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Summer semester 2017

The reason I participated in the Innovation Workshop was especially because I didn’t want to just keep learning theory without any application in practice - the Innovation Workshop was the perfect alternative.

At the beginning we had workshops on presentation techniques, project management, and consulting. The projects for the participating companies were introduced and the teams were divided up according to interest, and on the next day there was the first kick-off meeting with the company representatives. Every morning there was a daily meeting on the status of the project. Otherwise, we organized the project work mostly on our own.

During the project, we had close contact with our company representatives. The whole project was trying to develop recommendations for action for a company on the entire marketing mix and innovation ideas in the Last-Mile area with the goal of improving the company’s market position

Even though the days were really long, especially between the first and final presentation, the project was a lot of fun - with a sandwich-maker and refrigerator in our room in the MAR building or pizza deliveries late at night.

Our team was really diverse. One computer science student had written a web crawler to find email addresses for our online survey, and then there was a student in our group who had programmed an app for the company - the project work was definitely divided up according to the subject-specific abilities of the group members.

I can recommend the Innovation Workshop to everyone who can take time during the semester break, who is interested in marketing and innovation management, and who wants to get away from the theory-heavy lectures!

I think that I learned a lot from the project work - both professionally and personally!

Liv

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Winter semester 2016/17

I attended the Innovation Workshop in the semester break during the winter semester 2016/17 based on recommendations from fellow students. Another reason was because I wanted to implement the theoretical knowledge from my Bachelor’s program in a practical project.

At the start of the Innovation Workshop, there were three days with method training in the form of workshops that prepared us for the upcoming four weeks. Because of the interactive design of these workshops, I was able to make a few contacts already. After that, the projects were introduced and we then applied for them. I picked my priorities for the projects in coordination with a few fellow students. We were then chosen for an IT-focused project that we had as our second choice.

We got together in the project groups and got to know each other better first. As we got to know each other and everyone’s subject-area skills, it was easier for us to find a suitable role for everyone in the project. On Wednesday, we got to know our business partner and learned more about the process and goal of the project.

In the days after that, we got organized and then started. The following weeks were full of a lot of work that often meant being there late at night, especially during the days between the first and final presentation. Because the partner’s ideas changed frequently, we had to invest a lot of time and it developed into a very challenging project. Despite the long hours, the project was a lot of fun and I learned a lot. Not only was I able to apply the knowledge I had learned but I was also able to learn a lot about how this kind of project runs. Working together in a bigger group - we had eleven people - was also challenging at times. But after the four long and intensive weeks, we were able to successfully conclude the project.

For me, it was a very demanding but also very educational experience that was a change of pace from my regular studies. I can recommend getting practical experience with a real project to anyone who can take some time during the semester break.

Marie-Louis

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Summer semester 2016

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Winter semester 2015/16

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Reports of Experiences

I applied for the Innovation Workshop WS 15/16 because of the good things I had heard about it from friends. I was also motivated to apply my theoretical knowledge about marketing methods to a special, practical, 4-week project.

I didn’t know anyone in the seminar, but that quickly changed after we used the first 3 days to get to know each other better during the workshops. In many small groups, we completed interesting and instructive tasks.

On the first Thursday, we split up into the groups to have the first kick-off event with our partner. That was when we learned more details about the task and our partner got to know us and vice-versa. After the roles were assigned, we got started right away because we only had around 8 days until the first presentation. In those 8 days, we first made a schedule and defined goals. Of course we sometimes had to work until late at night so we could deliver the results on time. The daily meetings with our supervisors also helped keep us focused on the goal. After the first presentation, our motto was once again “delivery service instead of cooking at home!” At the beginning there were ups and downs, but in the last two weeks we had good team spirit and were very motivated, which paid off at the end of the day. I have to admit: It was an exhausting 4 weeks, but the experience you get is worth it. The project exceeded all my expectations. What I found especially good was that there was still plenty of fun and that our team was very homogenous. I definitely learned a lot of practical things but also got to know many interesting new people. I can recommend that anyone interested in getting away from daily university life to take this seminar.

Rama

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Although I had already had practical experience, I wanted to take part in the Innovation Workshop WS 2015/16, especially because it meant I could work in an interdisciplinary team with students from other degree programs.  

In the first three days, we got input on the topics of project management / communication and consulting. There were also exercises so the participants could get to know each other better. On the third day, the projects were introduced and the teams were assigned depending on the desired project and priority. We got to know our business partner on the same day, and the first presentation was only 8 days later.

We were analyzing and developing a needs-oriented sales strategy in the area of liquor.

 I didn’t know anyone in my team, but the intensive and interesting work in the project meant we got to know each other fast. Despite the large team (13 people), we worked together very well. There were definitely ups and downs - euphoria and in the middle of the project a very short-notice and extreme change of direction. All the work with little sleep or free time were worth it in the end, though. It was great to see that our partner was happy and satisfied with the results.

We got direct input from the Chair of Marketing, and we were able to discuss and analyze our ideas and results with them daily.

It was definitely the most intensive course I’ve had so far, but also the most fun. We had a really interesting project for a well-known, international company. I got to know a lot of great people, and the team spirit and group cohesion that developed gave us new motivation every day. I think that everyone surpassed themselves in their own way in the four weeks and was able to learn a lot both personally and for their professional career.

I highly recommend it!

Marie-Theres 

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Summer semester 2015

Reports of Experiences

My motivation to participate in the Innovation Workshop was so I could apply the theoretical foundations of marketing in practice. I also wanted to check out an alternative to the “standard structure” of TU modules.

First, in a three-day method training workshop we learned core competences for the Innovation Workshop. This preparation made a lot of sense because tasks like creating presentations and questionnaires were part of our daily work. Then in our teams we had to assign the roles and tasks on our own and set deadlines and goals. Our team was made up of 13 students from various disciplines. It was important that our group members had different qualifications and at the same time it was fun to work together with people from other subjects. In the following three-and-a -half weeks, we worked out a marketing concept for the client and presented it to them in an initial and then a final presentation. Our task was challenging, and it was interesting to go in-depth into the topic. The presentations had to be very professional because they were being held for a “real” client. To help us, we regularly got feedback from the Chair of Marketing and the client themselves. The feedback was always constructive and sometimes we were asked to take things in a different direction at short notice. In the short time there were a lot of challenges that we had to confront as a team. For example, we had to hold our first presentation spontaneously in English because our client sent a Mexican representative.  Those kinds of things can happen in real life, though, and so they gave us good insights into professional life.

In all, the Innovation Workshop fulfilled all my expectations and was a great experience despite the amount of coffee we consumed. I would recommend this course from the Chair of Marketing to everyone. 

Angelika

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