days have been personally and professionally very rewarding for all of us. The whole school will benefit immensely from the exchange we had, the friendships we made and the things we learned at the International Staff Days.”