Experience – mentoring – learning
Manager Shadowing across the Border is an international project which could be organized thanks to the financial support of Visegrad Fund. The goal of the project is to connect the students of the V4 countries (Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Czech Republic) and give them the possibility to learn from the top managers.
Find out more about the interns and their stories in the Diary of Shadows.
“The internship “Shadowing Across Border” was one of the best experiences in my professional life. There is no better way to learn than observe managers’ everyday duties and challenges. It definitely helps young managers better understand business market and its entire environment.” (Agnieszka Szukwiec, Mamacoffee)
“The internship was mostly about inspiration for me. To see how these people have worked so hard to be perfect at work they are doing and satisfy always their customers. I have learned, that every idea is worth trying.” (Kovacsova, Mamacoffee)
The Manager Shadowing across the Border project is an international project which comes from the concept of Manager Shadowing which has been organized within the Czech Republic for more than 20 years. The main idea is based on the win – win principle. Students get a real – life experience in managing a company and working in a team of people, managers get a unique opportunity to see their work from different perspective. This new perspective comes from young people who are not influenced by a 10 year long experience of the labor market and therefore can offer a fresh look on the processes the company is using. The interns also come from different countries and cultures, which adds up to the potential of generating original ideas. Managers of the companies which choose to participate in this project were impressed by the students’ performance and considered them a benefit to their company, too.
Mamacoffee is the first Czech fairtrade coffee roaster company. It imports coffee from all over the world, roasts it and then sells the beans to costumers and cafes. It also runs several cafes directly as well as bakeries. Therefore, the interns who came to shadow managers of Mamacoffee not only learnt how to run a very specific type of business, but also tasted many cups of delicious coffee and became baristas on their own. The internship was full of unique experiences for the students, but they were also a big contribution for the company. As Mamacoffee becomes more and more successful on the Czech market, it has been considering the expansion into other Central European countries. The specific knowledge of students about their country’s market was therefore very valuable in analyzing the markets and creating a strategy for a potential entry.
It is generally well-known that Microsoft has many CSR activities in the countries where it operates. However, until recently, they did not have any single document covering all such initiatives in the whole region of Central Europe. It is no longer true due to the excellent students who came to Prague as a part of the Manager Shadowing across the Border project. Six students from Hungary, Poland and Slovakia came to the Czech Republic not only to learn many new experiences from the top managers of this highly respected world-wide company, but also to use the knowledge from their countries, their language skills and determination to help Microsoft in the preparation of this key CSR publication, which can also serve as inspiration to others companies in starting their CSR projects.
Bookassist is a provider of a booking technology and online marketing strategy for the hotel industry in several European countries. Due to the fact that the company has only a few employees, the interns experienced an almost family atmosphere and had very intensive insights into this company’s operations. As the company also operates in the V4 countries, students were helping to write several reviews on hotels from their countries to which they could add the personal knowledge of the place.
The project is financed by International Visegrad Fund