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30.01.2011
21:36

Der frühe Vogel fängt den ... äh, die gewünschte Auslandsuni :)

So oder so ähnlich könnten die Überlegungen aussehen, mit denen sich einige von uns bereits jetzt Gedanken zu dem im vierten Semester (ziemlich genau in einem Jahr) anstehenden Auslandsaufenthalt an einer der 200 Partnerhochschulen der EBS machen.

Dabei wollen natürlich verschiedene Kriterien abgewogen werden: welches Land und welche der dortigen Unis bevorzugt man, wann beginnt und endet dort das Semester, wie ist die Arbeitsbelastung (oder der häufig gehörte, selten gemochte "Workload"), hat man Zeit dazu bzw. möchte man viel Reisen, welche Sprachen sollte man fakultativ belegt haben, welchen Notenschnitt benötigt man, ist ein TOEFL-Test Zulassungskriterium, und so weiter, und so weiter...

Während der eine schon sehr genaue Vorstellungen hat, dass es die USA, am liebsten Kalifornien, sein sollen und dass er dazu vermutlich unter den besten 10% des Jahrgangs sein muss, weiß der andere gerade mal, dass er in ein bestimmtes Land nicht möchte.

Genauere Informationen und eine umfangreiche, nette Beratung findet man bei den Mitarbeitern der International Programmes, bei denen ich selbst Anfang letzter Woche aufgeschlagen bin, zugegebenermaßen mit Vorstellungen, die ich noch weiter eingrenzen bzw. konkretisieren muss:

Asien oder Australien, wobei ich bei den asiatischen Ländern noch zwischen Hongkong, Indien, Korea, Malaysia und Singapur schwanke. Man kann also meine Tendenz nach warmen, größtenteils tropischen, kulturell und unter Reiseaspekten betrachtet hochinteressanten, exotischen Ländern erkennen mit Universitäten, die teilweise einen sehr toughen Load für sich beanspruchen (Indien, z.B.), teilweise aber auch laut Aussagen von höheren Semestern "man sich nicht zu Tode studiert".

Als nächstes werde ich mir Erfahrungsberichte von Studenten, die schon an diesen Unis waren, durchlesen, mir internationale Rankings anschauen und mich auf der International Fair, auf der die Tauschies ihre Unis vorstellen, weiter inspirieren lassen...

05.01.2011
10:00

My first exposure to: the Cradle to Cradle design concept

I attended a Cradle to Cradle conference at Copenhagen Business School at the end of September 2010, where I was introduced to the concept of Cradle to Cradle design. The keynote speaker was the Director of Cradle to Cradle Denmark (Vugge til Vugge) and Executive Director of EPEA. His speech about designing circular nutrient (material) flows so as to move away from the current cradle to grave nutrient (material) flow in modern day production, really got me thinking about the potential of this design concept. We were told to imagine a circular flow of nutrients some of a biological nature and others of a technical nature. The biological nutrients cycle is that of nature that we all are familiar with. The technical nutrient cycle, involves the initial extraction of the mineral (nutrient) from the earth and then this is managed and its purity conserved by design in an indefinite circular flow (closed-loop) of production, use, up-cycling, and re-fed as a nutrient (mineral) with the same level of purity as before into the same production process. An amazing vision!

In order to realize this vision current production systems require a lot of rethinking and redesigning. One could even argue that a paradigm shift is necessary. One where the concept of waste is eliminated during the design process, and products, packaging and production systems do not produce any waste. As every kilogram of industrial waste is due to an ineffective process somewhere in the production cycle. To remedy this is not an easy or simple undertaking and requires extensive and intensive analysis of the current chemical make-up of the components and production processes in use. Thereafter once the detailed current situation is known, rethinking and redesigning can begin.

I am by no way an expert on the Cradle to Cradle design concept, but find it to be so appealing and in alignment with many of my thoughts of how business and society should function that I have continued in earnest to read up more about it. Michael Braungart and William McDonough, the founders of the concept, have written a number of books on it, and I have found the reading that I have done to be both inspiring and enjoyable.

As the real beauty of the Cradle to Cradle design concept is when it is achieved and functioning in practice, then the users and consumers of these products can do so guilt free, as the material flow remains circular and thus Eco-effectiveness is achieved. In contrast to this vision, we are currently bombarded by messages of restraint, reduction and how inefficient we are in mass media, which paints a depressing picture of life and the future for all of us.

