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Communication for Tomorrow

Project work by ESB students at itdesign GmbH in Tübingen

f. l.: Elisa Pigliacampo, Laura Wachsmann, Alena Krüger, Carolin Nill, Anne Verdeille, Maike Eckerle, Franziska Hüning

By Sven Rottner

How can employers become more attractive to Generation Z? What’s the best way to address them? What are the best channels to reach today's school leavers and students? These were the questions tackled by four student groups from the BSc International Management Double Degree programme as part of the "Fundamentals of Project Management" lecture. In the project work accompanying the lecture, they developed solutions for the companies Festo, Vindelici Advisors and itdesign. Their final presentation at itdesign took place at the company’s headquarters in Tübingen.

In order to attract better-qualified applicants for the position of Junior Consultant, the software company itdesign GmbH commissioned the six ESB students to develop ideas to address potential candidates in the target group.

The team was international, with students from Germany, France and Italy. In a workshop with itdesign at the beginning of the project, the team was introduced to the software company’s processes and familiarized with the Junior Consultant job specifics. Using the big picture, the students defined the project’s goal and approach. They also implemented a regular jour fixe in order to stay in touch and to be able to react quickly to possible problems.

The students were equipped for the task in the lecture "Fundamentals of Project Management" by Prof. Dr. Petra Kneip and Daniel Figueras, lecturer at ESB and full-time project manager at Festo. The teaching duo was impressed by the students' professional approach. “The second-semester students had to familiarize themselves with a complex topic and search for possible solutions within a very short time. It's remarkable how much commitment the students showed in tackling this task,” they said.

In addition to a comprehensive analysis of the target group, the students - led by project manager Franziska Hüning - examined the competitive situation, focusing in particular on what candidates experienced at competing companies. They also identified and tested various communication channels to reach suitable applicants born since 1997 or thereabouts.

The students paid particular attention to itdesign's career site and social media presence, which they examined for comprehensibility, attractiveness and tone. They compiled their results in a catalogue of measures, which they presented at the end of the project at itdesign in Tübingen. The catalogue included both classic solutions, such as optimizing trade show appearances and closer contact with universities, as well as target group-specific approaches, such as the more effective use of social media.

Carolin Nill, HR Business Partner at itdesign, was enthusiastic about the project results, saying “The students were really interested in the topic and worked with us in depth. We really enjoyed collaborating with the project team and very valuable ideas emerged in terms of content, which we will continue to pursue.”

Anne Verdeille from the "itdesign" project team drew a similar conclusion. “Through the project, we learned a lot about employer branding and the itdesign company and gained valuable experience for teamwork and presentations. We enjoyed the project very much and are proud of the result we achieved,” she said.