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Annual “Wyoming Week”

For this year’s international experience, the so-called "Wyoming Week“, 15 MBA students from University of Wyoming joined the 22 MBA students at Pforzheim University. The week combined a joint student project and several company visits to Germany and Switzerland. This year’s topic was “Challenges of European Companies”.

On the first morning, all students visited SWP (Stadtwerke Pforzheim) in Pforzheim. Mr. Thomas Engelhard, CFO of SWP Stadtwerke Pforzheim GmbH & Co. KG gave an insight on energy management from a local perspective. Afterwards, all received a guided tour of the Heizkraftwerk (power plant) Pforzheim. In the afternoon, Hanno Weber, Vice-Rector of Pforzheim University, and Markus-Oliver Schwaab, Vice-Dean of the Business School, officially welcomed the Wyoming MBA students at Pforzheim University. After that, both MBA groups had the chance to work on their group projects, which included a presentation about the different companies that were going to be visited over the rest of the week.

On the last day in Pforzheim, all students listened to a presentation by Dirk Wentzel, Professor of Economics at Pforzheim University on “Remarks on Switzerland” and a presentation on ”SDGs, UN GC and PRME” by Rudi Kurz, Professor of Economics at Pforzheim University.

Towards the middle of the week, the whole group left for Switzerland. Clariant, one of the world's leading specialty chemical companies, welcomed the students at their site in Basel. Elke Lüders, Head of CoE Attraction and Retention, introduced some company facts and explained the five pillar strategy. After that, the students received insights on how Clariant integrates its sustainability strategy into its business strategy by Lynette Chung, Head of Sustainability Strategy & Advocacy, Corporate Sustainability & Regulatory Affairs. Ralf Zerrer, Head of Strategic Marketing & Head of Innovation & Application Development, BU Industrial & Consumer Specialties, gave some examples on how the sustainability performance is enhanced on the product portfolio. After a short break, Richard Haldiman, Head of New Business Development & Head of Scoping, Group Technology and Innovation showed some examples on enhancing the sustainability performance in Clariant’s innovation pipeline.

On the second day in Switzerland, the group was invited to learn more about SBB, the national railway company of Switzerland, in Bern. After a short introduction by Mrs. Kathrin Armbruster, who has been teaching at Pforzheim University as a guest lecturer before, all received insights on the SBB mobility planner. Sabine Stalder, Business and Distribution Developer, explained about business planning in sales and service. Sayanthan Jeyakumar, Project Manager Mobile, then revealed some exclusive features of the new SBB app, which was released a few days after that presentation. Before lunch, Liliane Kuert, HR Marketing Manager, offered an overview of the different starting positions at SBB. The afternoon was completed by a guided city tour through the old town of Bern.

The last joint day in Switzerland included a visit to SAP, Europe's biggest software company, in Regensdorf. Enrico A. Palumbo, HR Director and Member of the Executive Board of SAP Switzerland, welcomed the whole group in the morning. Pascal Hagedorn, Head of Co-Innovation Lab Regensdorf, gave insight on the future of retail. Afterwards, Dr. René Fitterer, Head of Industry Business Development, explained how SAP drives its customers to new business models. In the afternoon, the students received a guided tour of architecture, which included buildings of Gehry, Hadid, Siza, Ando, Herzog & de Meuron, SANAA on the Vitra Campus in Weil am Rhein, Germany.