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Alumnus of General Management Plus Program visits learning center in Cambodia

In June, Peter Kleinhütten, alumnus of the General Management Plus Program at WHU, traveled to Cambodia to visit a learning center in the rural community of Tonloab. One year ago, he had established the learning center together with eleven executives and the social enterprise BOOKBRIDGE.

The mission for his visit in June was to celebrate the first anniversary of the learning center with the community and to create awareness of different educational topics together with Vannak Pen, who is the head of the learning center.

“I wanted to show Vannak how easy it is to learn new things and have fun at the same time. Thus I decided to shoot a video with him in the learning center”, says Kleinhütten. For him, this meant learning to write a screenplay in advance, bringing a camcorder, and being a cameraman, director, and mentor in one person. He had no experience in movie-making before.

In only 24 hours, Kleinhütten and Pen shot the footage for the 8-minute video, that Kleinhütten cut himself after the trip to Cambodia. “I had never done this before, so it was quite a challenge for me to look through the footage, cut it and find suitable music”, explains Kleinhütten.

The video shows the variety of Vannak Pen´s tasks in the learning center: He organizes IT and English courses for children and adults, plays and sings with the children, and manages all financial issues. The learning center has been set up as a financially self-sustained business. To ensure good sustainability rates in the future, Pen needs to develop new ideas to earn money with offers (e.g. IT and English courses, kindergarten) in the learning center and to raise awareness for the importance of education for children in Cambodia. He will probably offer new IT courses and also will commit himself to environmental issues, for example, rubbish disposal in the community.

The film project made Peter Kleinhütten step out of his comfort zone and go on a personal learning journey, as he had done during the 9 months part-time General Management Plus Program in which he participated from September 2013 to June 2014. While continuing to work full-time in a German bank, he enhanced his knowledge in strategy, finance, leadership, and entrepreneurship in lectures and sessions at WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management. But there was more than just sitting in a classroom and listening to professors: Kleinhütten and his teammates created a business plan for a social business – the learning center in Tonloab – in their spare time. “I really liked the program. The combination of lectures and sessions with excellent professors and the possibility to apply the newly gained knowledge right away in a business project were unique”, thinks Kleinhütten. During the last module of the program, the group traveled to Cambodia to finish the last renovation work of the learning center and to open it officially. Today, the program participants still have a close connection to Vannak Pen, the BOOKBRIDGE team, and to the learning center.


WHU and SPONSORS establish "Sports Business Academy" for future executives in the sports business

WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, and SPONSORS, a leading information editor and conference organizer in the sports business, have established the "Sports Business Academy by WHU" (SPOAC) in Düsseldorf. The partners to the cooperation signed a multi-year agreement. In the future, the combined expertise of both institutions will provide needs-based, interdisciplinary, and practice-oriented education and training opportunities for executives in the sports sector.

SPOAC provides companies and institutions alike with a platform for recruiting and employer branding. It is designed to develop future decision-makers in the sports business who are equipped with the best that science and practice have to offer. Graduates of the "Sports Business Academy by WHU" join both the SPONSORS network of more than 10,000 contacts in the sports business and the WHU network comprising more than 4,000 contacts among students, faculty, and alumni.

"An industry with billions in turnover each year, sports are steadily becoming more and more professionalized. The resulting requirements in terms of the training and specialization of tomorrow's decision-makers pose major challenges to employers and employees alike. This leads to pressing demand for specialized, practical, and progressive education and training programs at the highest level, a demand we will meet together WHU," said Marco Klewenhagen, managing editor-in-chief of SPONSORS.

"The transfer between science and practice is especially important to us. We also provide outstanding access and opportunities for our students," added Professor Sascha L. Schmidt, Scientific Director of SPOAC. "We welcome the practical cooperation with SPONSORS and very much look forward to the network that this involves. Together we will provide the best possible preparation for the executives of the future as they face the coming challenges of the sports business."

Dr. Rebecca Winkelmann, Managing Director Executive Education at WHU, confirms: “We have been successfully designing Executive Education programs for executives from different industries for over 10 years. Offering such programs to executives in sports business adds a new industry to our portfolio and a new milestone to WHU’s impressive growth and track record of the past 30 years.

WHU and SPONSORS will soon announce the first well-known partners of "SPOAC – Sports Business Academy by WHU." Further details will be announced at the SPONSORS Business Summit 2015, which will be held February 9-10, 2015, in Düsseldorf.


When management theory results in the creation of a learning center - General Management Plus Program

November marked the second edition of the General Management Plus Program of WHU Executive Education. Designed for executives in middle management, this continuing-education program combines general management expertise with practical implementation. Over a period of eight months, program participants take part in three modules of theory at WHU and apply what they have learned to a business plan for a learning center in Cambodia. In the fourth module, the participants travel to Cambodia themselves, where they lend a helping hand in building the learning center.

One program participant had this to say about the first module:

When management theory results in the creation of a learning center

The several-month General Management Plus Program (GMP+) at the WHU Campus in Düsseldorf began with a five-day module devoted to the topic of Business and Strategy. Nine other participants and I can look back on an intense week of seminars, discussions, and personal coaching, and on the launch of our "Business Impact Project" in Cambodia.

What sets WHU GMP+ apart from other executive programs, and what makes it very special for me personally, is its extraordinary combination of theory and practice: Together with other professionals from different industries, I will apply what I have learned to developing and implementing a social business designed to improve education in "the world out there."

In its effort to plan and implement the learning center in Cambodia, our team is assisted by BOOKBRIDGE, an NGO that builds bridges between people and cultures. During one intense day of the workshop, BOOKBRIDGE familiarized us with Cambodia and instilled a keen interest in our intercultural learning challenge. Initial video conferences directly networked us with our local project partners in Asia – so the first bridges have already been built.

Backed by the concentrated expertise of our team and the new knowledge we have gained and spurred on by motivation and inspiration of so many, I am looking forward to our joint learning journey – and to Cambodia itself!

Ann-Kristin Montino, Stiftung Mercator GmbH

Read more about the General Management Plus Program.


CIO Leadership Excellence Program at WHU

The Executive Education team welcomed 19 IT managers to the WHU Vallendar Campus from October 20-24. The agenda of their WHU continuing-education program focused on extending general management expertise and leadership skills. The CIO Leadership Excellence Program, which is organized in cooperation with the CIO Magazine and with the support of Hewlett-Packard and the CIO Foundation, has been held each year since 2012.

During the five days of the program, executives dealt in-depth with the topics of strategy, leadership, and competition. Specifically, in a business simulation led by WHU Professor Thomas Hutzschenreuter, participants assumed the role of a CEO and were then required to pass through several lifecycle phases of a company as they managed their imaginary businesses. In addition to an exchange of ideas at a substantive level, the CIO Leadership Excellence Program offered a wide array of opportunities to make new contacts in the CIO community, e.g. during a joint evening cooking project.

Most of the participants, who work in well-known companies such as SMA Solar Technology, EON SE, BMW Group, or HP Deutschland GmbH, will see one another again next year: participants seeking certificates of successful completion attend not only the basic module in Germany but also a module abroad, in India or China, focusing on intercultural management; they also complete and submit a thesis. About 20 managers already spent one week in Shanghai and Beijing in May; this will be followed by a visit to Mumbai and Bangalore in India in the spring of 2015.


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