13 Apr

A Client Visit to Berlin

Shiloh Rose, HobsonsLast month I visited the European School of Management and Technology (ESMT) for three
days of training on Connect and ApplyYourself. As a small business school, ESMT currently offers only three programmes and has about 150 students at a time. They use the Hobsons technology suite to build personal relationships with their small pool of applicants and guide them through the application process. It was worrying to arrive on campus and find them so anxious about using the products, and satisfying to leave at the end of three days having dealt with many of their concerns.

But the highlights of my visit were the things I discovered in Berlin. While crossing the street, to my delight, I was greeted by the Ampelmännchen, or “little traffic light man”. This guy almost disappeared after the reunification of Germany, but was returned to the pedestrian crossings of Berlin in 2005.

Next I found myself in front of a large sign announcing that I was now entering the American Sector. This was Checkpoint Charlie, the most famous crossing between East and West Germany. This little post still serves as an important landmark, and was the site of several deaths as citizens of East Germany tried to escape.

But the real highlight was when I arrived for training at ESMT. My host and I walked up a grand staircase with a huge, three story stained glass mural, and led me into a room with several very large, very impressive light fixtures and a fancy coffee machine. My host informed me that I was having coffee in the old office of the former head of the German Democratic Republic! ESMT’s impressive building, it turns out, is the former State Council Building of the GDR. I was thrilled to be even a small part of such history.

Shiloh Rose, Product Manager,

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