Bayer opts for the international talent of UPF Barcelona School of Management

The German company Bayer has accepted the challenge from UPF Barcelona School of Management to participate in this year’s Challenge 2016. Created five years ago by the school of management at UPF, it aims toward a new integrated learning model that is based on solving real-world business challenges and truly connects students to the professional world.

This project is original not because of the business case method, which has long been used in the majority of business schools and universities in the world, but instead because of the partnership with the participating business and the wide range of students and fields of study. 110 students from 34 different countries and originating from seven different Masters of Science. ‘This project brings together all of the Masters of Science and aims to try out a new collaborative format based on shared learning, collective effort, and the relationship between fields,’ explained Daniel Serra, Dean of the UPF Barcelona School of Management.

In this way, a Finance student must work with students from International Business, Marketing, Business Analytics and Information Technology. ‘For the students, this project favors the development of wide-ranging competencies that probably wouldn’t emerge if all of them came from the same field,’ Serra added. For two weeks the university, the business and the students will work intensively through a virtual platform, where creativity and innovation sessions will be staged, to share ideas, proposals, and even business models. ‘The role of the business in the entire process is very important, because it’s not just about setting a goal for the students to work towards. It’s about a true coming together of business and university to dialogue and work on real goals.’

The Bayer challenge
The presentation of the Challenge 2016 took place yesterday in the Balmes Building at UPF, with the participation of different members of the Bayer Service Center team of Barcelona (SCB). They represented the Management, Innovation and Coordination areas of Challenge 2016, which challenged students to innovate while concentrating on processes that improve the management and transfer of knowledge. The SCB is a shared service center in the areas of compatibility, cost control and information technology that supports the Bayer offices in Europe and Latin America, for approximately 25% of global sales of the entire Bayer group. Christian Stalter, Director of the SCB, commented: ‘It’s essential to find new formulas and communication systems that allow the effective management of knowledge and information between the 400 SCB employees in Barcelona.’ Benjamin Rambaud and Oliver Winkelmann, SCB Operations Managers, explained that ‘at the SCB office in Barcelona we have employees of 35 different nationalities with very different professional paths, which means we work in a multicultural and dynamic environment that’s open to innovation. We have to look for practical and innovative solutions that allow us to put attractive and efficient forms of knowledge transfer into practice.’

‘As a company based on health science, innovation must form part of our daily activity and one of the most import aspects in that sense is collaboration. At Bayer we develop and have participated in different local and international open innovation programmes. We believe that promoting a culture of entrepreneurship and collaboration is essential,’ confirmed Carlota Gómez, Communications Director and CSR of Bayer Iberia.

Through these programmes, the company contributes to the formation and development of young talent, who provide a large value to the business with their diversity of viewpoints and perspectives. The company considers the international component of these types of initiatives interesting, given that the students come from different countries, realities, environments and disciplines, and become a source of fresh, uncontaminated and overall disruptive ideas.

In the Challenge 2016, students come together in groups and through the tools and dynamics provided by the professors, end up presenting different proposals and projects that the company will personally evaluate to choose a winner. The members of the winning group will have the opportunity to work at Bayer’s Service Center Barcelona during the 2016/2017 academic year through an internship programme, and actively participate in the development of the project if the company decides to implement it. ‘The Challenge is looking for a true coming together of business and university. At UPF Barcelona School of Management we don’t consider learning simply the transfer of knowledge and abilities, but also experience in those areas. The student will take on real business challenges and develop competencies and abilities in a more multifaceted way. At the same time, the businesses observe, detect and acquire young talent for their professional workforce,’ said Daniel Serra, from UPF Barcelona School of Management.

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