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profile

¡Hola a todos! I’m Carolina Middel Soria (and yes, I have two last names). I come from a coastal town called Blanes on the Costa Brava, Spain. It is a really warm place with lots of beautiful places to visit and only a 40 min drive away from Barcelona. It is also next to Lloret de Mar, the famous city everyone comes to, to have parties in the summer.

In Barcelona I study my major of Computer Engineering in UPC. Right now I’m doing an Erasmus exchange here in Eindhoven. For my exchange semester I had a wide range of countries to choose from. Eventually I chose the Netherlands because as you might have noticed, if you didn’t, I am telling you now, my first last name is actually Dutch. It comes from my father’s side, his whole family lives here. Even though I cannot speak Dutch yet, I do want to to learn it while I am here.

To say the truth, before coming to the Netherlands I felt quite lost. I am finishing my bachelor, but I don’t what I want next or even what I like doing right now. Then while reading what programs the Netherlands offered I felt captivated by the description of Embrace TEC. I just couldn’t imagine a minor in which I fit as I do here now. Here I have discovered myself, people listen to me, pay attention to me and I can actually contribute to something meaningful (not just study and pass exams).

During the detox weeks of the minor I grew personally and found a balance I really like. What was missing was which path I wanted to take in my career. This eventually led me to pick the Company Adventure Track, together with my bro Jonathan. We are now doing an internship and working on a cool project for DHL.

Let’s see how it goes, you are welcome to take this adventure with us. We will be updating it every week!

expectations

This week we get to know the track ambassador even better and see what expectations they have of the minor and the track.

project

Hello again!

The ADVENTURE has started and everything is running smoothly 

We are currently interviewing DHL employees to get to know their level of engagement while working from home, to get their insights and some anecdotes. Later on, we will study all their feelings and stories and make different persona profiles. This will help us get to know what DHL has to improve and help them by remarking their employees needs while working from home. 

We are very enthusiastic with the project because it is a real circumstance a lot of people have struggled with during Corona times.

Brainstorming requirements
Brainstorming ideas
Brainstorming Groow proces

The next step will be to send a questionnaire to all the NL DHL employees to get their opinion about the online communication engagement in general. After that, we are planning to create some charts to reflect the situation, so it is easier to understand.

deepdive: professionalisation

What does professionalization mean and what are the intended learning goals of this within the CA track?

Sandra & Stella

track owners

Professionalization is the process through which the student develops a professional attitude within an internship or working context with a company. Within the Company Adventure track students learn to interface with different stakeholders outside of the school environment and how to communicate properly with supervisors, colleagues and clients

They learn to take into account deliverables and client requests and to align his/her design-based working knowledge with the necessities of the stakeholders to create added value for the company.

As a professional, we expect the student to develop a pro-active attitude, the ability to work independently (whilst also being able to ask for input and direction when needed) and the ability to take into account the different viewpoint of the stakeholders involved.

Hello followers! Today I am going to talk about my professional experience and growth during my company adventure in DHL. It has been really challenging for me as it’s my first internship in such a big company.

Although we are now in a good way, and it’s all going good, we have also had some downs during this adventure.

For me, the most challenging experience has been communication. How to write emails to the managers in DHL and our tutor, how to express ourselves and how to really communicate our thoughts. However, it is just practice. After a lot of contact, we came up with a good strategy (good structure, some formal connectors and a friendly opening and closing) and same with the interviews. My advice: try to always find the balance between formal and friendly.

The best lesson I get from this is that it is normal for you to feel nervous and small while speaking to a manager in such a large company, nevertheless they are humans too, they are empathic, and they will listen to you and won’t judge. Shake off your nervousness and insecurities. Communication is human’s unique skill!

deepdive: deliverables

Can you tell us why it is important to set deliverables for a project and align this with the company’s expectations and satisfaction?

Sandra & Stella

track owners

In every project it’s important to know your starting point and your desired outcome: it gives you direction and purpose throughout the execution of it. Within the Company Adventure track we make use of open-ended challenges, which means that the outcome is not predetermined and allows the student to explore multiple content areas.

Defining deliverables, especially for an open-ended challenge, is a complex task, mostly influenced by time constraints and technical feasibility. By using a design-based working process the student gathers insight into the need/problem of the company and the requirements from the stakeholders. We teach the student to define their own challenge and deliverables based on these insights.

The overall goal is always to create an added value for the company, it is extremely important that the student constantly aligns their vision with the expectations from the company.

We are getting to the end of the adventure and we are now in the point of getting the deliverable/solution for the company ready. It’s been hard to decide the best way of implementing the solution, as our project is a research of the employees' insights about their communication engagement.

After a brainstorming week with our own ideas and also from outsiders and tutors to have a different point of view, we were in between the two that stood out the most: making a video or an infographic.

Finally, as a team we decided to do an infographic that visually shows the conclusions, results and insights obtained from the surveys and interviews clearly. So, we can also challenge ourselves and improve our designing skills! 

Let’s see if it ends up being something presentable.

deepdive: design-based working

Can you tell us how design-based working is beneficial for any professional? And why do we emphasise so much on this aspect in our education?

Sandra & Stella

track owners

The world and our society are both changing fast, making us face new and complex challenges for wicked problems. Most (smart) companies are learning to adapt to this change and many agree that human-centred development is key to this adaptation.

That is where design-based working comes in as a tool to iterate and come up with new solutions that focus on what’s most important for the users. Through the steps of design-based working, the students acquire a systematic approach to walk through a design and development process, from ideation to functional prototypes. They learn to “think outside the box” and to look at problems from different perspectives, identify requirements and define their own design criteria. As well as learn to develop new products based on constant interaction with the stakeholders and make iterations based on (lo-fi) prototyping and user-feedback. 

One of the things I have learned during Embrace that I will definitely use the rest of my career is design-based working. 

We have been using it during the whole company adventure track, first to empathise with our stakeholders up until the end when making prototypes.

For the first steps we empathised with our stakeholders and interviewed them, from which we got a lot of insights. Both in which way we should do interviews as well as into their real feelings and opinions. We also learned that you almost always get superficial answers, not real ones. Which means you should ask even more questions, to get to the real ones.

Moreover, now that we are getting to the final solution, it has been really useful to create prototypes to show to our tutors from the minor Embrace as well as the company stakeholders to get feedback on.

(Stella’s biggest tip : always say it is a prototype, so people are more comfortable about giving feedback.)

reaction & reflection

coming soon!