In April 2013 Dr Tim Breitbarth, senior lecturer in sport management, visited BU’s new Erasmus partner Hanzehogeschool Groningen. Led by a local colleague, he also contributed to organise and run an intensive international student management game in further cooperation with colleagues from Coventry University and German Sport University. Overall, 140 students from 10 countries participated in the five-day event.
After a very competitive application process, Shrehan Lynch (final year sports development), Andrew Imms (final year sports management), Oliver Fulljames and Jack Mogridge (both third year sports management) were accepted as the first set of BU students to attend this sports management game.
All four students were wonderful representatives of BU and their reflections collected weeks after the activity demonstrate the high value of international experience as part of learning and growing at university, and Oliver, Jack and Shrehan have shared their experiences below.
I would highly recommend that students from Bournemouth utilise the international opportunities on offer
“The Sport Management Game 2013 is an event that I feel I benefitted from both professionally and personally. The event focuses on teamwork within a multicultural setting, challenging each individual to overcome cultural barriers, along with allowing time to socialise with your peers over the week.
I now understand the cultural intricacies needed in order to work effectively with those from other countries with those whose English may not be of the highest standard. Not everything ran smoothly, initially it was very difficult when delegating tasks to others, despite this, it was a valuable learning curve and communication improved as the week progressed.
Friends made on the trip have already made plans to visit in London, whilst the favour will also be returned when visiting Germany and Netherlands. Many people worked at high profile sport organisations throughout Europe, which may provide me a point of call when I graduate and begin searching for jobs around Europe.
Overall, I believe that the Sports Management Game will not only add a valuable experience to my CV, but also provide me knowledge that I can put to use within the workplace and when back at university. I would highly recommend that students from Bournemouth utilise the international opportunities on offer.”
Someone who hasn’t travelled a great deal, I was enjoying the experiences of this trip
“I can honestly say that the five days in Groningen easily exceeded my expectations. Highlights have been networking with like-minded individuals and making friends with the other international students either through work or social evening engagements. Having never worked in this type of environment I have attained skills which I can take into my final year at Bournemouth, the team I am working with on my placement and future employment. Someone who hasn’t travelled a great deal, I was enjoying the experiences of this trip, soaking up the wonderful culture that the Netherlands has to offer.
We began each day with an academic lecture at 8.30 before beginning group work at 10. Most days would be split up by one morning and one afternoon task which allowed enough time to produce a thorough piece of work. From HR to Marketing to Operations we covered all aspects of running a mega sporting event through engaging group activities such as: promotional videos, academic posters and a question time like set up to name a few.
Having only communicated through the medium of technology in the past, especially throughout my placement, meeting face to face was a different experience. Within this team in order to work most effectively we faced barriers to overcome. Communication was the most obvious of these, which proved difficult when two of the Dutch students spoke little English however once we overcome this and leaders in the group were distinguished productivity increased. Although difficult at times this was one of the reasons I applied for this opportunity and therefor I felt I needed to embrace it. My English skills proved valuable in the group and I soon took the role of leader, this gave me chance to interact with all the members on a personal level which proved very fulfilling.
I would like to thank Bournemouth University and especially Tim Breitbarth for the support throughout and in planning, preparation and communication throughout to offer such a wonderful opportunity.”
This experience taught me mainly about myself, I feel I show attributes of managing people well, using initiative and taking on responsibility of a high level
“After being part of the Groningen trip I must thank the university for giving me the experience. I learnt a great deal about myself on this trip and was able to appreciate an alternative culture.
Holland is a phenomenal country; the residents are friendly, relaxed and welcoming to visitors. The Hanze University itself had facilities to be in awe of and quite abstract building infrastructures that made it one of the most unusual universities I have been to.
The Sports Management Game allowed me to work in a group of mixed languages and cultures and I was able to take a team leader role as the only native speaker. This experience taught me mainly about myself, I feel I show attributes of managing people well, using initiative and taking on responsibility of a high level. I was able to lead this team into third place at the management game which I feel was a real achievement considering the barriers we faced as a team regarding language and prior academic learning.
On the whole this experience showed me that each culture learn differently within their universities and take different approaches individually to the learning process. Also, I learnt that I am a hardworking individual that can work with people from across the globe effectively to achieve results.“