After working separately on the consulting projects for two weeks, the Politecnico students came to Antwerp to finish what was started in Milan.
The Milan students arrived on Sunday, early in the morning, in Brussels and explored our capital first for a couple of hours. In the evening we invited them to join the class on the monthly AMS students’ night organised by our amazing student council. Unfortunately, the Milan students decided to stay in and go to bed early because they were exhausted from having to catch their early flight to Brussels.
However, this is not necessarily something negative. Well rested students mean high productive students, whom in some groups were needed. We got the full Monday to finalize the projects, tweak the last ideas and fine-tune the last dots and commas. Luckily AMS greeted us in the morning with chocolate eggs to keep the spirit up during the day.
Having round up all the work, we were treated on a cultural and culinary evening in Antwerp. We were first invited to a beer and chocolate pairing. We got to taste three beers with a specific taste and were given the right chocolate to increase the flavour. We also got to try out the chocolate shooter. It’s a device which allows you to snort chocolate powder and was designed for, who else, the Rolling Stones.
After the tasting we were invited to go to “de Burgerij” to enjoy a quality burger and had a great evening with an amazing group of people.
After a good night’s rest, we had to come to school on Tuesday and present what we had been working on. First groups to present their ideas were the groups that were challenged to design the next Barco product. It was amazing to see how innovative and realistic these dreams for the future were. After the Barco presentations, it was time for the Steelcase groups to present what they found. They had to explore the future possibilities of cooperation with dealers for Steelcase. Again the ideas were highly innovative and enormously technology driven.
At the end of the day there was an official reception organised in which all the students were thanked for their hard work and were handed a certificate for participating in the Strategic Design Seminar. Each company also had the honour to declare a winning team that made the most fitting design given the assignment that was handed to us. For Barco this team was “The Flying Dolphins” and for Steelcase, the winning team was “The Disturbing Penguins”.
After the official ceremony the Milan students took over the foyer and started a small Latin party which got everybody’s feet moving. Guided by our fantastic MC (Master of Catering) Martin, this party became one of the best MIE experiences we had so far this year.
I would like to thank all professors and program managers who did their best to make this seminar an experience we will remember for the rest of our lives. A big thanks to the Milano students for the huge amount of work they did for the projects and the good spirits they brought into the group. And last but not least, thanks MIE for spreading the love!