SHB spotlight

Support shaping studies

Student representatives meet up at Steinbeis University Berlin

The student representatives of a variety of Steinbeis University Berlin (SHB) schools and institutes met up in April 2010 in response to an invitation from Markus Kwincz and Markus Göttfert, their representatives on the university council. The student meeting took place at the Steinbeis study center on the SIMT campus in Stuttgart.

The main focus of the student representative meeting was a tete-a-tete with Johann Lohn, President of Steinbeis University Berlin. The lively discussion was an ideal opportunity for the representatives at the meeting to echo the issues and opinions of the courses they represent. The resulting discussion was highly constructive and a list of key actions were agreed.

Another important reason for the meeting was to agree and sign off an updated version of the student representatives statutes. At the beginning of 2010, the representatives decided to set up working groups to follow up key issues over the course of the year. At the meeting, it was time to formalize this by updating the previous statutes. The new setup makes it possible for all students enrolled at the university to take an active part in the work of the student representatives.

The newly formed working groups are looking specifically at

  • organizing a inter-faculty party at the university
  • assessing ways to communicate with all enrolled students
  • finding ways to reach out to students in other countries

To reflect the interests of the large number of courses at the university, the representatives hope that a variety of students will become involved in the working groups. All students currently enrolled at the SHB are warmly invited to get involved and contribute to the projects. If students are interesting in playing a part, the two university council representatives would be delighted to help.

Once the working group approach had been agreed, the representatives meeting drew to a close after what had been an intensive and insightful session. The second meeting this year is scheduled to take place in the autumn in Berlin.


Markus Kwincz

Markus Göttfert

An award-winning change management concept

Steinbeis Bachelor graduate wins Bad Krozingen Nursing Award

On 28 April 2010, Birgit Wernz beamed proudly as she received the Nursing Award from Bad Krozingen Heart Center. She earned the award for a project carried out as part of her studies at the Steinbeis Business Academy (SBA) at Steinbeis University Berlin. Titled “Change Management in Ward Direction at the University Hospital of Freiburg”, Wernz’s project contributed to changes currently affecting the whole of the German health system – on a scientific and practical level.

In her ceremony speech, Professor Dr. Ursula Immenschuh of the Freiburg Catholic University of Applied Sciences praised the valuable contributions the project could make to ongoing developments in patient care. An other nursing award was given to Prof. Dr. phil. Ursula Geisner, professor of management science and organization at Freiburg Catholic University of Applied Sciences for outstanding contributions to professional care.

Hospitals in Germany are having to look more and more closely into cost-cutting strategies. A ward manager herself, the prize winner Birgit Wernz stated that as managers at the middle level, ward directors are being expected to make organizational changes, adapt processes, and optimize the fundamental use of personnel resources. As part of her analysis, Wernz noted that it is becoming increasingly important to teach ward directors about project management, change management, leadership skills, management principles, system theory and staff motivation. She also recommended the introduction of an in-house change agent to provide ward directors with individual support based on diagnosis, goal-setting, and identification of resources and hurdles.

A number of speeches on contemporary challenges were given at the official awards ceremony. Andreas Westerfellhaus, president of the Deutscher Pflegerat (the long term care advisory board) warned delegates not to oversleep the nursing shortage. Given the wide-sweeping demographic changes, he recommended that politicians define strategies to foster new nursing staff, promote further academic teaching and provide staff with training in a consistent and organized manner. Speaking on behalf of the Council of Experts, Professor Dr. rer. pol. Eberhard Wille of the University of Mannheim said that adjusting to the changes in nursing, and improving quality and economic viability, required a step-bystep approach. His recommendat ion for seeking the much needed alternatives: a phase of delegating doctors tasks to nurses. Andreas Hoffmann, regional member of parliament and health care spokesman for the CDU faction in the Baden-Wurttemberg state parliament, emphasized that, Nurses are more than little doctors, saying that given the existing inequalities, it is also necessary from a political point of view for nurses to assume more responsibility, mirroring the approach common in countries like Switzerland, where they take on a much broader range of responsibilities. Professor Dr. jur. Christian Katzenmeier, Director of the Institute for Medical Law at Cologne University, looked at the legal challenges this would present. Ludger Risse, director of nursing at St. Christophorus Hospital in Werne, appealed on behalf of nursing managers for a shift in responsibilities away from doctors, to nurses, and away from nurses, to housekeeping staff.

