“The Vienna Innovation ProgramWU is the perfect opportunity to dig deeper in various innovation topics.”

This year’s edition of the Vienna Innovation ProgramWU was taking place online for the first time. For two weeks, WU students from the Strategy, Innovation, and Management Control (SIMC) and Management master programs were working together with MBA students from WU partner universities on innovation projects. The academic program was led by a team from WU’s Institute for Strategy, Technology and Organization, headed by Univ.-Prof. Dr. Christopher Lettl.

Josh sees the Vienna Innovation Program as an excellent opportunity to engage with students from all over the world: “We were presented with proven, cutting-edge innovation methods, and connected with a corporate partner to test out what we were learning. Our teams were diverse and collaborative, and the program was designed to help these teams work together to find great solutions.”

Tina adds, “The program is the perfect opportunity to dig deeper in various innovation topics. Participants get to discuss and analyze a great variety of practical examples in theory sessions, research and discussions with peers.”

Josh Wilson from McCombs School of Business of The University of Texas at Austin.

WU Blog: Why did you decide to participate in the Vienna Innovation Program and what makes the program stand out?

Josh: I choose to participate in the Vienna Innovation Program for a few reasons. McCombs encourages all students to gain a global worldview of business during their MBA, and Vienna was one of the options available. I have had the opportunity to engage in global business with Mexico and China, but have not had the chance to visit Vienna before. The first reason was the excitement of the new adventure. The second reason is that the program is geared towards Innovation, which is a topic of focus for my MBA. Innovating is not easy, and I wanted to learn new techniques in an immersive way alongside colleagues from around the world.

“The team at WU Vienna has done an amazing job creating a virtual intensive experience.”

Tina: The program gives students the possibility to interact with fellow students who have years of experience in various industries. Especially for master students at WU, it is valuable to get insights from business operations from other countries and to get the opportunity to combine theoretical knowledge gained throughout the studies with real life experiences of fellow students.

WU Blog: What are your thoughts on knowledge sharing in this virtual and international environment? How important were different teaching methods to ensure a balanced learning experience?

Josh: The team at WU Vienna has done an amazing job creating a virtual intensive experience. There was a great balance of in-class lecture, breakout discussions, team projects, independent assignments, and social opportunities. The classroom has been extremely engaging and I have learned a lot through this experience. I think a strength of the program is the local business partner component that allows students to work on a two-week case with a company. This year’s partner, Strabag, has been very present and responsive, and has presented us with challenges that gave us an opportunity to apply our learnings in real-time. It was also fun working with teammates that have extremely diverse backgrounds. We are more similar than you might think, but we also have our own unique viewpoints and approaches to each of the challenges.

Tina: Getting to know a diverse and cross-cultural team is quite a challenge in an online setting. By having in depth discussions about various topics, we were able to get to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and to grow together as a team. For us, it was important to get to know each other on a personal level right at the beginning in order to develop our own way of working across multiple time zones.

WU Strategy, Innovation, and Management Control student Tina Reitmeier shares her insights with us.

Josh can recommend the Vienna Innovation Program “to anyone looking to broaden their global perspective, meet some great people from other universities, and gain a solid innovation foundation while testing it out in the real world. Overall, the Vienna Innovation Program is an enjoyable and engaging experience!”