German students visiting the University of Abertay Dundee today (Friday 17 August) pitched their business ideas to academics and local retail experts.
This ‘live’ assessment is the culmination of an annual two-week visit by students at Duale Hochschule Baden-Wurttemberg University, Karlsruhe.
Each year the German business students are challenged to come up with new practical ideas for local Dundee retailers. This year the major Overgate shopping centre opened its doors to the young businesspeople.
Abertay marketing lecturer Dr Jason Turner said: “Applied learning is very important to how we teach business at Abertay, and it’s great to see students travelling from Germany each year to Dundee to learn about retail marketing.
“It’s been fantastic to give the students the opportunity to work with the Overgate, to see how a major shopping centre is run and promotes itself against the competition.
“There really is no substitute for giving students a real-life challenge and asking them to come up with new business ideas. The responses to this very difficult task have been superb.”
The students’ tasks included developing plans for customer experience by looking at the centre’s layout and facilities, and engaging with retail tenants to understand their needs and the appeal of the Overgate.
David Carson, Centre Manager of the Overgate, said: “It was an honour to be asked to adjudicate. The presentations were really well thought-through and put together. There were even a couple of ideas that I’ve never heard of before in 30 years working in retail, so it’s been a really valuable exercise for us, not just for the opportunity to contribute to these young people’s professional development, but also as a source of interesting ideas and concepts that we will consider carefully in our business development.”
Along with colleagues in Abertay University’s Dundee Business School, Dr Turner has previously led applied assessments with computer games, media and tourism organisations.
This applied approach to learning is also being expanded at Dundee Business School, with the introduction from September of work-based learning options – allowing students to gain credits towards a degree for a work project.
The aim is to deliver high-quality, practical education while cutting a professional’s time away from work.
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