The awards ceremony took place at the 11th Nursing Management Seminar in the Bad Krozingen assembly rooms. At the event, which was organized by the Bad Krozingen Heart Center, around 300 people joined leading representatives of the affected professional groups, the council of experts and politicians to discuss the opportunities presented by redistributing responsibilities in the health care industry.

Based on practice, for use in practice

New certified course for sales engineers

In late 2010 the School of International Business and Entrepreneurship at Steinbeis University Berlin launches a new certified course for sales engineers. Training is offered in parallel to full-time work in five separate blocks. The course is targeted at engineers, scientist, IT experts, product managers in technical markets, people working at the interface between technical systems and the market, and of course existing and future sales engineers. Participants should already have work experience.

Companies offering technical services are increasingly calling out for more sales-oriented engineers. More and more purchasing decisions are based on technical and commercial criteria. There seems to be a dearth of people able to match their highly regarded technical training with - more often than not randomly managed - sales skills. This hampers communication between departments, who can sound like they are speaking a different language.

Yet sales is the bridge between the company and the customer base that everyone is constantly trying to expand. How professionally this interface is managed dictates the strategic options open to the company. This really becomes noticeably when companies enter new markets, competition intensifies, or the service portfolio diversifies in short, whenever customer contacts are pivotal to success.

The lecturers are drawn from a variety of companies to give students an opportunity to learn from their rich experience. All participants conduct a project on behalf of their company and apply lessons learned and feedback from the experts to live issues. Dovetailing the project with studies leverages the learning effect for each student and offers special added-value to the company. Two competence tests, at the beginning and the end of studies, highlights the lessons learned by the students during the certified course and captures it for future reference.

A student with real potential!

SHB student receives High Potential 2009 award

High Potential 2009 – a title Florian Hobelsberger wears with pride. As one of the 10 finalists for the Talent Award scheme introduced by the first Finance Forum Germany, the 27-year-old Steinbeis University Berlin (SHB) alumni earned the award for project reports written as part of his master’s degree. The management assistant also collected a seal for his employer, the financial company Wüstenrot, naming them “Fosterer of Talent 2009”.

The Talent Award 2009 is the first to recognize the commitment of both young professionals and the companies that foster them,explains Lutz Pelzl of Finance Forum Germany. Winner Florian Hobelsberger was in no doubt why Wustenrot deserved the title: Challenge, and support. Its an exemplary approach, which everyone at the company took from my direct superior to the head of department and the board of directors. If Hobelsberger needed professional support with an assignment or a question from his studies, there was always someone there to help him.

Hobelsberger originally submitted two projects for the award, both of which he had worked on during his Master of Business Administration degree with Wustenrot. One involved setting up a process maturity model for the credit risk management department. The aim of the project, which Hobelsberger also managed, was to create a model for measuring the status of processes in front-office departments at the companys mortgage certificate division and the Wustenrot savings bank. The project resulted in the creation of the Wustenrot process maturity assessment, which makes it possible to measure the degree to which key process requirements have been fulfilled. Process managers have at their disposal a total of 25 criteria for objectively assessing process maturity.

Hobelsberger was also involved in a project called eWorld which looked at the launch of electronic customer records, electronic mailboxes and the upgrading of the existing customer information website. The aim of this project was to digitize internal inboxes and mail forwarding to pertinent addressees, and increase transparency by replacing hard-copy filing systems with soft-copy archiving. As part of his project, Hobelsberger took on a variety of roles: the development of a concept for the electronic information portal, lining up test cases, and coordination of testing in company departments, acting as one of two specialized test managers. He was also one of the five people asked to train more than 1200 people on the new applications in just a few weeks. Digitizing inboxes and files allowed the company to draw level with other companies in terms of competitiveness and process efficiency. Not only that, the new portal marked an important investment in future-proof technology.

While managing the project, Hobelsberger wrote several project reports for his MBA studies, including a strategy plan outlining the system architecture for ongoing development of the companys IT systems. For his masters thesis, he looked at the effect various programs, projects and other organizational measures have on process maturity. And since March 2010, the successful High Potential 2009 award-winner now has another string to his bow: Master of Business Administration.

Share this page