2 1 0 2 / 1 1 0 2 t r o p e R l Annua
BOARD OF EUROPEAN STUDENTS OF TECHNOLOGY
ANNUAL REPORT 2011 / 2012
Photos: BEST Archive Coordinator: Krisztina Orosz Design: Romina Popescu
Content: Cagla Celen Photo: Miguel Marzán
Iustina Pop, Cagla Celen, Radovan Zvoncek, Leonid Kholkine, Romina Popescu, Melinda Bajai, Burak Topcu,
Mateusz Treder, Filip Kis, Mariya Koteva, Pedro Ocaña, Dimitris Afentoulis, Bogdan Bucur, Alexandru Pavel,
Mario Ranello, Alla Kliushnyk, Zane Zondaka, Erna Begovic, Pia Liszt, Marija Gogic
TABLE OF CONTENTS Word from the board . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Highlights of the year . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . What is BEST? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Structure of BEST . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Membership and membership levels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Who and where are we? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . How ideas are developed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Long term strategic planning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Making a difference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BEST members - potential leaders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Round table concept . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Alumni . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Framework Agreement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Budget . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Presidents meeting 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BEST Campus Team in P&G . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Training Strategy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Quality of training sessions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Growth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tailoring our services to student needs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Over 20 years of BEST . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BEST courses: professor testimonial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Quality of courses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EBEC Pyramid and EBEC Istambul . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Introduction: BEST Career Support . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Vestas testimonial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Event on education in Riga . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Recognition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Impact of BEST . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cooperation with other organizations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Trainersâ€™ Forum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Public relations of BEST: Storyteller of our activities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Professional life after BEST . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Contact . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
5 6 7 8 9 10 12 13 14 15 16 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 26 26 27 28 31 31 32 32 33 34 36 37 38 40
DEAR FRIENDS, The past year has been an adventurous journey with wonderful people, great projects and impactful results. Guided by a strong belief in our identity and with a full devotion to our values, we aimed to improve the state of affairs and through our actions and strategies we made new steps into building the future. A bright future for which we invested a lot of passion and we are confident
that the next generations will do too. In a world where stability is a precious thing and growth is difficult to achieve, BEST has managed to grow in terms of number of members - 3500, and number of countries covered - 32. It was a year of introspection, which triggered relevant questions. We often stepped back in order to see the big picture and to find the root of the problems. A year in which important depend ency links were discovered both between our internal processes and the services BEST continually aims to improve and between our past, our present and our future. Our services have continued to bring valuable contributions to the lives of thousands of students of technology and we, as an organisation, have contributed to the development of the technological sphere and indirectly that of society. None of these could have been possible without the complete dedication of our members and the great support we have received from all our partners. We would like to show our deep appreciation to everybody who has contributed to this year?s successes. Also, we wish the best of luck to the following generations and we are confident that they will aim high, value the past and have a positive impact on the organisation. We invite you to discover the achievements and projects highlighted in this Annual Report. We hope it will be an enjoyable read, which will fully reveal the spirit of our organisation. Yours faithfully, The XXIV International Board of BEST
Iustina Pop, President Mariya Koteva, Treasurer Melinda Bajai, Secretary Anca Fulger, Vice-President for Internal Support Bogdan Bucur, Vice-President for External Services Leonid Kholkine, Vice-President for Local Group Support
H IGHLIGHTS OF THE YEAR Another year full of events, intensive work and learning in every part of Europe has finished. As in every year, the following Annual Report comprises of the highlights of BEST, the biggest events and the greatest achievements from 2011 to 2012. It was a year filled with challenges both in the internal and external life of BEST. The Board, committee coordinators and all the other interested members worked together to create the ”Long Term Strategic Plan” which comprises the structure for continuity of BEST’s development. At the same time our organisation’s “Growth Strategy” has been defined until 2014. One of the year’s biggest highlights was our ”Training Strategy”. Our trainers receive in-house training so they can pass on what they learn to younger members. We implemented this strategy because it offers us the chance to show “who we are - what we are doing - what we want to do” to our new members and it helps them find their specific interests. The European BEST Engineering Competition (EBEC), continued to create a tremendous impact. In addition to previous years, we strengthened it through defining basic requirements. As an organisation, BEST received support from associations such as UNESCO Austria and UNESCO Croatia. The continual growth in the cooperation with finer institutions gives BEST the opportunity to organise bigger and better events every passing year. The development of the Season Courses, external events organised by BEST for the past 20 years, has been put back in the spotlight through the Red Apple project. The project is aimed to offer an incentive to the Local BEST Groups to improve the quality of their courses with the goal of raising the satisfaction level of participants, universities and particular course partners. Cooperation is highly valued in BEST, thus two new student organisation partnerships were established: with ELSA and ESTIEM. These two official cooperations create a base of trust between the organisations and aim to bring benefits in the medium-term through the sharing of best practices. The BEST members have strong connections with the orgaisation even after they gain the status of Alumni. During every General Meeting some of them participate in the Alumni Meeting and they also have the opportunity to get reconnected with BEST. Besides this typical alumni event, the Alumni Business Camp has been established, a new project aimed to bring together the alumni interested in entrepreneurship. In short, we would like to thank all of our partners, our members and everyone who contributed to the achievements of BEST. On behalf of BEST, Cagla Celen and Krisztina Orosz.
VISION - EMPOWERED DIVERSITY People understand and respect different cultures and societies. An environment of empowered diversity supports people in applying their full potential and acting responsibly.
MISSION - DEVELOPING STUDENTS BEST helps students to achieve an international mindset, to reach a better understanding of cultures and societies and to develop the capacity to work in culturally diverse environments. BEST creates opportunities for personal development of students and supports them in reaching their full potential.
POSITION BEST is a voluntary, apolitical, non-profit and non-representative international association of European students of technology.
ACTIVITIES Providing complementary education is the core activity of BEST. The result of this activity is the contribution of significant added value to the education provided by universities. BEST also provides career support and increases educational involvement of its three major stakeholders: students, universities and companies.
THE IDENTITY OF BEST Combining all four aspects described above leads to establishing BEST as an outstanding platform for improving the education and skills of technical students and in this way leave a positive impact on society.
STRUCTURE board internationa l teams local BES T groups
BEST consists of 93 Local BEST Groups spread over 32 European countries. Each Local BEST Group is tied to one technical university. The groups have their local boards and local statutes, their own practices, traditions and culture. The local groups organise various local and international BEST activities for both students of their university and BEST members. Also, they actively participate in steering the organisationâ€™s development by voting at general meetings or using our online voting system. Even if they are spread across Europe, each Local BEST Group enforces the common values and ensures a new homogeneous generation of actively involved BEST members each year. It is not hard to imagine that the communication between 93 different groups could easily become chaotic. This situation is avoided by having a number of international teams facilitating communication between the local groups and providing support to them in all sorts of areas - from marketing to IT, from writing grant applications to knowledge management. And on the top-level, the work of the international bodies is coordinated by the management which consists of the International Board and the Coordinators of the six BEST Committees. The International Board represents BEST in the external world, facilitates the global development of programs and activities and always promotes the values, aims and purpose of BEST. The International Board consists of President, Treasurer, Secretary, Vice-President for External Services, Vice-President for Internal Support and Vice-President for Local Group Support. Even if the members of the international board have to travel for almost their whole mandate, they create a strong team connection at the seasonal Board Meetings and ensure a constant flow of information through various mailing lists. The Coordinators of the BEST Committees help in the maintenance of the organisationâ€™s essential activities: Educational Involvement, Corporate Relations, External Events, Training Sessions, Marketing, Public Relations and Information Technologies. Both the board and the committee coordinators keep in a close contact with the Local BEST Groups through networking during the events they coordinate or participate in. Most of the time, the communication is mainly carried out through mailing lists and virtual conferences which are the main drivers for BEST members to practice and to perfect the skill of virtual communication. Even more, BEST is proud to have its own intranet system, Private Area, developed by its members from scratch. The intranet is used for archiving documents and communication within the whole organisation (e.g. via news for all BEST members) and much more.