But what if there was a better way, where we could celebrate life and enjoy all things we consumed and used guilt free? I believe that if we use our intelligence and begin thinking and designing in Cradle to Cradle design terms we can find and realize a better way!

05.01.2011
07:18

"Woohoo, I'm there!"

Puh, done!

After a very very short night, better said a "two-to-three-in-the-morning-nap", several security controls and checks, mistrusting looks into my face if I might be a terrible terrorist, a short stop in London Heathrow, two movies, a too tired stewardess who covers me with hot - and I mean HOT! - coffee all over my lap, the ambigious approach to sleep next to a loudly snorring neighbour, another bundge of security controls and loads of questions, why I want to come to the US, if I am a terrorist and if I carry nuclear weapons with me - yes, seriously... - , a quite conveient transfer to my dorm, learning the fact, that Americans drive really slow on their highways and a first missing thought to the beloved "Autobahn", a quick and nice check-in procedure and one last final jump/fall into my bed I recognize, that I finally arrived in the US :-).

I am living "on campus" meaning within the terretory of the University's possessed buildings and halls, in the part of Washington called "Foggy Bottom" - well, not "nebliger Hintern" but rather "vernebeltes Ende" of Washington - as it is located directly next to the Potomac River and just tein walking minutes from the White House. I share a kind of flat with three other students from Spain, England and Scottland.

The George Washington University is a city campus, which means, that the whole university is located within the city of Washington and all the departments and Schools, as for example the School of Business I will attend, are looking like huge offices and are spread in the mentioned Foggy Bottom area, which gives you a very cool first impression.

See you,

Achim

 

03.01.2011
07:15

Hey everyone!

Nice to meet you!

My name is Achim Schade, I am 21 years old, currently studying General Management and Business Law in the 4th semester at the EBS University and I will spend this fourth semester abroad at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C..

To give you a little more insight what it is like to study at the EBS University, I will blog all my experiences and learnings from my semester abroad in this little blog section, such that you can come by from time to time and see, how things are going on across the pond.

Some more facts about me:

After my "Abitur" in Mönchengladbach, I began studying G.M./Business Law at the EBS in fall 2009. Since, I head a really really exciting and fun time, packed with many cool situations and good times during the precedent three semester. Studying at the EBS is very special in a great variety of reasons. One of them is the mandatory semester abroad during the bachelor studies at one of the many partner universities all around the globe. This is not only supposed to improve language skills, but also help to "broaden the horizon", literary "looking over the plates edge" and getting familiar with other cultures.

Honestly, it is the first time in the US for me, so I am very looking forward to compare the US we all know out of the news, TV-Shows, movies and so on with the things I will find over there. Speaking of expectations, I hope they do not expect me showing up in lethertrousers, drinking beer and eating "sour-crowd" all the time :-).

See you soon,

Achim

03.12.2010
13:37

Alternative Examination Technique

I was introduced during this week to a different exam format; I had my first Oral exam at Copenhagen Business School. Now some of you may be saying, so what! Well, to place the exam in context, the oral exam lasts 20 minutes and represents your mark for an entire semesters course work and in my case 7,5 ECTS. The pressure to perform is immense. Prior to the oral exam the student needs to write a 3 page synopsis, which is intended to set the scene for the discussion in the oral exam, but the synopsis does not count for any marks. The academic level of the synopsis is used to frame the discussion so in that way indirectly has an effect on your mark. In short, all points are given for your performance in those 20 minutes!

The 20 minutes are structured as follows, the student has 2 min to present at the beginning of the exam, without any PowerPoint, so just speaking. Then the examiners will ask the student questions related to the readings that the student referred to in their synopsis for the following 6 to 8 minutes. Thereafter the examiner will ask questions about any reading in the entire semester course for the following 6 to 8 minutes. Then the student leaves the room and the two examiners discuss the student's performance. The student is called in and given their mark in the 20th minute of the exam.

I found it an extremely tough yet efficient way of being examined. The only disadvantages are that some student's competence does not lie in presenting and speaking, and also that the students entire semester mark hinges on performing in a 20 minute time period, which converts it into a high pressure situation.

However, for business students that are going to be constantly faced in their future careers with time pressure and expected high performance in pressure situations, I think this examination style provides them with excellent preparation for the real working world.

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