German for Enterprise
Linking languages with business: new ‘German for Enterprise’ module
Staff and Students in Germanic Studies are realising the University’s mission of “global education in a civic university” in a new project which links talented undergraduate linguists with local business.
The final-year students from the School of Languages and Cultures, who have just returned from working and studying in Germany and Austria, are helping local small and medium enterprises to boost their profile in German-speaking Europe. Numill Ltd., a specialist tool manufacture and reclamation firm based very close to the University, and Kozi Kidz, a local Anglo-Swedish firm which designs and produces outdoor clothing for the under-10s, have asked our students to help with websites and promotional material to build up their business in Europe, as well as to prepare for visits to the vital trade fairs which take place in Germany each year. Linda Torstensson of Kozi Kidz remarked that “This project is excellently timed for us as we have just signed a distributor in the German market!”
The initial links with regional businesses were made at a UK Trade and Industry event attended by the UK Consul General in Munich, Paul Heardman (an alumnus of the School of Languages and Cultures) and Henriette Louwerse (Germanic Studies). The project is now being taken forward by Caroline Bland and Giles Harrington, who perceive ‘German for Enterprise’ as a great opportunity for students to see the tangible benefits of their linguistic and intercultural skills for UK employers. Germanic Studies students will also have the opportunity to participate in the “Unternehmergeist” programme organised by Giles Harrington: a new e-learning platform designed to help students prepare for the annual German Business Student of the Year Competition, which has paid internships to offer to the winners. The project group is hosting a reception for local business leaders and students in the Humanities Research Institute on 29 October.