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CBS International Business School, 16 September 2022

CBS students support Ukraine aid with professional project management


Not only learning theoretically how project management works, but also applying tools and mastering concrete planning and control tasks - this practical learning experience was made by 60 prospective logistics managers at the CBS International Business School last semester and linked their project work with voluntary initiatives for Ukraine.

At the campus in Brühl, 35 dual students worked on logistical solutions for the "Blue and Yellow Cross" association, which has already received the Cologne Honorary Award for its commitment to Ukraine.

Their challenge: to deliver relief supplies even more efficiently to the people in need in the war zones of Ukraine.

In Neuss, 25 students in their project management course examined the question of how the "Ridne Slowo" association, a contact point for Ukrainians who have fled to Germany, can present itself more effectively on the various communication platforms in order to increase awareness of its services.


Responsible shaping

Not only conveying knowledge, but also empowering and inspiring young people to deal responsibly with social challenges is an essential part of the CBS mission "Creating tomorrow". "It was an intimate concern of mine to link my teaching content with practice and a voluntary commitment," says Dr. Armin Vohr, who led the two courses. "In this context, supporting Ukraine was a special affair of the heart." After consultation with the Ukrainian Consulate General in Düsseldorf, the two social associations were finally chosen as the field of application for student project management.


Backpacks saving lives

For the students from Brühl, the project started in a 1,600-square-meter warehouse in Cologne. All the medicines, infant articles and other aids that the "Blue-Yellow Cross" collects at 40 stations throughout North Rhine-Westphalia want to be sifted and sorted here before they are transported to the Ukrainian war zones by 170 available trucks.

The CBS students discussed the concrete requirements with the association representatives, which ultimately resulted in five sub-projects. One group dealt with the transport from Germany to Ukraine by volunteer truck drivers, while a second group took care of the procurement of legally binding accompanying documents. Two other sub-projects were aimed at optimizing distribution in Ukraine and suggesting ways to optimize inbound logistics in Cologne. A fifth subgroup was responsible for the coordination, communication and dovetailing of the individual sub-tasks.

In addition to all the analytical and strategic tasks, there were particularly touching moments in this collaboration. For example, backpacks containing 1,000 euros worth of medicines are packed in the warehouse and used to care for injured people, reports lecturer Vohr. "It's strange to hold such a 10-kilogram backpack in your hands and know that in a few days it will be in the war zone in Ukraine, saving up to five lives." 

Rucksäcke die Leben retten

Communication to maintain culture 

The students from Neuss closely examined the external presentation and communication of the Ukrainian school "Ridne Slowo e. V.". The association is a contact point for Ukrainians who have fled and found a new home in Germany. Its aim is to preserve the culture and traditions of the old homeland. In order to generate more awareness for this, five project groups analyzed the communication media such as flyers, website and social media channels as well as their overall coordination and developed optimized concepts for this.

Both associations were very grateful and taken with the students' commitment and results: "We found new ways to use the app better," Viktoria from the "Yellow-Blue Cross" is pleased to say, and the chairman of "Ridne Slowo" Yaromyr Bozhenko also attests to a "good project result" and is touched by the effective support that benefited the school in a very short time.

Responsible meaningful movement

Besides the professional practice, the CBS students also acquired some personal experience: For example, Philip in the Ridne Slovo project was animated by the "gratitude of the project sponsor to continue my social commitment in the future." "You really had the feeling that you could make a difference," notes another participant in the "Blue and Yellow Cross" project. The extent to which it is motivating to use one's freshly acquired knowledge to make a meaningful contribution is also shown by the fact that many of the course participants continue to feel connected to their projects, even after the mandatory assignments have long since been written.

CBS International Business School

CBS International Business School is a state-recognised private university of applied sciences for business. We offer accredited Bachelor's, Master's and MBA degree programmes in German and English on a full-time or part-time basis. Throughout Germany, the university is represented at three locations in Cologne, Mainz, and Potsdam.

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