Philipp, why are practical projects important right from the start of your studies?
Learning works best when theoretical knowledge is applied immediately. In addition, the XU focuses on the connection between the digital and the real. Through the constant feedback to real life, students learn about the real issues “out there”.
Who is your project partner this semester?
We are currently working together with Stadtwerke Potsdam as part of the “Project Management” lecture. The city is planning the new innovation quarter Krampnitz for over 10,000 people in the north. There is a lot of innovation here: digital infrastructure, multifunctional garages and car-free zones or even street lamps with 5G transmission antennas. An app for residents is also on the agenda; it combines housekeeping, services and the idea of community. The students worked in teams to set up their own projects on three of the topics and successfully produced results that they were allowed to present to the board – just like in business.
Welche Erfahrungen und Fähigkeiten nehmen die Schüler aus dem Projekt mit?
In practice, they learned a lot about team building and personality types, but especially about working under time pressure with limited resources. Moreover, literature on project management is rather dull and quickly overloads the actually exciting topic with grey theory. Practical application breathes meaning and life into it. And fun for all!
How does this knowledge benefit students in future jobs?
My students should learn to focus on the essential points that they will also need later in their careers. We have also worked with personality tests, put teams together specifically according to skills and also train them in dealing with frustration and failure. All this helps to prepare them for later tasks in a leadership function.
What is the added value for the companies?
You get access to young, open minds from outside the industry who set to work with an open mind. Her fresh look at issues enables a change of perspective in the company. Both sides get to know each other. Companies become a face for the students, they become approachable. In addition, those in charge always look at young talent through the lens of potential.
What remains after the project for those involved?
Our projects can lead to follow-up projects, which can sometimes result in a permanent position – to the benefit of both sides. And: The XU is still relatively new in Potsdam. By working with local businesses, the university suddenly appears on their radar – a benefit in its own right.