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Advisory councils

Tourism Management

Members of the advisory council

  • Ingrid Menten - Chair, former Executive Director of the bbw Akademie für Betriebswirtschaftliche Weiterbildung GmbH and Market Manager for Tourism
  • Dr. Ulrich Basteck - CEO of Wörlitz Tourist GmbH
  • Prof. Dr. Ute Dallmeier - CEO of Windrose Finest Travel GmbH
  • Conny Doß - Manager of Personnel and Organisation at Mercure Hotel MOA Berlin
  • Miljan Draskovic - Manager of Motel One Germany Betriebs GmbH
  • Dr. Uwe Lorenz - CEO of Eberhardt TRAVEL GmbH
  • Wybcke Meier - Chair of the Executive Board at TUI Cruises GmbH
  • Norbert Pfefferlein - CEO of TCME touristic concept marketing und events international GmbH
  • Paul Scodellaro - Director of Sales, Distribution & Service at Germania Airlines mbH
  • Prof. Dr. habil. Jörg Soller - Head of Department of FR Tourism, University of Economics and Law, specialist area - sandwich degree courses
  • Thomas Tarnok - CEO of Holiday Inn, Berlin Airport Conference Centre
  • Jasmin Taylor - Managing partner of Jasmin Taylor GmbH
  • Sabine Wendt - Head of Corporate Development at Berlin Tourism and Congress GmbH, authorised officer of 'visit Berlin'

Interview with Ingrid Menten, chairperson of the advisory board

The names of eight renowned companies from the tourism industry are on the list of members of the Advisory Council. How do you coax Managing Directors of such companies to engage with the curricula and range of courses? And on a voluntary basis at that.
One reason for this is discussions about young, talented, skilled employees in recent times. Of course, the tourism industry must also take a thorough interest in where suitable employees should come from in future. And the bbw Group, and of course its university, has many answers to these questions. But years of good contacts in the industry also play a major role here too.

What does the Advisory Council on Tourism and Event Management do exactly?
Its most important task is the professional guidance of university management on basic questions concerning the development of study and research programmes. Here, the Advisory Council brings its expertise as a body that combines the perspectives and experiences of different companies from the tourism and event management industries. And with it the expert knowledge of the industry. The Council is the centre of a growing network.

Who belongs to it?
Interesting individuals belong to the Council - Managing Directors, Regional Managers, Hotel Directors, authorised signatories, a university professor, an EU representative for the development of tourism in Asia. They represent top-class companies such as TUI Cruises from the large group of tour operators, or TCME touristic concept marketing international or the Berlin Tourismus Kongress GmbH, who represent known event agencies and organisers. In addition, there is also JT Touristik from the travel agency sector. Wörlitz Touristik adds the perspective from travel companies and the members of the Advisory Council from MotelOne Germany, Hotel Mercure MOA Berlin or Holiday Inn Berlin Airport contribute the points of view of the hotel and catering industry.

It certainly sounds like a true cross section of the industry.
It definitely is. There are also generalists and specialists on it and large companies, as well as small or medium-sized businesses.

What was particularly important to you and the university management when selecting the right businesses for the Advisory Council?
In addition to the cross-section of industry, there had to also be companies on it who had an affinity to universities - companies that could find the strength and commitment to actually support the bbw University of Applied Sciences in teaching and research. And, of course, such a body had to be able to function and therefore not be too large. I think it’s been a success.

How does the Tourism and Event Management Advisory Council work?
It meets up to twice a year to attend meetings or conferences. In between, its members work and communicate as needed.

What does the workload in your Advisory Council depend on?
The main thing is the tasks the university delegates to its experts and the ideas they themselves suggest or want to discuss. For example, whether there are specific projects for new courses of study.

Is there currently another range of courses planned in addition to the Bachelor’s degree in Economics with the specialisation in Tourism and Event Management?
Yes. The Bachelor’s degree in Economics has been extremely well-established in the University’s eight-year history. It is even the course of study with the most students. Because of the rising demand for skilled labour and because of the fact that many companies know that their competitive position is determined largely by their employees, there are very specific interests from large companies in dual study courses, which, if they are well designed and implemented, enable a good connection between the students and the challenges of an organisation via internships and research tasks.

Why do companies that want this come to bbw University of Applied Sciences?
I think that it’s because a private university can react faster and more flexibly. Certainly if they, like bbw University of Applied Sciences is, are institutionally-accredited and system-accredited.

How does the cooperation of the Advisory Council on the implementation of new courses of study work in concrete terms?
We help by outlining the demands for technical and managerial personnel and the special skillsets required. According to them, we make recommendations, submit proposals on specific module content and call attention to industry trends.

Is that then sufficient motivation for innovative managers who run companies, some of them quite large, to provide referrals in the long run?
The fact that our professional statement is explicitly desired is the basis for our voluntary commitment. And naturally we also expect that our proposals are also openly discussed and that much is also implemented in the decisions. That is certainly a motivation for the members of the advisory council. Many of them want more than ever before, as I know from many discussions, to do more to promote young talent and therefore support the future of their companies. But it is of course, for most of them, an exciting new experience to be involved in the development processes of the largest state-recognised private university in Berlin and Brandenburg. If they can also attract trainees and graduates to their company and contribute Bachelor’s and Master’s thesis topics or even research assignments, I think it’s also a real bonus for a company.

And of course the university also offers their economic experts the opportunity to take on guest lectures or teaching jobs.
I think the whole package is attractive and that the bbw University of Applied Sciences is an interesting place which, in my experience, motivates most executives.

What’s left on the agenda for 2015?
Collaborative agreements are being prepared. Two have already been completed. On this basis, bbw industry-specific services directly support the business of individual tourism corporate partners with their specialist and management development, but also in industry-related education and further training. Practical training establishments and lecturers are being attracted. In addition, regular evaluations of the current Bachelor’s degree courses are planned. And the Advisory Council provides the university with support, for example, with events such as the Recruiting Career Day or similar events, which bring companies, students and graduates together as early as possible. There’s a lot of work to be done.

In the short term or long term?
I think mainly by the end of the year. But I’ll plan and distribute the work well. My 20 years of management experience, many of them as a director, will certainly do me good here.

When the new range of courses is done and dusted, what are the next targets?
When the new range of courses is up and running, we want to strengthen the interdisciplinary exchange of information of all advisory councils and partner companies of the university. A newsletter will help with this, which will inform companies in the network and the members of the advisory council twice a year about the developments at the university. This way we can make bbw University of Applied Sciences even more well-known in the industry. In this regard, we will extend our network. It would be interesting to ask, after the first five years of graduates, what has become of them. In addition, some companies want to offer a scholarship. The details are still to be confirmed... So we have plenty of ideas and projects to last a good few years.