MUNPlanet: Please introduce yourself and your summer school to our community.
I´m Oliver and the Co-head of GESS. GESS has started eight years ago in Munich and it has grown more and more professional every year. We are now cooperating with SAP, one of the biggest software companies worldwide. So this year we are really going global. GESS is a summer school that is not just aiming to have participants from all over the globe, but is also taking place in three different continents simultaneously. International experts are forming the coaching team of GESS, providing individual guidance for our team members in every city.
MUNPlanet: For those in a hurry, can you tell us why people should attend your summer school in one sentence?
If you are looking for an experience that could change your life, you should definitely apply for GESS and profit from travelling to the world´s most buzzing metropolises, meeting other like minded students from all over the world and overall: transform our world into a better planet!
MUNPlanet: Students attend programs such as yours to improve some of their existing skills or acquire new ones altogether. What are some key skills that the participants will be able to improve/acquire by attending your program?
First of all: It´s all about doing! You have to start. That´s the first step.By really evolving business model concepts that could, if realised, affect the life of aBillion people, you basically gain all the skills needed to create your own social startup in the future. Just have a look atbinee, an idea formed at GESS. Well, they have just introduced their product at CeBIT, the leading international IT exhibition and conference…
With GESS, you improve your team spirit, you gain a network of high professionals worldwide, your team is getting individual coaching in finances, storytelling, design thinking etc. But most importantly: you start. You start creating change in the world.
MUNPlanet: If you could imagine the perfect candidate for your summer school, what would their qualifications be?
We want students who are motivated, committed and have team spirit. No matter which country or discipline you are from - the more diverse, the better. What counts is if you have the willingness to improve our planet. You are open-minded and willing to work in team with other people just like you? Apply now and we will all meet at GESS!
MUNPlanet: The Global Entrepreneurship Summer School takes place simultaneously in Munich, Shanghai and Mexico City. These all sound magical, but which one would you express as your preference if you were applying?
If I was to apply at GESS, I would apply for Munich. Simply because that´s where it all started and I have amazing experiences tied to each GESS that took place in the last eight years. But thinking about Shanghai or Mexico City - two of the most fascinating capitals of the world, maybe I would change my mind… But that's actually what makes GESS so special: no matter, where you will end up - you will have an experience that you will look back at for the rest of your life.
MUNPlanet: Since GESS takes place in three cities, will the program be the same in all of them, or will be there be any differences?
There will be no differences regarding the content of our GESS input sessions. But seeing that you get individual expert coaching at each of the venues and you work very closely with your other team members, sure you will have a different experience in all of the cities. But the good thing is that there will be people from all over the world in every venue. So even if you go to Mexico City, you will meet people from Australia, Ghana or the United States. And you can also get in touch with the other teams spread over the three different continents.
MUNPlanet: Where are your previous participants now? And does your summer school have an alumni organization?
All of our participants stay connected in our closed GESS facebook group. They are spread all over the world, but we love seeing how they still support each other in their projects, even though not every team is still working on their initial idea. The best moments are when we see former participants posting pictures with each other from somewhere in the world. Sure it makes sense to visit your friends after GESS if you are close to their home town, no matter where in the world that is.
MUNPlanet: What is the most important lesson that you want your participants to leave with once the program is over?
We want our participants to experience how it feels like to create something that could really make a difference in this world. We want them to make friends for life. Friends who they can work with and benefit from in the future and who are spread over the whole planet. We have experienced GESS participants coming back as coaches years later. So having the feeling to be part of a community that wants to change the world for the better - that´s how we want every participant to go out of GESS.Oliver, thank you for devoting your time to MUN Spotlight and telling us more about you and your summer school. MUNPlanet is looking forward to your event and strongly advises all MUNers to check it out. Good luck and we wish you all the best!