CityU in Prague – A Farewell for the Ages
By Lakeisha Jackson
After our weekend getaway to Vienna the students had two days of back-to-back in-class instruction. We must remember that their purpose in studying aboard in Prague was somewhat academic in nature. Following those in-class days the students had their long, free weekend and many of them chose to travel far and wide throughout western and central Europe. Upon their return to Prague, it was back to the books and class to prepare for their final exam and final presentations.
On Tuesday, July 30 we had our second engagement with a company partner. Marketa Fischerova, HR & Office Manager at Lion Communications (a subsidiary of Publicis Communication Group) gave a great presentation on the Publicis Communication Group and Lions Communications. She had the students and I form small groups to analyze various commercials that had been produced in the Czech Republic through the agency. Marketa was professional and engaging! This was a great time for professional networking. Marketa also provided her contact information if we wanted to connect with her further via email or LinkedIn. I, for one, strongly believe in the power of networking and at the conclusion of her presentation I helped distributed her business cards to the students. I also added her on LinkedIn afterwards. You never know when you’ll be back in Prague and need a job!
Later that afternoon we traveled to Kutna Hora which is a town about an hour east of Prague. There in the town we had some time to explore before we took our tour of the silver mine. Once we entered the mine it was wet, drippy, cold and dark! We all wore hard hats and lab work coats inside to conceal ourselves from possible harm and wetness. It was fascinating to consider that for hundreds of years miners worked with little to no light and in far worse conditions with less resources. After the mine tour, we visited a local church that features the bones of approximately 30,000 people who lived in the Kutna Hora area hundreds of years ago and were killed by a plague. It was a very sobering experience. The staff at the bone church stated that the bones are meant to serve as a reminder for visitors to live fully and intentionally, valuing each moment of life. Trust me, we all received the message loud and clear. The following day (Wednesday, July 31) was a class day.
Thursday, August 1 was the final class presentations and celebration day. The final presentations featured teams of approximately 5-6 students. Each team had various roles such as the project manager, engineer, financial manager, facilities manager, and so forth. Eight project teams presented and were evaluated by the course instructor Simon Gordon-Smith. Mr. Gordon-Smith also encouraged me and the students to ask the presenting students questions about their projects. Each group had to designed and build a bridge model as a group. The lessons learned and successes of the project were easily articulated by each group. I was very impressed with each presentation and I myself learned quite a bit about the fundamentals of project management through the students’ presentations. Kudos to them all!
After it was all said and done, we had our final celebration/farewell dinner in one of the oldest restaurants in Prague located just south under the Prague Castle. This was a fun and fascinating establishment with a middle-ages bohemian atmosphere. The servers were all in costume and many were in character. Their show performance included belly-dancers, a snake-handler and fire-blowing! It was indeed an intense performance. It was truly a farewell for the ages! We ate, were merry and had a fine time wishing each other well as we all enjoyed a final free day on Friday and many of us departed for home on Saturday. For me, this internship opportunity with CityU was truly unique and I greatly appreciate the administrators who were instrumental in supporting my studies in my master’s program and my overall professional development.
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