DEVELOPMENT O F
LOCAL BEST GRO UPS
BEST is an organization that is made-up by 93 local groups based in different Universities around Europe. These groups are responsible for providing most of the external services. To assure that all local groups have the minimum level of quality in the services and maintain a good communication within the organisation, BEST has a membership system. The membership system aims at developing local groups. First there is a definition of what the requirements for a Full Member Local Group are, and then, the several support procedures are built around it. One of the biggest tools for support is the assignment of a strong local group to help the new or weaker groups. This assigned group will help the other group to integrate into the organisation and help to overcome problems. When a Local Group joins BEST, it needs to pass through 2 membership stages before becoming a full member of BEST. The first stage is Observer, when the group is not officially a BEST group and it needs to understand what is BEST and how it works. The second stage is Baby Member, when the group becomes officially part of BEST without voting rights and can promote BEST to the students of its university. It can happen that a local group is having difficulties in a certain area. In this case, the local group can become Monitored, or in case it breaks the regulations, it can become Suspended â€“ in any of these states, the local group receives support from different bodies of BEST and has an assigned group to overcome their difficulties. With this process we can ensure that our organisation stays strong and sustainable for many years to come.
WHO AND WHERE ARE WE? LBG
Aalborg Almada Ankara Athens Aveiro Barcelona Belgrade Brasov Bratislava Brno Brussels Brussels ULB Bucharest Budapest Chania Chisinau Cluj-Napoca Coimbra Copenhagen Delft Eindhoven Ekaterinburg Ekaterinburg, UrFU ENSAM ENSTA ParisTech Faro Algarve Gdansk Ghent Gliwice Gothenburg Graz Grenoble Helsinki Iasi Istanbul Istanbul, Yildiz Izmir Kaunas Kiev Kosice Krakow Las Palmas Leuven Liege Lisbon Ljubljana Lodz
Lars Nørgaard Nielsen Diogo Gouveia Anıl Şahin Frosso Koutsonikoli Diana Marques Jordi Anguera Aleksandar Linc-Djordjevic Vlad Ilie Kristína Urícková Libor Seda Katrien Moeys Maxime Defour Mihai Tociu Júlia Zádeczki George Gerontidis Alina Beleuta Orsi Pusok Samuel Pinto Kristian Ott Milbo Basil Vereecke Mike Krom Ekaterina Derkach Daria Polozova Matthias Wadoux Yasmine Zaiem Mário Benevides Anna Petrusewicz Bart De Langhe Magdalena Halat Nils Andersson Alwin Reichhart Julien Flaig Nikita Semkin Bogdan Cochior Ersin Gürel Uğur Eşkazan İlker Alanyalı Agne Velzaite Yulia Kryzhanovska Viktor Vincej Michal Rozanski Daniel de las Heras González Vincent Boeckx Nicolas Marck Dominique Silva Tadej Stepisnik Perdih Paweł Błaszczyk
Louvain-la-Neuve Lund Lviv Lyon Madrid Madrid Carlos III Maribor Messina Milan Moscow Mostar Nancy Naples Nis Novi Sad Paris Ecole Centrale Paris, Polytechnique Patras Podgorica Porto Prague Reykjavik Riga Rome Rome, Tor Vergata Saint Petersburg Skopje Sofia Stockholm Supelec Tallinn Tampere Thessaloniki Timisoara Trondheim Turin Uppsala Valencia Valladolid Veszprem Vienna Vinnytsia Warsaw Wroclaw Zagreb Zaporizhzhya
Georges Castin Marie Pålsson Iryna Kalymon Daniela Aliendre Gonzales Cristóbal Andrés Cazorla Martínez Pedro Ocaña Tena Luka Gasperic Riccardo Zanghì Laura Kuhta Baskovic Aliya Khayrullina Almir Dodigović Luc Daniel Mario Rannello Maja Aleksic Milica Nerlović Julien Naud Lucas Gerard Kostantinos Vizas Asimakopoulos Marko Tošić João Pacheco Jaroslav Hrubý Svanlaug Elsa Steingrímsdóttir Laura Zumbure Giovanna Campogiani Ilaria Fazio Andrey Kolotushkin Ivana Chapalova Todor Popov Naga Sudha Mangeshkar Vankayala Taylor Edouard Sten Seppo Lauri Juhola Dimitris Kosmidis Oana Tripsa Gastón Courtade Luca Siwanowicz Simon Olofsson Albert Sendra García David Sanz Mercédesz Fodor Philipp Effenberger Andrii Kolesnyk Michal Ciecwierz Tomasz Ibrom Ivo Zarkovic Varvara Bezhenova
IDEAS ARE DEVELOPED The creativity of BEST members is one of the most valuable assets of our organisation and is complemented by an environment focused on idea development. An important role is granted to the facilitation techniques and the processes through which the ideas are shaped. The goal setting during the Board Summer Meeting 2011 was such a process aimed to contribute to the generation and structuring of both operational and visionary goals. The process was facilitated by an experienced trainer who combined the guidelines offered by BESTâ€™s vision and mission with a thorough analysis, deep knowledge of BEST and a personal vision for the people involved. The starting point for the whole process consisted of interpreting the vision of BEST. Afterwards, the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) were listed and discussed in order for everybody to understand the current state of the organisation. They were then grouped into four key performance areas by common agreement, which led to the next step: the generation of objectives for each focus area. Post-its, flipcharts, SWOT elements, brainstorming, clustering and discussions helped the management organise information and build the objectives that were to become part of the strategic plan. In the end, the SMART goals were set together with their measurable criteria and contained new ideas designed to open new perspectives for BEST. This is one successful example, but also characteristic of the importance experienced BEST members give to facilitating their sessions. They tailor the process according to the topic and goal, and strive to involve everybody because diversity is the key for developing good ideas.
