Dr. Stephan Verhasselt
Project Manager, Business Process Excellence Department
F. Hoffman-La Roche Ltd
Faculty of Management Sciences
Department of Marketing & Logistics
Namibia University of Science and Technology
September 09 – September 25, 2016
Nur in Englisch verfügbar.
Staying with B360 for two weeks at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) in Windhoek has been one of the best things I have done this year. Not only the smiles I received from students in class were rewarding; also the experiences gained from working with local university staff and experts helped me to broaden my horizon during this exciting stay in Namibia. But let me start with how it all began…
Arrival at NUST
Well equipped with around 40 hours of lecture material for both weeks at NUST, I arrived at Hosea Kutako International Airport Windhoek in the morning hours of the 09th Sept. 2016 (Friday). After a little while at the airport, I found my very friendly driver and we went together to the University Campus in Windhoek city center. In the Poly Heights building on campus, I moved into my fully equipped apartment and immediately ran into one of my B360 colleagues (Hans-Jürg Schär), who was living at the same floor as me. During a coffee Hans-Jürg gave me an overview of his stay, which was about to end, and provided me with some very good hints for teaching. This was especially nice and helpful, since we were supposed to give lecture to the same classes. After my talk to Hans-Jürg, I had the opportunity to meet the complete teaching staff of the department of Marketing & Logistics. We reviewed together my teaching schedule and decided to add to the schedule the opportunity for students to meet me for consulting hours.
Teaching at NUST
I was asked by the Department of Marketing & Logistics to give various lectures in five different classes incl. a group of experts coming from the national ministry of health. Lecture content came in general from the area of industrial engineering and encompassed sessions on:
Supply Chain Management in the Pharmaceutical Industry
Supply Chain Collaboration
Impact of Cultural Differences in Industry
Students in class were extremely friendly, however partially needed some time and efforts to start interacting in class. Regarding this, typical door-openers were teaching content related to real-life examples from industry as well as group work. Moreover, humor helps a lot :). In addition, teaching staff were very supportive and collaborative during my stay. Some professors even joined me in class.
Serious game simulations
What turned out to be very successful during teaching was the integration of so-called “serious game simulations” into the regular lecture content. In total, I used three different simulations during my stay:
Supply Chain Collaboration Game (Beer Game)
Lean Production Game (Airplane Factory)
Simulation on Cultural Differences
The simulations not only helped the students to tighten the teaching content in their minds, it also provided all of us with a lot of fun.
Coming back to my initial statement, I can repeat that the time at NUST has been one of the best things I have done in this year. To help Namibia a little bit on its path towards a better future has been a really rewarding experience for me. Working with students and local professors was so much fun and on top of it all, I had the opportunity to visit one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Therefore, I can only encourage each of you to join the B360 program. Come prepared; however, remain flexible, because what I learned in Namibia was that your support starts with first listening to the local people and understand local circumstances. With this you can make a true change. I wish you all the best.