Support for cross-border education in the Upper Rhine region

HsKA student receives 1st Prize of the Prix Bartholdi 2018 for his outstanding internship report

October 29, 2018

Each year Prix Bartholdi conducts a tri-national competition for Business Management and Economics students from the Upper Rhine region who did an internship abroad as part of their studies. Besides academic excellence the prize winners need to demonstrate very good language skills as well as intercultural competence, which is of particular importance to the Upper Rhine Metropolitan Region.

Mr. Josua Printz has been studying on the Business Administration and Engineering Bachelor’s program at Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences since 2014. As part of his degree he went to Argentina for a study semester, followed by a one-semester internship in industry. For his outstanding internship report, which also dealt with everyday culture in Argentina, Mr. Printz was awarded the 1st Prize of the Prix Bartholdi. There were five other candidates from Switzerland, France, and Germany in the running for the 3,000 EUR prize money in the final round of the competition.

Supported by the German-Argentinian University Center, dahz-cuaa, a dual-degree Bachelor’s program in Business Administration and Engineering (“Wirtschaftsingenieurwesen/Ingeniería Industrial“) was established by Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences and its Argentinian partner, Universidad Nacional del Litoral in the city of Santa Fe. It was this program that allowed Josua Printz to spend one year in Argentina, where he first studied at the partner university for one semester, followed, in the summer semester of 2017, by an internship semester at CCU Argentina, the subsidiary of a Chilean drinks manufacturer. He worked in the “Servicios Auxiliares” department, whose responsibility it is to make sure that there is compressed air, cooling, steam, electrical energy, and clean water for the drinks production, which means that it is in charge of the maintenance of several rooms with numerous engines, pumps, compressors, and other machinery.

It was Mr. Printz’s main responsibility during his internship to develop a new maintenance management concept for this department, i.e. an ideal system of maintenance for the entire machinery, with various tasks spread out over the entire year, thus reducing machinery downtime and optimizing the work schedule of the mechanics. Doing so took a lot of convincing of co-workers and supervisors, as the systems had until then been geared towards allowing for stoppages through double and triple system redundancies.

“During my year in Argentina“, Josua Printz said, “I learned so much about the people and the culture of Argentina. I didn’t just get a taste of a foreign culture, instead I was living it at uni, at work and at home.”

“We try to prepare our students for the global labor market in the best possible way“, explained Prof. Dr. Angelika Altmann-Dieses, Vice-President for Academic and International Affairs at Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences and also Mr. Printz’s supervisor in the Faculty of Management Science and Engineering. “Such study periods abroad offer our students a perhaps once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to gain international experience, and we are very happy that we are able to prepare them for this comprehensively through a wide range of programs and initiatives.”

The Prix Bartholdi was first awarded in 2001 in the town of Colmar. It is named after the Colmar-born sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi (1834–1904), whose most famous work is the Statue of Liberty in New York. Prix Bartholdi is the only prize in higher education that is awarded across the borders of the German-French-Swiss Upper Rhine region. It is the aim of the Prix Bartholdi to promote and support the internationalization of higher as well as professional education and thus the competitiveness and attractiveness of the Upper Rhine region as a location for science and business, while at the same time promoting cooperation between its higher education institutions.