LONG-TERM STRATEGIC PLANNING PROJECT
From the very beginning, BEST has been a dynamic organisation. We have gained knowledge on various areas and aimed to be good in what we do. We have learned from others, embraced new ideas and have always cared about having an impact. We have continuously tailored our services in order to meet the needs of our stakeholders, while taking into account the yearly strategies of the boards and the informal, unwritten long-term plans of the organisation. All of this happened in cycles with a length of one year, despite the need of many initiatives to be sustained long after the change of mandates. One of the visions of the XXIV Board of BEST and the committee coordinators was that we, as an organisation, need to define clear long-term directions for our development. As a response
to this idea, several members of our organisation found the motivation to engage in the creation and, later, implementation of a long-term strategic plan. This represented an adventurous project whose success was built with careful steps and under the following premises: a transparent process with input taken from members at all levels of the organisation and experience in different areas supplemented by accurate planning and research, collaborative and creative thinking, in addition to the numerous lessons learnt from the past. The long-term strategic planning workshop represented a key element for the project. With a lot of enthusiasm, passion and knowledge about BEST, the result of a complex process of planning and discussions was a proposal for the 3 year strategic plan for BEST - a plan aimed to bring a new practice of strategic planning in BEST and offer stability to the organisation. By the end of the workshop it was concluded that BEST should focus on five areas: • • • • •
brand of BEST knowledge management support structure for the organisation relation with universities services management.
For each of these focus areas, general objectives were defined and they will become the foundation for the annual action plans for the following three generations. The focus areas and their objectives became the so-called BEST Strategic Plan 2012-2015, which was approved by the XXX General Assembly together with procedures and regulations on how to handle the long-term strategic practice. This plan helped us realise the steps BEST needs to take in order to reach a higher level of development. It enables us to understand where we should concentrate our efforts. It unites us towards certain goals. It is a proof that we always aim higher and higher and that we are open for novel practices. Last but not least, it represents a small effort that we hope to bring significant benefits for the following generations.
3500 PEOPLE MAKING A DIFFERENCE “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” -- Leo Tolstoy Improvement is one of the five key values in BEST. We have a culture of constantly taking action towards the development of our organisation and we have our own ways of introducing and implementing new ideas. The driving force behind this effort is our vision and mission. The Forum of BEST, an online platform on our intranet, makes it possible for anyone to share their thoughts and ideas online. Live discussions also take place during BEST meetings, including the 11 Regional Meetings where members of Local Groups participate. Through these major platforms, used in different ways over the years, BEST has been able to reach all of its members, currently at 3500. To support them, the International Committees and the Project Leaders constantly review the ideas and provide help on their areas of expertise. Once an innovative idea has been discussed and developed, the owner is invited to present a proposal either via a live or online plenary meeting. The delegates of all the local groups provide feedback on the proposal and have the right to vote on it. These processes create the framework for decision making 365 days a year, whenever the need arises, and aims to involve everyone. Reflecting on Tolstoy’s words; we never lose sight that to provide high quality external services, we must first look internally.
BEST MEMBERS FUTURE LEADERS Being a BEST member is a chance for every student of technology to complement their university experience with valuable activities that contribute to their personal and professional development. There are no limits of how far the development can go, but there are certain skills we are naturally cultivating through training and the nature of our work. From the moment they join BEST, members learn the value and importance of teamwork, they find out how to handle the diversity of personalities, ideas and cultures and they discover that any task is equally important. They improve their capacity to actively listen, continuously exercise their public speaking and argumentation skills and often give and receive feedback. The more involved they become, the better they learn how to manage their time and successfully complete their tasks, while also being enrolled in a university degree. Once ready to assume bigger and bigger challenges, members start to discover what it takes to manage a project, the importance of gathering and organising resources, proper planning, working with deadlines, leading others and reporting. Anyone has the chance to lead more and more complex projects as soon as they prove they have the necessary potential, knowledge and motivation: starting with coordinating a weekend activity and ending with being part of the international board. Through their experience, most members become engineers with well developed soft-skills. We believe that whatever career they will pursue, they will have the potential to become leaders in their area of expertise and will have a great impact on their organisations, society and the development of technology.
R OUND TABLE CONCEPT Schedule of Round Table Paris 2012:
14:00 14:30 14:45
BEST at a glance
Market Research Coffee Break One to one discussion
BEST strives to meet the expectations of its partners and therefore it invites them to an open dialogue about the ways in which working together can have an impact. These invitations are for Round Tables, events organised by BEST for corporate and educational partners. During the 2011-2012 mandate, the Round Table was organised in Paris, right before the General Assembly. Round Table Paris 2012 took place at ENSTA Paristech on 11th April 2012 at 14:00. In this event, companies and universities interested in our organisation and the possibility of future cooperation had the opportunity to learn more about our services and activities. BEST members had presentations and discussions about how to bring companies and universities closer to talented, creative and internationally minded students of engineering from all over Europe. During the Round Table, we talked about the needs and expectations of companies and universities, and together we found ways in which BEST can meet those expectations. Other than that, we presented the main outcomes of some vital projects of 2011-2012 in BEST such as Marketing Research, Long Term Strategic Planning, Alumni Business Camp and we gathered feedback from participants of Round Table. We also had a chance to have â€˜one to oneâ€™ discussions with participants, which gave us the opportunity to discover the most suitable cooperation conditions and set the premises for successful long-term collaborations.
Long Term Strategic Planning
Alumni Business Camp
Official Opening Day Introduction Dinner
ALUMNI In more than 20 years of BEST there are many generations of former members who have a vast professional experience. Alumni Business Camp (ABC) is an initiative to bring these people together and form a stronger professional network of alumni who once shared, and still likely share similar values.
The first edition of ABC was held in Berlin in October 2011. During those two and a half days, 45 alumni gathered to network, get informed about new and relevant business related topics, get feedback on their ideas and
at the same time meet old colleagues and have some fun. In the first day there were presentations from experienced participants on relevant topics like branding, marketing, lean start-up methodology, patenting, etc. On the beginning of second day several alumni presented their own business ideas and got a lot of feedback and support from everybody. In the last part of the event everybody had a chance to raise their own topic and the participants grouped in small teams to discuss them. There were over 30 topics discussed ranging from new business ideas to bringing new value to existing ones. As some of the participants put it, ABC is a great opportunity to share ideas, to improve your ideas, to understand your opportunities both for business and for networking. For me, the most interesting things were the small talks where you saw how business related things work in other countries. These are normally not things you talk about in BEST. The outcomes of the event were several new projects, the inspiration to implement new ideas and knowledge gathered and most importantly much motivation for everybody. For that reason we immediately started preparing the next Alumni Business Camp which is going to be in Barcelona in October 2012. Filip Kis Entrepreneur Alumnus of BEST (‘04-‘09)
FRAMEWORK AGREE MENT The activities of BEST as a non-profit organisation in the field of youth have been recognized by the European Commission as contributing to the young people’s active participation and encouraging mutual understanding and cross-cultural cooperation. In February 2011, BEST was given the chance of a 3-year cooperation with the European Commission body - Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA), under its Youth in Action Program. BEST has put its focus on several key areas to develop in the time span 2011-2013. Every autumn, our detailed action plans and budgets for each of the 3 years are submitted for evaluation to the EACEA. The financial support from the Commission covers predefined operating expenses of BEST: mostly travel costs of the management, organisation of our General Meetings and marketing expenses. It has increased with 30 000 euro for the second year of the partnership, reaching 25% of our expected annual budget for 2012. BEST recognises the Framework Agreement as a very important factor towards fostering our development. Striving for increasing our impact among the technology students in Europe, we believe that this partnership contributes to BEST not only with internal assistance but also by the positive image it sends to our external stakeholders.
