International Business Management excursion to London


From May 15th to 18th 2019, the International Business Management master students went on their annual excursion as part of the course “Doing business in CEE/SEE”. This year’s excursion lead them to London, where they spent four days visiting interesting and inspiring companies.

The initial intention to visit London was to find out how the effects of Brexit affect British companies. Even though Brexit was not executed at that time, the students still had an interesting excursion and got the chance to visit four internationally successful companies, namely the global Chinese start-up NIO, Europe’s biggest media company SKY Ltd., the British fashion brand Boden, and Innocent – Europe’s Nr. 1 smoothie brand.

Purpose-driven marketing, brand management, employer branding and human resource management were some of the buzzwords during the question-and-answer sessions with managers from the companies that were visited during the excursion.

The NIO UK management shared their understanding of a better future by using electronic vehicles and emphasized that NIO is more than a car company, but rather a lifestyle company. Sky not only presented the students their strategy on how to create an integrated branding strategy with excellent alignment between consumer brand and employer brand, but also shared their believe of giving something back with their Ocean Rescue initiative. The British fashion brand Boden impressed the student group with an excellently prepared team of employees in leading positions. Representatives from the learning and development department, experts on digital transformation and supply chain & sustainability – to name just a few – were at the student’s disposal to answer all the questions. The last company visit in London brought the students into the halls of Fruit Towers, home of the smoothie brand Innocent. The students were not only convinced by the free smoothies they got, but got also very inspired by the tour through the premises and the lively question-and-answer session afterwards. Representatives from HR, PR and Events and Communication Management showed their motivation and passion to work for Innocent and proofed that the initial spirit of the three founders is still kept alive within the walls of Fruit Towers.

The four-day excursion to London was filled with inspiring presentations from well-known and more than successful companies. The organizations were as diverse as the individuals working there and the students got the chance to meet high-ranked people. This year’s excursion offered the students a unique chance to get a deep insight into the day-to-day business of internationally successful companies and additionally offered the opportunity to explore the beautiful city of London.

What students say about the excursion:

“I found this excursion extremely helpful and practically oriented regarding International Marketing issues which I am highly interested in.”

“It was very interesting to see how a TV and broadband company such as Sky uses purpose-driven marketing to raise its brand awareness.”

“Innocent was one of my favorite companies and I was fascinated by the energy and motivation of these young people who took the time to present us the company and answer our questions. It was very impressive how all companies in four different industries try to engage with people, attract customers and use different marketing activities in order to be perceived as they would like to be perceived from their customers.”

“I was fascinated by Boden’s professionalism and preparation for our visit. It was impressive to see a company that values high quality in every single business activity.”

“Every company visit during our excursion was unique and I very much appreciated the opportunity to meet such different individuals and get the chance to get to know more about their backgrounds. I was very surprised by NIO and its employees. Mrs. Sodian inspired me as she is a great example that even with a complete different field of specialization, you could find yourself leading a global Chinese start-up in the end.”

“NIO, Sky and Boden – all of them passionately presented us refreshing insights on their great businesses. Still, there was one firm that managed especially well to get stuck in our minds. At Innocent Drinks, we were shown a different world, a distinctive interpretation of what successful and happy work can mean.”