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RANEPA students did internship at Vrije University Amsterdam (VIDEO)

08 August2019
RANEPA students did internship at Vrije University Amsterdam (VIDEO)

Students of the Psychology Faculty of the Institute for Social Sciences (ISS) of RANEPA did internship at Vrije University Amsterdam in Creativity and Innovation.

The course in Creativity and Innovation at Vrije University is taught by an international team with strong management experience and excellent academic knowledge. The teachers have a significant practice of doing real business. The course includes a practical unit in addition to the theoretical unit. The students have practical work at the company that is a corporate partner of VU Amsterdam. The students solved innovative business tasks in the real business environment, presenting their solutions to the company's management at the end of the practical work.

“Innovation and creativity are the key success factors in many industries. They contribute to the introduction of new technologies, development of products and services, development of strategies to ensure competitive advantages. Real innovative ideas can create new markets and add value to the company, or even transform its entire business model. But what are the mechanisms for creating an organizational culture of innovation? Which of the creative ideas are suitable for the organization? And how to manage them effectively? This course, organized by VU in cooperation with the University of Cardiff in Wales, was aimed at investigation of creativity and innovation in the corporate environment. Introducing new ways of perception, understanding and approach to these aspects of the business matrix, the course showed how they can affect the organizational culture, the market and the final business performance”, – Christina Ivanenko, the coordinator of the internship, Candidate of Psychological Sciences, Associate Professor at the Psychology Faculty, ISS of RANEPA, noted.

Anastasia Kalacheva, a member of the delegation, a master's student of the Psychology Faculty, ISS of RANEPA, told how the study was organized: “The differences in the educational process were obvious from the very beginning: students had to prepare an essay showing their understanding of the main theme of the course before the summer school. But the theme should be developed based on the theses of the TED speakers, researchers who showed themselves in the educational or scientific filed, and focused their attention on the introduction of innovations in everyday life. Thus, we were already a little prepared for the introductory lecture of the course.

At one of the first lectures we were divided into mini-subgroups to perform all subsequent group tasks. This was very unusual because we are all carriers of different cultures, with different areas of training, in addition to the development of new information, we also learned to interact with each other. But it definitely was fruitful, together we showed much more creative solutions.

I noted for myself that the professors sought to support any theoretical part with the real practical case. I wanted to look for more information on each slide of the presentations, in general, we spent much time on self-training.

The final group task was to prepare a presentation about the company Tough Mudder, to develop recommendations for its development and formation of a leading position in the market. The individual task involved writing an essay on the theme close to the theme of the course, based on all sources plus at least 4 additional articles. It was a good challenge, because we had to combine the newly learned material, information on the selected issues, to show a good language level – and all this in a short time. But a journey of thousand miles begins with a single step, doing the job, I realized that I want to develop the theme in a subsequent scientific article in English.

I would also like to say about the work practice that we held in KPN – the largest company providing communication services in the Netherlands, these are innovators in their market segment. We had little idea what we were going to do: in the end, we thought up new ways to use the chip for tracking, presented solutions, our solution even won in a difficult competition! If our case is at least partially implemented in the projects of the company, it will be another reason for pride from visiting the internship”.

One more member of the delegation, a master’s student at the Psychology Faculty, ISS of RANEPA, Alina Vyatkina shared her opinion about the internship: “Our group was very diverse: all students were from different continents, different age categories, with different profiles of academic training. Someone brightly expressed the opinion on each practical issue, someone tried to keep silent, but it still did not work out: everybody was drawn to active work. Towards the end of the course, everyone felt psychologically comfortable and did not hesitate to defend the points of view.

Mirella Kleijnen, Rob Morgan and Stephen Cardos, Professors of the course, showed top class of material possession, constantly recommended additional sources of information, were both motivators and inspirers. We repeatedly appealed to them for help in the process of preparing the text tasks: asked to moderate the choice of sources, to adjust the research plan, to explain from which side in general to approach the selected phenomenon.”

As for the overall impression, according to Anastasia Kalacheva, the Netherlands is an amazing country. “With a large number of highly qualified personnel, global companies in the market, the balance between work and life is in the first place here. The Dutch tend to spend the maximum free time with their family, in the evenings the streets are deserted, because everyone is busy preparing a family dinner. Companies support such lifestyle because the investigation found that professional burnout hits the budget more than other problems. The Netherlands is rich in art museums and technical achievements,” the student said.

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