With the support of the Youth in Action program of the European Union
B UDGET An organisation with the size and ambitions of BEST needs a significant annual budget to ensure the proper coordination of our activities. Most of our expenses are operating ones covering travel expenses of the international management and teams, as well as administration costs for running the organisation smoothly on a daily basis. An important factor for the added value of our services is our recognition in the external world. Therefore, we invest as well in the relations of BEST with external parties - our representation and promotion, by producing and distributing marketing materials and organizing regular meetings with all our partners. To ensure the proper skills and improvement of our members, BEST has developed through the years sustainable and constantly improving internal training system, which requires increasing financial support for its existence and enhancement. The biggest part of the income (as to be seen in the graph below) came from industrial partners (with two Corporate Partners: Procter & Gamble and Vestas), followed by the contributions of the European Commission (under a 3 years Framework agreement, part of the Youth in Action program of the EU) and University partners. Considering the status of revenues and expenses, we can conclude that our organisation is in a very stable financial position. The status and details of finances can be found by each member in the accounting tool available in Private Area, our intranet. The detailed audited financial report of BEST for 2011-2012 financial year is available at request.
GENERAL MEETINGS Presidents’ Meeting
The XVII Presidents’ Meeting was organised in November 2011 by BEST Copenhagen with the support of the Technical University of Denmark. Presidents’ Meeting started with an official opening day, where the partners of the event interacted with delegates and presented them with attractive employment opportunities. Amongst the guests at the conference was Lars Bytoft, President of FEANI, who inspired the future engineers present with a speech regarding their role in our modern society. The event continued with 4 days of plenary session. The international teams in BEST presented their work and discussed with the delegates new ideas to be implemented within our organisation. Training sessions on management, leadership and career related skills were organised for the delegates, as well as discussion groups with the aim of gathering input for the most important projects for the upcoming year. Presidents’ Meeting Copenhagen represented an important step forward for the development of BEST. Many thanks to BEST Copenhagen, for the dedication with which they organised the event, and to all the partners who believed and still believe in BEST and supported the Presidents’ Meeting 2011.
General Assembly The 30th General Assembly (GA) of BEST took place in mid April 2012 in France. For 8 days, 250 delegates made decisions regarding BEST’s development, and elected its leaders for the year to come. This event was jointly organised by students from Local BEST Groups of 8 French universities - INSA Lyon, Grenoble INP, Université de Lorraine, ENSAM, ENSTA ParisTech, Ecole Centrale, Supelec and Polytechnique, and attracted great support from their Alumni network.
The Opening Day, themed “International Forum: Studies, Internships, Careers”, had a new and innovative format. Gathering around 20 partners from the corporate and academic world, 400 students, including the delegates, and about 100 students from top French Grandes Ecoles, were invited to shape their future careers. This GA introduced an ongoing career fair, concurrently with company presentations, workshops, and inspirational debates with keynote speakers from various backgrounds. Topics addressed included women’s careers in engineering, the energy network in Europe, and how to approach international mobility. During the plenary days that followed the opening day, the hot topics of the organisations were approached, decisions were taken and the 20122013 board was elected. Important outcomes of GA, were the approval of the following: 2012-2015 BEST Strategic Plan, European BEST Engineering Competition regulations and handbook, external relations regulations, internal events guidelines.
decisions opportunities ideas
BEST CAMPUS TEAM IN P&G
Anastacia P&G Euskirchen Germany
During the past 20 years in which P&G has been a partner of BEST, the members of the BEST Campus Team in P&G have always been very motivated to attend the BEST internal events and contribute to the development of new members by delivering training sessions. This is always a good opportunity for them to feel the BEST spirit again, especially when they work with old friends they met in BEST and who are also working in P&G now. Furthermore, we shall let them tell you more about it: “I was a BEST member of LOCAL BEST GROUP Thessaloniki from October 2006 till May 2010. I attended this year the IPF in Gdansk. I had the chance to meet the new internationally active BEST members and share an inside view of the P&G life and how the involvement in BEST while being a student can contribute at the professional life in a multinational company.”
Erkan Istanbul, Turkey
“I was an active member of LOCAL BEST GROUP Ankara from February 2007 to September 2009. I attented to beRICHER organized by LOCAL BEST GROUP Istanbul. It was amazing to give company presentation to the new generations of BEST. I had the chance to talk with new fund raisers about the life in P&G and how it was important for me to be a BEST member to be recruited by my company.”
Florent P&G Paris France
“I really enjoyed going back to a regional meeting (Aveiro) after 5 years spent in BEST. I found most interesting to meet new generation and to provide them a quick view of what could be a professional life, and also to help them to capture the most important part of their engagement in the NGO. It was great to hear them asking questions, the same I was asking myself couple of years ago. I believe this link between BEST and working world is crucial to succeed in vision of BEST of improving education and helping students to become full engineers! Also, it was great to deliver a training there, and to deliver knowledge back to BEST.”
Jihad Brussels, Belgium
“Member of BEST from 2003 to 2006, and of the international Board of BEST, I attended the Regional BEST meeting in Bree, Belgium, together with Joao de Oliveira and Ingrid Farasyn. We trained the participants on two topics: one soft skill related and a more technical topic. In both cases the students were very enthusiastic about the new learning, responsive and curious. After the trainings, many came to us asking for further information about P&G and opportunities for them in the company. It was very easy to understand the questions and link back to their BEST experience.”
Sophie P&G Euskirchen Germany
“I was in BEST from Sept 2007 till Sept 2010 and I attended this year the RM organised by my former LOCAL BEST GROUP, Brussels ULB. That was very nice to get to know the new generations and give them some perspective from the professional life after BEST. I really liked answering questions about internship opportunities in our company after the presentation we gave; as well as providing a training that could help the BEST members in their future careers.”
TRAINING STRATEGY Once upon a time, training happened in BEST and it still does... So, what is the difference now? Well, since the winter of 2011 a strategic plan for training has been implemented to meet the training needs of BEST within a centralised framework. Thus, we aim to use the available training resources in a way which is the most effective and will provide the biggest impact on BEST. Interested to learn what happened during 2011-2012 regarding training strategy? During the implementation of the first part, the focus was on: • Leaders of BEST are trained properly • Knowledge management and knowledge transfer working properly in LBGs • Members of BEST are trained on basic soft skills Throughout Europe there have been Joint Board Training events taking place, where the leaders of two or more Local BEST Groups (local boards) are trained on skills they would need during their mandate, while enhancing sharing and cooperation between neighbour Local BEST Groups. At the same time, a lot of attention was placed on the training sessions delivered at General Meetings. By gathering input, training sessions were adapted much more towards the audience present thereby, increasing their impact. Knowledge management and knowledge transfer training topics were developed in cooperation with TiGro and Knowledge Group which both aim to improve the quality of their services. Regarding quantity, topics related to knowledge management and transfer were delivered traditionally at training events as well as during General Meetings. With the co-operation of the Regional Advisers these topics were also delivered during Joint Board Training and Regional Meeting events. The “baby track” has also been developed, which is a set of basic skills a new BEST member should acquire in order to work more effectively in BEST, no matter the position or task undertaken. Therefore, corresponding training topics were designed and delivered, to specific regional needs, at all Regional Meetings this year thanks to coordination with the Regional Advisers. At the same time, although much focus was on the three areas mentioned above, other training activities such as training events which focus on technical topics or BEST Knowledge Transfer which takes place during many other events are also covered in the training strategy. In the upcoming year, the efforts towards a centralised and coherent system will continue and more news on it is yet to come!
