What can I a group of students do for a big media festival to strengthen its position as an national or even international platform? A lot, I can tell you that!
I was an exchange student in Netherland last spring. I studied Art and Economics in the University of the Arts Utrecht. There I took part in a project where the idea was to solve a problem using design thinking method. My team’s client was a Dutch media festival called Dutch Media Week. They struggled with finding more partners for their festival, especially on an international level.
That’s where a group of student’s came to the rescue! Three out of four of our team members were international students. From time to time it was challenging to work with different communication habits and ways of working. It definitely gave me an opportunity to learn something new about intercultural sensitivity. I highly recommend everyone to work with a group of international people if you ever get a change for that.
About the project itself. We got the assignment from our client, but we as a team made the decision how to move forward. In design thinking method you follow five different phases. The first step was to come up with our research questions before we could actually start the research.
It was an interesting journey, especially the empathize phase. That was the phase where we gathered all the information we needed, for example by interviewing other similar companies. It was exciting to talk with people from events, such as Dutch Design Week and Ars Electronica.
After empathizing, defining and ideating we came up with a prototype as a part of a solution for our client’s issue. We created something called “Dutch Media Week Academy”. The basic idea behind that was to create a platform for the amateur artists to learn from professionals about different topics in media.
Before the project I didn’t have a clue how does the design thinking method work. Throughout that journey I learned so much about researching, project managing and most importantly about working in a multicultural environment.
If you have a change to do a project abroad, DO IT!