Pioneers at ESB

ESB Business School participates in first ERASMUS Blended Intensive Program

By Sven Rottner

Internationality in practice - this summer semester students in the BSc International Operations and Logistics Management programme worked closely with students from our partner institutions, the University of Borås in Sweden and HAN University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands. The goal was to develop solutions for the Japanese company Takeda at its site in Vienna, Austria. The students worked together in mixed groups, attended lectures on supply chain accounting and took part in excursions. 2022 is the first year of the ERASMUS-funded Blended Intensive Programme at Reutlingen University.

The first part of the programe initially took place purely online. The students came together in groups comprised of student from all three partner universities. Each group dealt with a problem submitted by Takeda, a pharmaceuticals company, and developed solutions by asking: How can a “supply chain control tower" be implemented as a comprehensive management cockpit for controlling Takeda's supply chain? The range of topics was broad. The international groups identified benchmarks and best practices, dedicated themselves to a high-level risk/cost analysis and compared implementation alternatives, as well as looking for possible commercial solution providers. 

A lively rapport quickly developed in the online working groups. Still, the students were happy to meet in person for the first time at ESB Business School at the programme’s conclusion. During a campus tour and a guided tour of Reutlingen, the students from Sweden and the Netherlands got to know their new surroundings and the local students better. In addition, the students attended lectures together on the topic of supply chains, held by professors from all three partner universities.

At the end of the programme, the groups presented their findings to the professors and their fellow students. ESB alumnus Martin Wendang (IOLM 2016), Services & Improvements Lead in the Supply Chain Department of Takeda Vienna, joined his colleagues for the presentations and took note of the students' concepts with great interest. He emphasized the wide range of ideas from the different working groups: "The cooperation with the three international universities was an enriching experience for us due to the diverse ideas the students came up with. It is very important to us as a company to be in touch with universities and young talents and to continue to ensure this valuable exchange."

The participating students were also enthusiastic. Tobias Wejdling from the University of Borås in Sweden particularly emphasizes the programme’s international component, saying "The Blended Intensive Programme is a great opportunity to get in touch with and to work together with students from other countries. The last few months have been very worthwhile and I can only recommend this opportunity to everyone."

About the Blended Intensive Programme:

The ERASMUS-funded programme is committed to successful international cooperation between universities. To this end, at least two universities from different countries send a group of students to a third partner university in a third host country. The participating students first work together online and then in a final intensive face-to-face phase on predefined questions. The programme took place for the first time at ESB Business School in the summer semester of 2022.