QUALITY OF TRAINING SESSIONS Last November, four interesting projects started with a common goal; to ensure that we provide high quality training sessions and to support the development of our trainers’ performance. The Content Quality project aims to evaluate the quality of our training sessions from a knowledge perspective and research ways to enrich the existing content so that new information will be integrated properly. After having our knowledge base structured and properly documented, a new demand was created; the need of having a universal system in which our training content could be stored. The Training Knowledge Centre project will set up a user-friendly system for storing reports and training content in a nonrepetitive way. As these two projects will increase the quality of our training sessions in terms of content, two more projects were established to monitor the trainers’ performance. The Recognition project aims to establish a quality control system for the pool of trainers within BEST in order to ensure a basic level of quality in all training sessions. The Recognition council will be responsible for maintaining this system as well as defining the last steps of the Recognition project before its implementation. Last but not least, what was missing from our database in order to evaluate the trainers’ performance and help trainers to increase the quality of their sessions, were proper tools. The Training Database project had been launched and two brand new tools are ready to be made available. The Evaluation tool will provide an accurate evaluation of the training sessions, whereas the follow-up tool will ensure that proper follow-up happen. If 2011-2012 was the year of transforming ideas into projects, it is not hard to say that 2012-2013 will be the year of implementation and further development of our training system, so stay tuned!
GROWTH Board of European Students of Technology (BEST) is currently present in 93 universities and 32 countries in Europe. One of the goals of BEST is to continue sustainable growth, to enable our dream of having a presence in all the countries of Europe. The Growth project team is working actively to provide all the support needed by the students and academic staff of universities that are willing to establish a new BEST group. This team of experienced BEST members spread their knowledge and motivation to the new interested groups in order to support and help them in the application period. This is the third year of this project in BEST which has the clear goals of increasing visibility, coverage and balance of BEST in Europe. The result of this work is that BEST has five new Observer Groups covering three new countries in Europe. These groups are: • Polytechnic University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain • University of Montenegro, Podgorica, Montenegro • University ‘Dzemal Bijedic’ of Mostar, Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina • University of Trento, Trento, Italy • State Engineering University of Armenia, Yerevan, Armenia These Observer Groups begin now a new path in BEST, a path full of wonderful challenges and BEST spirit, and we wish all of them the best of luck. Our organisation is becoming bigger and stronger and it is our duty to contribute to this. We will work together with the new groups, as well as with those that will join in the future, in order to help them become as strong as BEST is.
SERVICES TO STUDENT NEEDS BEST has 23 years of experience in providing students with services, which have substantially diversified over time. Simultaneously, society has changed and the needs of our stakeholders have changed as well. Do we still respond to their actual and real needs? Which services are most attractive to them and why? These are only few of the questions we had in mind when we created the strategic plan for this year. Consequently, we decided to put efforts in creating a strategy to manage the services of BEST on a long-term basis. The evaluation we have made until now for our services was mostly internal, which made us realise it is time to also get a clear and comprehensive view of how valuable the services of BEST are for its stakeholders. Moreover, there are now many more opportunities for students compared to the beginnings of our organisation. It was thus essential that we conducted extensive market research, as a first step of this strategy. The outcomes of this research were processed in order to identify how our services could be improved based on the expectations and opinions of the respondents. The team dealing with the market research had a lot of work throughout the year. After consulting experienced BEST members, we defined the topics on which external input was required in order to identify the most important improvement areas. Together with the experts on statistics and survey creation within the team, we formulated powerful questions that
enabled us to get relevant information. This is how the BEST Student Survey 2012 was created. 851 students from 37 European countries filled in our online survey. Our promotion through websites, social media and local mailing lists led to a different number of respondents in each University. Nevertheless, the overall results of the survey regarding the number of students, age distribution and geographical spread were satisfactory from a statistical point of view. We thus centralised all data and processed it during a series of events and online work. The main outcome was that we identified several areas that should be improved when it comes to our main services, which are to be analyzed internally in the years to come: • There might be a slight discrepancy between students’ expectations about BEST courses and their reality. The cause is still to be identified and solved. • There are very different opinions about the scale that each round in EBEC should take. We will therefore re-analyse this matter in depth. • There is a lot of interest from students in terms of career and offers to study abroad, but we identified a need to diversify our methods of reaching these students and thus connecting them with our corporate world partners. • Students are very keen on speaking their mind concerning their engineering education. We, therefore, need to provide them with more opportunities to do so and thus improve their academic course. All these issues were kept in mind whilst developing the BEST Strategic Plan 2012-2015. Only for this reason could we conclude this market research a success. It will most probably be refined and conducted again in the following years. It is yet another aspect that has been introduced into BEST – a mindset of assessing our environment and the needs of our stakeholders. We stand out as an organisation because we offer our services to all students, not only to our members. Thus, if we want to develop our services, we cannot do this without their input. That was the biggest achievement of the work done by the Market Research team.
OVER 20 YEARS OF BEST Since BEST was founded in 1989, the aim and purpose of our organisation has been clear: to promote Europe among European students and help technology students of Europe. From the beginning, the focus point of BESTs effort was the exchange among European students: exchange in terms of knowledge and culture. Initially, this mission was attempted by making learning programs known among students of European universities, in order to make it easier for them to go and study abroad. Since this mission was hard to achieve, in one of the first BEST General Assemblies, held in Trondheim, in 1990, BEST members started to think about a different solution: the idea of “courses” organised by BEST in collaboration with the universities born. The first “Summer Programme” took place in 1992: 19 courses organised in 18 different European universities, between July and September, concerning modern technical applications and latest research achievements. From here, the path can be traced: after 20 years, with more than 1300 events organised and the participation of more than 22000 students, BEST Courses, as part of BEST program for complementary education is one of the most important projects of BEST. Lectures, case studies, company and research institute visits provide students with an interesting and educational experience. Nowadays, the goal is to give these events more recognition in universities and to increase their academic quality.
BEST COURSES PROFESSOR TESTIMONIAL It was with pleasure that I collaborated as a teacher in a BEST Course, organised by the local BEST group present in the University of Naples. I already heard about those initiatives, and that experience was a confirmation. BEST is a great opportunity for European students to travel and get in contact with a different university environment. I personally think that nowadays it is important, especially for professors, to stress the point that the student of technology, the engineer of today, is a ‘European’ student. Today, far more than in the past, it is important for students to travel, to get in contact with different people, to open their mind, to mix their culture with other cultures, but also other working methods and personal attitudes. That is why, as Responsible for Internationalisation in the Faculty of Engineering, I constantly push my students to take the chance the university gives them to go and study abroad: Erasmus project, internships, Master degrees held abroad with partner universities, and, of course, BEST Courses. With BEST projects, students have the possibility to taste, for a period of one to two weeks, teaching and working methods of another European university, getting in contact with other European students, having a chance of comparison and a taste of globalization, without hard economical efforts: an important chance to enrich themselves and their curriculum.
