International Business Management Excursion to Styria in April 2015

IBM students with lecturers and the host Mr. Hansjörg Tutner at Magna Steyr in Graz
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International Business Management

To foster the practice-oriented focus of the International Business Management (IBM) program, excursions to companies have always been a fixed part of the curriculum and are especially appreciated by the students.

Also this year, the 2nd semester IBM students were given the unique possibility to get into close contact with the business world and receive an insight into the daily challenges and opportunities of internationally operating companies in different industries. In the course “Doing business in CEE/SEE” FH-Prof. Dr. Dietmar Sternad, the IBM Program Director organized an excursion to Styria on April 23rd.

At 6.30 the group left from CUAS to head to Graz in order to visit the first company, Magna Steyr, one of the world´s biggest suppliers in the automotive industry. After a short company introduction the students were given some insights into the HR strategy and the business processes of the multinational company by Mr. Hansjörg Tutner and Ms. Diana Schedlbauer – both employed in the field of human resources at Magna Steyr. They also informed the students about specific human resource management-related issues, including recruitment and talent management programs as well as internship opportunities. One of the highlights was the guided tour through the production plant of the well-known “Mini Paceman” and “Mini Countryman” car series.

After a lunch break in the picturesque town of Feldbach the students continued their excursion to the company Boxmark – one of the leading leather producing and processing companies worldwide, specializing on high-quality upholstery leather. Eduard Paul Katholnig, General Executive Manager spoke openly and honestly about the company structure and history, but also about the secrets behind the success story of Boxmark. The comprehensive presentation was then followed by the tannery tour. For the majority of the students it was a very interesting experience to get acquainted with all the preceding steps that take place before the processed leather is being sold in form of car seats or other high-quality leather products. The students got an overall impression of what supply chain management in a company operating in the leather industry looks like.

As a nice ending of the excursion the students had the possibility to experience the Zotter chocolate manufactory in Riegersburg. Zotter is a producer of handmade, organic and fairly traded chocolate products. The students were delighted by the possibility of visiting the “Schoko-Laden Theater”, which included a very interesting company movie in the beginning, followed by the highlight – the chocolate tasting tour (“Genusstour”). Several different types of chocolates, including extraordinary creations and tastes such as bacon or fish chocolate could be tried by the students. Running chocolate, drinking chocolate as well as the raw material needed for chocolate products such as cocoa beans and milk powder was available for tasting. The majority of the students also bought several bars of chocolate in the chocolate shop. Besides the educational benefit and the opportunity of networking the students appreciated spending time as a group and getting to see marvelous places in Austria.