On 1-6 September 2019 the annual block-seminar for Master students of the joint-degree program CEMS MiM was held. This year the seminar was dedicated to the topic "Smart Business Transformation in the Digital Age". CEMS students from around the globe took part in the event.
The seminar opened with a panel discussion on the topic "Digital Transformation" with the participation of Marina Sukhova, Head of Digital CPD, L’Oreal, Kirill Guriev, Ingria Business Incubator, Gennady Artemchenko, Digital Design, and Associate Professor of the Department of Information Technology in Management, Sergey A. Yablonsky. The discussion was moderated by Academic Director for International Programs at GSOM Senior Lecturer, Department of Strategic and International Management Olga V. Makarova. During the discussion, experts talked about such issues as technological trends of the past three years, the strategy of transformation of digital business at the global and regional levels, as well as digital business models. Marina Sukhova also gave a guest lecture for the seminar participants.
Kirill Guriev, Ingria Business Incubator consultant gives speech at the panel discussion within Block Seminar
In addition to lectures and panel discussions, event participants visited several Russian digital companies. On an excursion to Yandex, students talked with a Data Science Product Manager at “Yandex.Classifieds”, Senior Lecturer of the department of Information technology in management, Vladimir Gorovoy. The second company was MegaFon.
According to Associate Professor, Academic Director of CEMS MiM Program at GSOM SPbU Joan Freixanet, company visits during the seminar creates a separate advantage for international students: “the participation from local managers and the visits to local companies enables participants to get a grasp of the unique Russian economic environment. Russian firms share some specific interesting features, such as the capacity to dynamically adapt to a highly changing external environment, and it is interesting for participants to realize the differences with western-type companies” — says Associate Professor.
CEMS Block Seminar participants at Yandex
Following the seminar, students prepared and defended group projects. The main topics were: “Digital transformation of enterprise documentation management”, “Digital transformation of enterprise compliance management”, “Digital transformation of enterprise maintenance management” and “Digital transformation of enterprise legal documentation management”.
Pawel Nowak, a student of Warsaw School of Economics, comments on the seminar: “Block Seminar was both very challenging and fruitful experience for me. Digital transformation is a crucial topic in terms of future work, so it was a perfect possibility to get some knowledge in this matter. Panel discussions, company visits, consultations with experts and group project — these all activities made the schedule intense but on the other hand, the outcome was very satisfying. Course was conducted in a very professional way, lecturers were engaged and open for discussions. Moreover, organizational part was prepared perfectly. To sum up, it was a very challenging and effort-consuming week but on the other hand also really satisfying one”.
The block seminar is a traditional format of a training event for students of the CEMS MiM program. As a part of the seminar, students from different CEMS schools gather in one of the partner universities. This year, 21 students from the Vienna University of Economics and Business, Corvinus University, ESADE School of Business, St. Gallen University and other CEMS alliance members came to GSOM SPbU. The lecturers at the block seminar were associate professor Sergei A. Yablonsky and senior lecturer Maxim Yu. Arzumanyan. The main partner was Digital Design company.