Prof. Giorgio Serino University of Naples Federico II
QUALITY OF COURSES Nowadays, one of the main goals of our organisation is to give BEST Courses more recognition in universities, and to further increase their academic quality. After a long period of discussions and planning, EEC (External Events Committee) launched a new project last year called â€œRed Appleâ€?. Since spring 2012, the Red Apple is awarded to all Local BEST Groups whose courses meet strict criteria on quality, and certifies a higher academical standard of the event. In order for the Red Apple to be awarded, at least three different kinds of academical activities should be organised: activities should thus not be limited to lectures, but also include workshops, case studies and company visits. Organising groups are now asked to assess whether applicants have any prior knowledge related to the topic of the course and select them accordingly. Participants who pass the selection process have then to be provided with a description of all academicals activities held during the course as well as a set of pre-materials. These pre-materials are provided by the teaching staff of the host university; they are meant to give participants a clear overview of the activities and help them to follow the lectures held by the teaching staff themselves. Red Apple brings closer course organisers, academic staff and companies in designing a course, thus contributing to a higher compatibility with the ECTS system.
E BEC PYRAMID & EBEC ISTANBUL Board of European Students of Technology (BEST) has a nine-year-old history in organising competitions. This idea came from the already existing Canadian Engineering Competition (CEC), organised by CFES, when some BEST members went to the event in March 2002. They came back to Europe very enthusiastic and started to promote the idea. Unsurprisingly, competitions started to be increasingly organised at different Local BEST Groups, providing a large potential to provide better complementary education to technical students. Competitions promote the development of students in an exciting way: they expose teams of students to engineering problems and promote them into competing to develop the best solutions. Various BEST Engineering Competitions have been taking place in BEST, but in the past two years, strong developments were made in this field in order to unite all those competitions and better involve universities, NGOs and companies. The European BEST Engineering Competition (EBEC) was born. BEST aims to raise awareness about the importance of non-formal education in the process of developing young people by involving different local authorities and European, national and regional bodies that could improve the system and develop other activities in this direction for the future. The EBEC project is under the core activity of BEST: providing complementary education. The main objectives of the project are: â€˘ Self-development of students who will participate in this project. This is ensured through the two competition categories they will be involved in: Case Study and Team Design. â€˘ Promotion of Engineering and Engineering Education among students, giving them the possibility to practise the theoretical knowledge gained during the academic courses, by finding new technical solutions for day to day problems that humanity is dealing with.
â€˘ Promotion of cultural diversity among students through collecting students from different countries in the competition rounds. Both categories have something in common: they push the students to put into practice what they learnt in the classes, usually approaching multidisciplinary engineering fields. The Team Design category consists of solving a given technical problem in teams within a time limit. The outcome of the competition is a device that has to perform the needed actions to solve the problem (e.g. building a machine capable of drawing a specific shape, as you can see on the references - Draw the BEST Logo). The Case Study category consists of solving a technical or management reallife problem with no actual construction of any device or assembling of some materials, but using the information given to develop hypothetical solutions. In the end the teams shall give a presentation of the solutions they came up with. On the references, the Traffic Management in Mumbai is an example of a BEST Case Study. European BEST Engineering Competition aims to engage our main stakeholders in the organisation of the event, as supporters and partners able to provide tasks for participants. BEST offers students the chance to meet and learn from one another, developing technical skills and teamwork. Participants have a unique chance to use the theoretical knowledge that they gained throughout their studies and put them into practice by working on finding solutions for interesting and challenging topics. Through this project and its activities, students will become more tolerant and will learn how to formulate and sustain their own opinions, develop their personal and academic/technical skills thus helping them in their future careers. Besides the technical skills that students use and improve during the events, they also get the opportunity to develop their soft skills either through the training that they are delivered before the final round or through the working methods that they need to use during the competition itself. During both Case Study and Team Design competitions, the participants compete in teams of 4 people. This enables teamwork, and teaches them how to trust each other and communicate efficiently.
All the working methods together with the activities that take place during the competition help the students improve personal skills like: project management, time management, presentation skills, they learn how to work and how to approach different kinds of situations, all very helpful in a future engineering
career. They are able to formulate and sustain their own opinions in front of an audience and in the future they will act more responsibly towards society. EBEC is also a way of attracting students to engineering and encouraging them to follow an engineering career, by showing them the advantages through interactive ways. What we strive for is to promote the development of sustainable networks, the exchange of best practices as well as the recognition of non-formal education, which will create an even more important impact on students. Through the activities that we organise during the events, the students have the chance to establish connections with all the other participants and after the events they share their experience with friends and colleagues, encouraging them to be part of such projects. BEST encourage universities to recognise non-formal education and to value the students. The EBEC project has finished its third edition now, where 5000 students were involved from more than 80 European Universities within 13 national/regional rounds. Just like the previous years, it intended to help engineering students gain experience and skills needed for a successful future career. The final event took place in Istanbul, Turkey where 104 finalists of national/regional rounds had a chance to compete for the title of Best Engineers of Europe. From the total 11 days, 6 are working days and the other ones are dedicated to other different topics, such as company day, cultural visits and social activities. In the last day of the event, the final decision regarding the winner is made, considering the points earned in each EBEC Final task. After the EBEC Final all the 104 participants receive a Competition Information Form that attests their work and skills they proved during the whole project and will also be able to receive ECTS points from their home universities. We do realise that there are things to be improved, therefore we constantly wait for feedback from everyone involved in the project thus ensuring the fact that EBEC will grow, will be stronger and will offer more qualitative content to students, providing them complementary engineering education activities.
BEST CAREER SUPPORT BEST Career Support (BCS) is a virtual platform that connects the partners of BEST with technology and engineering students from all over Europe, creating an environment that brings significant added value to both parts. The platform allows interested students to directly access information about career opportunities provided by our partners. The students have the opportunity to create a BEST account and fill in their CV on-line. In order to prepare students for the job application process, support for CV writing and job search techniques is provided within the BCS. All the aforementioned features are contributing to the increasing popularity of our service and consequently our CV database is growing on a daily basis. According to the latest statistics more than 31000 students and experienced graduates have submitted their CV in our system, which enables companies to use detailed search criteria for browsing through the database efficiently and finding the candidates who meet their requirements. Through their BEST account, students can also subscribe to career newsletters sent by our partners, in order to receive information about job offers, internships and special programs. In the past year, the number of subscribers for the newsletter has reached 30000 and the number keeps on growing. The selected search criteria apply here as well, ensuring that the newsletters arrive to the students who are interested in that particular opportunity. Moreover, all the career opportunities can also be posted in the career section of our external web page, which is frequently visited by students and graduates. Also, they can be posted through our social media channels. The bottom line is that we can say that BCS is a platform that is continuously evolving in order to meet students and partners expectations.
