Real Challenges Faced by Real Companies
With the aim of providing students the platform to learn within the context of real, problem-based learning, 64 students from the Business Administration (MBA) and Business Management (MSc) are participating in the Master Challenge Project Week. The 7-week long project is coordinated by Wittenborg's Head of School of Business Dr Rauf Abdul and Education Support Administrator Hanna Abdelwahab. During the project week, groups of 6 students will be matched with a real-life company based in the Netherlands to help them resolve their business challenges.
The project was officially launched during its kick-off meeting on 18th May 2022 at Wittenborg's Spoorstraat building in Apeldoorn. In this project, students are required to act as consultants who will analyse, research and present practical solutions for the specific real challenges faced by the companies. Unlike the first Master Challenge in which students were tasked to solve only Digital Marketing and Communication challenges, this time, five groups will be solving Artificial Intelligence in the business context challenges and six groups will be solving Digital Marketing challenges.
Manifestations of Theoretical Knowledge and Soft Skills
Being a university of applied sciences whereby the curriculum is more practical oriented rather than theory or research, providing this platform for students will help them to put into practice what they have learnt at Wittenborg during the first semester, as well as what they have experienced in their personal or previous career. Real-life projects like this are important to show the manifestations of students' academic knowledge, professional skills and soft skills like problem-solving, creative and critical thinking and innovativeness. Immersing in this kind of group project is also pertinent to helping students develop skills which are increasingly significant in the professional world, such as leadership, communication, listening, negotiation, collaboration and peer review.
Based on a general overview of the kick-off meeting, students seem to be very excited and are eager to start this challenging learning experience. In his kick-off meeting speech, Dr Rauf Abdul said that students are being given this opportunity to help them internalise real challenges and see for themselves the complexities of real-life problems which are affected by many underlying factors. The partnerships with various companies also present opportunities for students to build and expand their networks, thus, increasing their chances of securing jobs in the Netherlands.
by Hanna Abdelwahab