Brain Gain – fresh ideas from academics for corporates

14 January 2019

In order to develop and challenge themselves, companies need new perspectives and ideas. But where exactly do ideas come from that really offer completely new approaches? Insights in a meeting with WHU students - Otto Beisheim School of Management, METRO and Henkel.

WHU students at Campus METRO

METRO AG cooperates with several universities and relevant business schools and is involved in the exchange of academic and business. It is a classic win-win-opportunity: METRO offers the unique chance that our experts share their experiences and the inspirational topics they are working on. In return, the students work on these topics, too and develop own projects to solve the topics.

Because really unusual ideas often come from students who look at projects without prejudices. METRO learns from the new generations who have a deep passion for entrepreneurial questions. A triple win consists in the fact that two big corporates work closely together with the WHU: Henkel and METRO. Henkel, also hometown-based in Düsseldorf and one of the strongest partners for WHU, takes part in that exchange, too. Students are spoilt for choice for getting a taste of two exciting business areas.

On Friday, 11 January 2019, 20 WHU students visited the METRO Campus. They are all participants in the Corporate Entrepreneurship course. Their goal: to get to know and understand the business challenges of companies better. Therefore, they work on real business cases to network the academic and business sides.

The cases provide METRO and Henkel with real economic questions that are currently being discussed in the companies. They cover a wide range of business areas, from marketing and strategy to sustainability and digitalisation.

Students can choose to work on how to optimise influencer marketing, manage a strategy challenge or launch a sustainable project. Digitalisation tasks such as the optimisation of existing platforms like DISH or the further development and dissemination of new food solutions for the NX-FOOD Hub are also on offer.

The students are now working in teams of two and have until 8 March 2019 to fine-tune their ideas. The respective experts from the teams will provide support and advice. Coaching for the students of the professionals is inclusive.

"We need new ideas and impulses. That's why you only have one framework condition that we set: No "Buts" are allowed. Think boundless", Nina von Radowitz, Head of Corporate Responsibility at METRO AG, challenged the students.

We are looking forward to the presentations in March.