A primary objective of the European Master in Food Studies programme is to provide participants with the necessary cross-cultural communication skills to work successfully in teams. Careers in the food industry often involve significant interaction with multidisciplinary groups and this assignment is excellent preparation for the type of project management responsibilities that graduates will encounter in the workplace.
The Team Project is one of the programme’s most substantial courses, consisting of one week Team Building plus initiation and execution of a project by the students themselves over the course of the entire programme; this all merely as an extracurricular assignment. The autonomous preparation, execution and reporting of the project includes the brainstorming for ideas, selection of proposals, sourcing expertise and assistance, executing field work and the oral and written presentation of results. To ensure that all targets of the project are met, students will be able to access expertise in the partner universities and companies. Progress meetings with the project team coaches scheduled throughout the execution provide each team with guidance.
The project’s initial stages aim to enhance students’ curiosity while developing the necessary skills for translating ideas into project plans. In parallel, students are trained in the general approaches to project management employed by successful companies. In February of Year 1 in Cork, project proposals are presented to the Board and the definitive project topics are being selected. During the subsequent execution of the project work, students will learn to balance technical aspects of the project with the communication and organization skills necessary for project management.
The team project is concluded with the writing of the report and presentation of results to a large audience on the last day of the programme.
Topics covered in previous team projects include: