On the fifth and final day of the preparatory seminar in 2020 the highlights were the career fair and insightful speeches of some highly energized keynote speaker. All four projects came together and spent the day jointly.
The career fair has started with a company catwalk at the FHNW Campus Olten, where all companies have presented themselves within 3 minutes. On the stage and during the exhibition, the companies KPMG, Accenture, EBL, Zenith, Bertschi, DT Swiss and the Swiss Post were present. Afterwards, all the students had either a speed interview or the possibility to talk to HR representatives, trainees or other company representatives while visiting the exhibition. This was clearly a unique opportunity for all the students. But not only this, everyone had the opportunity to have a professional CV-Check, offered by the nextCareer service of FHNW in order to succeed during the job searching period.
In the afternoon, the program continued with a panel discussion on the topic 'International Collaboration'. Mark Moser from FHNW, Markus Mader from Swiss Red Cross, Dr. Ensar Can from economieSuisse and Dr. Stefan Hirschberg from PSI have discussed challenges and opportunities of international collaboration, hosted by Prof. Michael Jeive. Furthermore, they had very insightful discussions on trust and fear in other regions when doing business, but also on data, security and crisis. With some very interesting and challenging questions by the delegates, topics such as individual values, religions and regulations have been included to the panel discussion.
Afterwards the afternoon has continued with a closing speech by one of the top economists in Switzerland and lecturer at FHNW, Dr. Mathias Binswager. His focus was mainly on growth and especially why a country, companies and individuals have to grow. Besides explaining what growth does mean and how it can be measured, he also explained the outlook in case growth does not happen. For all the project teams, but especially for the exploreASEAN project team and delegates, this interesting speech will be tremendously helpful to understand the current growth rate in some of the ASEAN countries.
Finally, the preparatory seminar has been closed with an informal Apero at the Campus in Olten with all delegations, project members, supporters, lecturers and various company representatives. The event finished with lots of further discussions on the hot topics of the week, but as well with high excitement for the on-site seminar, some laughter and enjoyment.
The delegation met again at 8.30h in the morning which was a good time to get together after an intense and interesting trip on Wednesday. The team showed up freshly recharged with new energy. Mr. Glatthard started the day with an insightful presentation about the challenges and opportunities for young professionals in the ASEAN region. His enthusiasm and his passion for the ASEAN business practices could be felt while he explained to us the major issues and opportunities that Europeans face when starting doing business in Asia. Furthermore, he encouraged us to network with different parties to help us launch our journey to become successful professionals. Moreover, he particularly gave us advice on how to proceed when you want to enter the ASEAN business world.
The next speech evolved around “Reshaping Urban Water and Singapore’s Quest for Sustainability”. Mr. Tuck Seng Low shared his knowledge and experience with the key characteristics of Singapore’s economy such as rapid industrialization, urbanization and the city’s density etc. which ultimately came at the cost of the environment. As emphasized by Mr. Low, the government is putting a lot of effort in taking eco-friendly measures in different sectors and is highly concerned about its water supply management.
The morning was concluded with a joint presentation from Roche with the InsightChina delegation. The speakers mainly talked about how making the Supply Chain Management more efficient and gave us a better understanding of why the prices of medical products are sometimes so high.
After enjoying an Asian lunch, the delegation was split up into three groups and rotated around different lecturers and guest speakers to get a deeper knowledge for the three countries and enabled us to ask more open and specific questions. Viet Nam was presented by our supervisor Mrs. Freiburghaus, Mr. Bohren gave us a deep insight into the Thai culture and that a certain behavior does not always correlate with our understanding of it. Last but not least, Mrs. Schärer informed us in an engaging and humoristic way about the quirks of Singapore and how surprisingly similar Singapore is to Switzerland on many levels.
All in all, the fourth day marked the last meeting of the preparatory seminar within the whole delegation and finished with a typical culinary treat from both countries, Switzerland and Viet Nam – chocolate and dried ginger plum.
On Wednesday morning, 12. February 2020, the exploreASEAN delegation had the opportunity to visit the DT Swiss headquarters in Biel/Bienne, Switzerland. We would like to thank DT Swiss for their time and the creation of unique insights into logistics, quality management and the production of spokes, ratchets and wheels. We were able to see the companies focus on sustainability and water treatment, reusing up to 90% of the water again for production. It was expressive to see how the spirit of DT Swiss is enhanced by the exiting, dynamic and international environment. We are delighted to further develop this long-lasting relationship to such an important and internationally recognised Swiss company with already the third visit of exploreASEAN.
In the afternoon the delegation was able to look into the most important source of energy production for Switzerland - the hydro-electric power plants. The visit of the Flusskraftwerk Ruppoldingen which is operated by Alpiq provided some exclusive awareness in relation to environment and electricity. Especially impressive is that the company already took the environment into consideration during the construction process in the late 1980ties and early 1990ties with for example its restoration of the bypass waterpass or its "natural" fish ladder.
We promise to positively represent the core values of DT Swiss and Alpiq in the ASEAN region during our on-site trip.