CrossWise: learning and innovating together

  • Student project
Zangeres MOMSNAME vastgelegd door Ronnie Zeemering
Studenten Facility Management winnen Project of the Year

Learning in a multidisciplinary way and achieving exciting results together, that is possible in the CrossWise project. CrossWise is the vibrant practical environment of SPOT Groningen, where students and teachers of Alfa-college, Hanzehogeschool Groningen, NHL Stenden, Noorderpoort and culture professionals of SPOT Groningen learn and innovate together. Among other things, this is done in innovation labs, during projects and internships.

One of CrossWise's projects was SPOT Open Podium, which involved several sociable Friday afternoon drinks at the entrance of music centre De Oosterpoort. The aim of the event was to put restaurant The Mix more on the map with visitors to De Oosterpoort. With the CrossWise project, the project group hoped to find out whether, by making the entrance hall livelier, they could also encourage guests to come and have lunch or dinner at The Mix.

The organisation of the event consisted of three honours students from the (International) Facility Management programme, two stage technology students from Noorderpoort and two students from the Pop Academy. Together, these students set up several open stage events under the guidance of project leaders Mirjam Bouman-d'Haan and Dieuwertje Rusticus. Such an organisation naturally involves a lot of work. As a facility manager, you have to be able to switch quickly and be flexible, as was evident the first evening. For instance, one of the originally scheduled artists had fallen ill, so a new act had to be arranged last minute. The audience didn't notice anything of this, however, because they had solved it well! The art of a facility manager is to arrange everything behind the scenes so well that no one realises he is there.

Jesse was one of the students behind the organisation. As a first-year (honours) student of the International Facility Management programme, he was involved in planning and organising the open stage events, among other things. In addition, as facility managers, they made sure all materials were ready for the stage technology team and were concerned with hospitality and the audience experience. For instance, they thought about how to attract more audience to the event, what food and drinks should be served during the event and came up with ways to get the audience closer to the stage. Because of the unique multidisciplinary collaboration, the project was awarded the 'Project of the Year' prize by the Hanze Honours College.

Jesse: "During this project, I especially learned how to communicate well in a professional context, which is really different from a school setting. You work with tight schedules and there is a bit more pressure on the project, because it involves a real client. The great thing about this project is that you actually see results. You organise the event and see for yourself whether something works well or not. I especially enjoyed being able to look behind the scenes at such a large organisation. The first time you see the large theatre you are really impressed, but gradually you notice that things become more and more normal for you. It's great that you get a lot of trust at SPOT and that you can also do work that is normally done by employees. You get a lot of appreciation from the organisation, which is nice. What I had to get used to is that there are so many people and so many opinions. In practice, you come up against more bureaucracy than you are used to in a fictitious case, so you sometimes have to wait longer for approval in order to proceed. I learned a lot while organising these events and you could clearly see that the last time we organised it, the event was also the best put together. Meanwhile, we have taken all the evaluation points on board and are in the process of coming up with a new concept."

By working together in a multidisciplinary project team, you immediately learn what it is like to deal with different people during your work. A facility manager has to be able to switch well between parties and also balance various interests. Not only while organising events, but also in the many other roles a graduate facility manager can have in professional practice.

  • Photo singer by: Ronnie Zeemering
  • Photo award by: Myrthe Hoekstra

Fields of interest

  • Arts and Culture
  • Behaviour and Society
  • Business and Economics