Group portrait with lady (from left): REHAU President Jobst Wagner, the winners Florin Osterwalder, Matthias Hille, Tamara Stier, Marco Eugster and Sebastian Weissbeck in the front row; behind from the left Prof. Dr. Helmut Pernsteiner, Prof. Dr. Andreas Hack, Prof. Dr. Freimut Bodendorf, Deputy CEO Stefan Girschik, Prof. Dr. Torsten M. Kühlmann and Prof. Dr. Thomas Friedli.
As every year in fall, polymer specialist REHAU also awarded the now highly coveted business prize this year. In total, the company awarded 12,000 Swiss francs – the prize money this year was shared between five winners. Their outstanding theses were assessed by the jury according to the criteria of logic/method, presentation, feasibility, innovation content and international relevance.
Tamara Stier, Florin Osterwalder, Sebastian Weissbeck, Marco Eugster and Matthias Hille gratefully and with much relief received the aperitif offered in the cafeteria of the REHAU headquarters in Muri after the official part of the award ceremony. After all, the five award winners of the REHAU business prize had several lively hours behind them. Contributing to this was not only the exciting award but also introducing themselves to a high-profile audience.
Still, next to jury members Prof. Dr. Freimut Bodendorf from Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg (business information technology), Prof. Dr. Thomas Friedli from the University of St. Gallen (production management), Prof. Dr. Andreas Hack from the University of Bern (organization and personnel), Prof. Dr. Torsten M. Kühlmann from the University of Bayreuth (management studies and personnel) and Prof. Dr. Helmut Pernsteiner from Johannes Kepler University Linz (finance) were REHAU President Jobst Wagner, who personally conducted the award ceremony, Deputy CEO Dr. Stefan Girschik and many managers of the polymer specialist.
The main prize, endowed with 5,000 Swiss francs, went to Tamara Stier from the University of Bayreuth. She convinced the jury, consisting of the university representatives and Jobst Wagner as well as Dr. Stefan Girschik as the business representative, with her outstanding master's thesis on Intercultural Experience of Managers and Internationalization Success of the Company (Interkulturelle Erfahrung von Führungskräften und Internationalisierungserfolg des Unternehmens).
“Written very fluently, exciting to read; clear presentation; the work is theoretically and empirically structured cleanly and absolutely deserves the award on the basis of its quality,” was also the laudatory judgment of the examining body. Tamara Stier, born in 1990, holds a master's degree in human resources and international management from the University of Bayreuth. The young winner grew up in the Hohenloher Land near Künzelsau, Germany.
The two recognition awards went to Florin Osterwalder (University of St. Gallen) with 3,000 Swiss francs and to Sebastian Weissbeck (ETH Zurich) with 2,000 Swiss francs. The special awards, each worth 1,000 Swiss francs, went to Marco Eugster (University of St. Gallen) and Matthias Hille from the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg.
In his laudatory speech, jury president Prof. Dr. Thomas Friedli emphasized that only works graded excellent entered the race and all award-winning works display above-average quality.
Furthermore, he said “that, unlike the consumer goods industry which is noticed by the end consumer because of its brands and products, companies in the supply industry unfortunately enjoy a lower level of recognition in the labor and product markets.” They are not recognized appropriately by the general public, why it is sensible to raise awareness of this industrial sector including among university graduates.
A further note was made of the strict distance rule, which means that no university representatives are permitted to assess works from their own university.
The official part of the award ceremony was followed, as already mentioned initially, by the standing reception at the headquarters and a dinner in a small group, which gave the event a very festive setting.