VESTAS TESTIMONIAL Almost two years ago I was making plans on what to pack before moving to the cold North in Denmark to start the next challenge in my professional life: a SAP Apprentice Programme in Vestas. Working for Vestas has fast-tracked my professional and personal development in a creative, fun and challenging way. Vestas is a dynamic, constantly changing multicultural organisation where you are guaranteed to have a very steep learning curve and an exciting working day. Time advances at a different pace: 2 years inside are equal to 10 years in another company. This is a fact anyone can confirm. Time moves even faster if you are a former BEST member and you bring on-board an already developed skill-set including problem solving, flexibility, training delivery and communication, passion for travelling and a computer science engineering diploma. It is an environment where one can and will be challenged as part of everyday work. After only 2 months in Vestas I joined a global project as one of the instructors and that was only the beginning. My Vestas experience can be summarised in: 4 global projects across Sales, Services, Marketing and Global Solutions, working across 4 continents and travelling to 8 new countries. I was already used to working in an international environment but being at Vestas opened new doors to the world. The power behind Vestas are its people. I have never met so many great and supportive colleagues and managers. I am always able to perform at my very best knowing that my manager and colleagues believe in me and will challenge me to be able to do so, just like being part of BEST. Ana-Cristina Dumitru SAP Apprentice Programme at Vestas
EVENT ON EDUCATION IN RIGA
BEST Event on Education (EoE) is a public event of the Board of European Students of Technology. Is your life online? Then make it WORK!? was held in Riga, Latvia between 21st and 24th of August 2011. BEST has proved once again that it cares about involving students in improving their professional future.This event was a symposium, where 21 students from throughout Europe met for 4 days and expressed their opinions on the topics related to virtual work, virtual internships and intercultural competences. The aim of the event was to gather input from students, who represent one of the three stakeholders involved in the development of virtual internships, along with university and business world. How to improve efficiency of virtual work and internships, which intercultural aspects should be considered when organising a virtual work placement, etc; these are just a couple of the many interesting questions answered during the event. The symposium was led by the Educational Committee of BEST (EduCo) with the great help of EU-VIP and the hosting Local BEST Group Riga. EUVIP (Enterprise-University Virtual Placements) is a two year EU funded project under the Lifelong Learning Program (ERASMUS). Through focusing on how to organise international work placements, it aims to reach its goal of enhancing the quality, efficiency and impacts these opportunities have to offer. Working methods used during the event were new for most of the participants. They appreciated the innovative approach and interactive discussion methods like Exibition Walk and Open Space Technology. In particular, participants liked presenting their own outcomes to other participants and experts in the field. Without exception participants evaluated the event as interesting and well organised.
BEST has been organising academic courses for students from all over Europe for more than 20 years now. Only during the last 4 seasons, 9738 students studying in more than 30 European countries have applied to the 92 events organised by all local BEST groups with the aim of adding an important international experience to their CVs. After a selection process, 1956 of them had the unique opportunity to experience a multicultural environment and attend classes taught in English by professors from the host universities. BEST courses with basic academical level offer the opportunity to learn about topics not directly connected to the student’s field, thus increasing the multidisciplinary level of the student’s education. So called “Advanced Courses” concentrate on the main event topic and give deeper knowledge of the specific field. Structure-wise, BEST courses are very similar to ATHENS courses, but they are accessible to much larger amount of students at an extremely cheaper cost.
At the end of each course, the students receive a Course Information Form stamped by the local university. This document proves that they attended from 20 to 50 working hours and they successfully passed the final exam. The Recognition working group inside BEST aims at getting BEST courses officially recognised by universities and at granting ECTS credits or a mention in the diploma supplement for students who successfully attended such an academic event.
IMPACT OF BEST The impact we have on the outside world matters to us. We are constantly trying to figure out ways through which we can have a meaningful impact by better developing students of technology or increasing the reach of our activities. During the past year we have developed a strategy for external relations in order to support and increase the impact of BEST. We started by identifying the desired impact areas of BEST. Naturally, some of these impact areas coincide with the core activities of BEST: complementary education, career support and educational involvement. Additionally, BEST is increasing the awareness of global issues addressable through technology (e.g. global warming, energy consumption, sustainable development) and the role of engineers in society. Always eager for collaboration and sharing, BEST is also developing other youth NGOs through long and short term cooperation with several international student organisations. As a final step of our research, we investigated various organisations that are active in the technological or youth field and which could help us enhance our impact on the desired areas. Through cooperation with these organisations, we aspire for developing joint projects, developing knowledge on a certain field or disseminating the work of our activities. The study concluded that BEST should focus on developing the relationship with the World Federation of Engineering Organisations (WFEO), the Institute of Electric and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the European Youth Forum (YFJ), UNESCO and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). A detailed action plan and possible opportunities for collaboration with the above mentioned organisations have already been developed and will be implemented in the year to come.
C OOPERATION WITH
OTHER ORGANISATIONS This year’s achievements happened due to the hard work of BEST members. Yet we think that our wide network of partners also played an important role. Besides collaborating with universities, companies, and NGOs we also collaborate with several student organisations. Currently we have formal partnership agreements with 5 student organisations: CFES (Canadian Federation of Engineering Students), bonding, AEGEE (European Students’ Forum), ELSA (European Law Students’ Association) and ESTIEM (European Students of Industrial Engineering and Management). The aforementioned partnerships allow us to exchange best practices that help us to improve our services and internal structure, as well as providing additional development opportunities for our students. BEST welcomed ELSA and ESTIEM into the family of partner organisations through a memorandum of understanding, in November 2011. This was the culmination of a close relationship that had been developed in the previous year and the bond has been stronger than ever since the memorandum of understanding laid the foundations of the partnership. The partnerships create a level of trust and open channels of communication that enable us to organise joint training events that combine the expertise and efforts of both our organisations and partners. Such an example is the European Fundraising School that took place in Zaragoza, in September 2011. This was a one week long joint training event on fundraising, organised by AEGEE in cooperation with BEST. The event also attracted participants from IAAS (International Association of Students in Agricultural and related Sciences) and IFSA (International Forestry Students Association). The participants and trainers considered it was a success; therefore, a joint training event about leadership organised by bonding and BEST is planned to happen in Spring 2013. During the past year, over 70 exchanges of participants between BEST and its partners took place. These exchanges happened in regional meetings, career fairs, engineering competitions,
complementary education courses, training events, strategic events, statutory events and played a significant role in fostering best practices sharing between the organisations. bonding is a student association that bridges the gap between students and employers. To reach this goal, they offer German students a broad range of projects like one-day case studies, excursions, lectures and give students insight to companies for their future work. bonding has over 350 members and local groups in eleven university cities and is the market leader for job fairs in Germany. bonding has been a partner of BEST since 1997. The Canadian Federation of Engineering Students (CFES) is a national bilingual organisation that represents approximately 60000 engineering students across Canada. Offering services ranging from leadership development conferences to technical skill competitions, complemented by a national student magazine and other outreach efforts, the CFES aims to provide opportunities in support of an all-encompassing education for engineering students in Canada to become unparalleled professionals in their field. CFES has been a partner of BEST since 2000. AEGEE (Association des Etats Generaux des Etudiants de lâ€™Europe / European Studentsâ€™ Forum) is a student organisation that promotes co-operation, communication and integration amongst young people in Europe. AEGEE is open to students and young people from all faculties and disciplines. Today it counts 13000 members active in more than 200 university cities in 40 European countries, making it the biggest interdisciplinary student association in Europe. AEGEE has been a partner of BEST since 2010. ESTIEM is the organisation for European Students of Industrial Engineering and Management (IEM) who combine technological understanding with management skills. Founded in 1990, ESTIEM was established in order to connect IEM students all over Europe and provide them a unique platform. Their goal is to establish and foster relations between students across Europe and to support them in their personal and professional development. Their network consists of 68 Local Groups in 26 countries, reaching up to 50000 students. ESTIEM has been a partner of BEST since 2011. The European Law Students Association (ELSA) is the worldâ€™s largest independent law students association. ELSA offers law students a perfect platform to develop their existing skills, acquire new skills and meet fellow students and legal professionals throughout Europe. It comprises a membership of around 35000 students and recent graduates who are interested in law and have demonstrated commitment to international issues. ELSA operates primarily through its Local Groups, which are located at nearly 300 universities throughout 41 countries in Europe. ELSA has been a partner of BEST since 2011.
TRAINERS’ FORUM “Cooperating in the field of training.” Trainers’ Forum is an event designed to bring together trainers from different NGOs and companies with the aim of providing a platform for sharing and development of training-related activities in these NGOs. The event is coordinated by BEST Training Group. Trainers’ Forum 2012, hosted by Local BEST Group Ljubljana, was the third edition of the event. One goal for this year in BEST was to develop training and to strive for the highest quality. To achieve this aim we needed well educated and well supported trainers, with the opportunity of continuous improvement. Thus, Trainers’ Forum enabled them to develop training sessions and create a bigger impact on the BEST students attending the sessions. Because of that, the focus area during Trainers’ Forum 2012 in Ljubljana was Development of Trainers. This area included training for trainers, possibilities to support trainers’ development and guidance on the trainers’ paths. Moreover it is also important to enhance the cooperation and exchange with the external world. Last but not least it also should support the knowledge management and improvement inside the trainers’ community. The event was attended by seventy trainers from BEST and thirteen other NGOs. During the first two days, more than twenty training sessions were delivered by more experienced trainers on topics varying from Graphic recording, Visualisation to Transactional Analysis, Coaching, Stress management etc. All the sessions aimed at developing trainers further and giving insight into new and emerging concepts and techniques regarding training. The third day was dedicated to discussions about training by using the Open Space Technology, in order to inspire sharing and creativity. Interesting topics were raised and input gathered on local trainers’ networks, Group Dynamics, Trainer development Life Cycle and many others. Summed up, Trainers’ Forum enables a big network of passionate, volunteering NGO-trainers to get in touch with each other and to get to know visionary companies and professional trainers. It is a market to share and create new ideas. It is a platform for developing training topics and testing new ones. It is an opportunity to meet new people enthusiastic about the field of training and it is a place for everyone to develop themselves and their organisation!
PUBLIC RELATIONS OF BEST:
STORYTELLER OF OUR ACTIVITIES Public Relations (PR), as a communication process which builds awareness and closer relationships between BEST and our stakeholders, was recognised as an opportunity to create a stronger image of our organisation towards the external world. With this aim, three years ago, the concept of Public Relations as a project within BEST was born. Three years later, the PR Project continues to gather and spread PR knowledge as well as to create new promotional opportunities. In cooperation with other BEST bodies and Local BEST Groups, a coherent image of BEST is now maintained within our media channels. With the growth of this project, we plan to increase our visibility through a new press section on the BEST public website. With this, journalists interested in the services BEST provides will remain up to date through the press releases, media clippings and publications made available there. Through a planned and coordinated use of our social media channels, such as our official Facebook and Twitter pages, we become the main storytellers (as well as actors) of our numerous events. These channels are further supplemented by the BEST blog where people are encouraged to blog about their BEST experiences, the BEST YouTube channel for our promotional videos and our Flickr account where numerous photos for many BEST events can be found. Besides these channels, the PR Project constantly aims to increase our exposure in the media. Through the renewal of our cooperation with our first media partner, Young Innovations Europe and opportunities created with international media channels such as EU Reporter and Eurodesk, the project has attempted to increase the coverage over some of our largest events: EBEC Final, the Presidentsâ€™ Meeting and the Trainersâ€™ Forum. The dissemination of PR knowledge and its management is the next priority of the PR Project and this is managed by delivering virtual and face-to-face training sessions and presentations at various BEST events. Through the facilitation of discussion groups at meetings, as well as publishing handouts and training material, the basic knowledge of PR is maintained within our organisation. With all the work and support from the other BEST bodies, the PR Project team is ready to undertake new challenges, as well as the next steps towards helping BEST establish valuable partnerships and a coherent impact in the external world.
PROFESSIONAL LIFE AFTER BEST Procter and Gamble strives for hiring the best, for investing in talented people and developing them to their maximum potential. BEST students have proven to have ambition, dynamism and passion of winning which fit nicely with P&G core values. “I had the opportunity to do an internship before my last year of studies and I was looking for a program abroad in a company I would see myself working after my studies. I was aiming to face new challenges, continue to develop myself and keep being in touch with cultural diversity and international environment” said Sophie da Rocha, current P&G employee and BEST alumna. “During my time in BEST, I heard several times about P&G. Once I discovered their job opportunities and culture, I felt that it was the right fit and I immediately submitted my application”. Sophie was studying Chemical Engineering at ULB University in Brussels and joined BEST in 2007. My experience in BEST had given me the opportunity to develop organisation skills, leadership, open mind and a good sense of responsibilities; that was what made the difference”. She participated to a 3 months R&D Internship Program in Germany with 20 other interns coming from all around the world during the summer of 2009. The internship was designed to provide not only some practical technical experience but also to help understand how an industrial organisation operates - and the ways in which Scientists and Engineers contribute to its success.
The 3 months were really intensive as we were working on real business projects. From day one, our Manager was committed to our personal growth and to ensuring we gain the skills and knowledge needed to successfully complete our project. Some team building activities were organised during the internship; they brought all the interns close together and turned it all into an unforgettable experience
She came back to P&G in Germany in a full time position after finishing her last year of study. “I am really enjoying my current job which is truly international. I am in contact with my colleagues from America, Asia, Europe and Africa. When a face to face meeting is needed, I am also travelling to meet my colleagues. My job is very challenging and there are no two days which look the same; this brings a lot of excitement to my work !”. The start of her career did not mean that her link to BEST suddenly disappeared: after a few months, she got active into recruitment for P&G by becoming the BEST Campus Team leader. This role takes care of the annual cooperation between P&G and BEST which is going on for almost 20 years now. “I like this role very much as it is rewarding to contribute to P&G recruitment by bringing high talent from BEST while also helping the organisation; this brings so many positive aspects for the future professional life of all of its members.”
PARTNERS OF BEST CORPORATE PARTNERS
CAREER SUPPORT PARTNERS
Board of European Students of Technology
Tadej Stepisnik Perdih
e-mail: mario.nzualo@BEST.eu.org phone: +351 913 179 000
e-mail: tadej.stepisnik.perdih@BEST.eu.org phone: +386 40 663 733
Published on Sep 1, 2013