One week at the PDJA - a personal story

A personal story

Anne Ernst has written a short story about her experiences as participant at Grundfos Challenge in 2010. The story might give you an idea of the challenges you will face doing the competion.  

One week at the PDJA - a personal story

Check in, a first friendly greeting with the competitors, the introduction and teambuilding activities - the Grundfos Challenge is about to start. The first day is still quite relaxed but the excitement of the topic of this year's challenge is rising by the minute to be relieved by Grundfos top management at the second day's presentation.

The topic is set, the green tents are ready, the challenge starts. From the presentation of the challenge's topic, we hurry to the green tents that are lined up inside The Poul Due Jensen's Academy's conference rooms. The side-by-side placement with engineers next to business students enables each group  to share and test ideas with other teams with whom they are not competing - to get the reality check that is sometimes needed. Another way of checking whether an idea holds water in a real Grundfos environment is by visiting the "water holes" where key Grundfos staff offer their insights to students' suggestions. An uncomplicated way to quickly test an idea, get more information or simply the critical view of skilled Grundfos staff.

As the week proceeds in the tents, the hours of sleep get fewer and fewer each day and the first panic sets in on Wednesday evening at which point still no solution is reached. The Grundfos team and the PDJA do everything they can to make the surroundings the best it can be in this particular situation. Not only are coaching teams available for support along the way, we are also offered training sessions on how to deliver a good presentation, as well as massage and sports activities, according to requirements for those in need of getting away from the computer. Not to mention the first class food, coffee around the clock and night snacks for the late workers.

With only a couple of hours to hand-in on Thursday, the panic starts for real. Final calculations are made, the last information hastily collected and conclusions written. The hustle and bustle in the tents reach a peak until relaxation finally sets in once the executive summary is handed in. But only for a few hours. Then the power point frenzy starts - for some teams lasting all night and morning, right up to the final presentation in front of the Grundfos panel of judges.

The final presentation. Excitement to see what the other groups come up with, nervous anticipation on how one's own solution will be received by the panel, while running the answers to possible questions from the panel through the head again and again. And then, 30 minutes later one's own presentation including Q&A is over. The adrenalin level that has been keeping everybody awake for the past 48 hours, slowly declines and total calmness prevails. It's over.

Still to come is a great eve at Frisholt, an exquisite dinner, the announcements of the winners followed by music and free drinks served by Grundfos top management. A great end to an even greater week!

The final presentation: excitement to see what the other groups have come up with, nervous anticipation on how one’s own solution will be received by the panel, while running the answers to possible questions from the panel through the head again and again. And then, 30 minutes later one’s own presentation and Q&A is over. The level of adrenalin that has been keeping all awake for the last 48 hours slowly declines and relaxation sets in. It’s over.
Still to come is a great eve at Frisholt, an exquisite dinner, the announcements of the winners followed by music and free drinks served by Grundfos top management. A great end to an even greater week!
As the week proceeds in the tents, the hours of sleep get fewer and fewer for each day that passes and the first panic sets in on Wednesday eve at which time still no solution is reached, the Grundfos team and the PDJA do everything to make the surroundings the best they can be in this particular situation. Not only are coaching teams accessible for support along the way but we are also offered training sessions on how to make a good presentation, as well as massage and sports activities, as required for those in need of getting away from the computer. Not to mention the first class food, coffee around the clock and night snacks for the late workers.
With only a couple of hours to hand-in on Thursday, the panic starts for real. Final calculations are made, the last information hastily collected and conclusions written. The hustle and bustle in the tents reaches its all-time peek until relaxation finally sets in once the executive summary is handed in. But only for a few hours, then the power point frenzy starts –for some teams lasting all night and morning right up to the final presentation in front of the Grundfos panel of judges.
The final presentation: excitement to see what the other groups have come up with, nervous anticipation on how one’s own solution will be received by the panel, while running the answers to possible questions from the panel through the head again and again. And then, 30 minutes later one’s own presentation and Q&A is over. The level of adrenalin that has been keeping all awake for the last 48 hours slowly declines and relaxation sets in. It’s over.
Still to come is a great eve at Frisholt, an exquisite dinner, the announcements of the winners followed by music and free drinks served by Grundfos top management. A great end to an even greater week!





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