Practical Experience at EBS: Smile

Leadership, Management, Organisation and Planning are words that frequently appear during the lectures at the EBS; however, theory and practice are usually two different things.

At EBS, we actually have the opportunity to acquire knowledge about how organisations work and how tasks can be solved. We can do this by participating in one of the different student initiatives, called Ressorts. Ressorts are centrally delegated and organised in our ?Studentenschaft?. Basically every student participates in at least one out of the 19 Ressorts, which differ a lot. The biggest and probably best known is called Symposium (, but beside s that there are also groups organising the student parties or MAD (Make A Difference), which is engaged in several social issues.

One of the initiatives I took part in was SMILE (Students Marketing Initiative Linking Europe). We organised the 11th SMILE Marketing Forum in October of last year with the topic ?Marketing and its limits ? gewagt wie nie zuvor?. It was an interesting experience during which I saw how much work needs to be done in order to set up a larger scale event such as a congress.

Our work started about a year in advance. We had to choose a topic, find a date, start talking to companies in order to find speakers that had interesting and maybe even controversial views on our topic. Additionally we had to acquire sponsors, design our posters and flyers and think the whole day through in order to not forget any important detail.

Over the months our planning became more precise; we had our first speakers and sponsors, the first participants sent their applications, and our planning went into the final stages. Because our organisational group was made up of only seven persons, we needed some extra help for the actual day. Some of the greatest problems that we faced were: short-notice cancellation of speakers, helpers that could not make it, and rooms that were double booked. These challenges required last-minute creativity from our part.

Despite minor problems, the day turned out great. We had brilliant speakers such as Mr.Bräunl, the Marketing Director of BMW, and a lot of sponsors including Vodafone, Tchibo and Lindt. Attendees had many opportunities to communicate with other participants and speakers. Some of the talks were even interactive. Overall, I feel that the day turned out to be a great success, and I can only thank the others in the team and in particular our group leaders, sponsors and speakers again for this great opportunity.

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