Open Eye: Putting learning into practice

Romanian management students added value to their OU coursework by using it to set up a business travel company - selling services back to course organisers.

Codecs Business Travel now arranges and runs residential schools for about 4,000 people studying OU courses with Romania's Centre for Open Distance Education (Codecs), as well as a programme of training, conferences, incentive and business travel for corporate clients.

General Manager Petrut Patrascoiu was one of the first generation of Romanians to join Codecs in 1995, and credits his studies with giving him the skills to launch a new business.

He recalls: "Studying with the OU in Romania, I took part in residential schools and came to realise we could work together in organising these events in a more professional style.

"We started to organise the schools for Codecs and, as the organisation grew, developing training and consulting activities, we took over a lot of the logistics. We then realised our experience and range of services would make a winner, and set up as Codecs Business Travel."

Petrut, who is currently studying for his management diploma, adds: "Have the OU's management courses helped? I would say `a lot' - right from the original business idea up to writing business plans and organising finance, most of my knowledge came out of these courses." He singles out competitive management skills as most useful in a country where transition to a market economy is creating new businesses.

According to colleague Rodica Radulescu, who is marketing director for CODECS, first off the mark have been those managers who were successful in Romania's state-run companies and therefore had the confidence to take risks.

The company's success is dependent on the quality of the service it offers. Rodica says: "We were having problems when other companies were doing the work because they did not understand the OU culture. Our students are running their own businesses and have certain needs - things have to be done in a specific way for them - it's not just about arranging student travel."

While the business and incentive travel market represent the most significant chunk of Codecs' work, it is also developing the tourist market - initially outbound from Romania.

Three Eclipse '99 tours, one including a trip to Dracula's castle, are its first inbound venture.

Says Petrut: "We couldn't possibly overlook the tourist potential of the eclipse, so we thought we would arrange something just as exclusive as the rest of our business by preparing special programmes for OU students throughout Europe.

Codecs Business Travel can be contacted on e-mail: cbt@fx.ro, or by telephone:

(+401) 650.73.63; (+401) 212.46.76

Internet site: www.cbt.ro

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
tennis
Arts and Entertainment
'The Archers' has an audience of about five million
radioA growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
'Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows' by John Constable
art
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift is applying to trademark song lyrics from 1989
musicYou'll have to ask Taylor Swift first
News
Joel Grey, now 82, won several awards for his role in Cabaret
people
Arts and Entertainment
Henry VIII played by Damien Lewis
tvReview: Scheming queens-in-waiting, tangled lines of succession and men of lowly birth rising to power – sound familiar?
Sport
Harry Kane celebrates scoring the opening goal for Spurs
footballLive: All the latest transfer news as deadline day looms
Arts and Entertainment
Master of ceremony: Jeremy Paxman
tvReview: Victory for Jeremy Paxman in this absorbing, revealing tale
News
Sir David Attenborough
people
Life and Style
Young girl and bowl of cereal
food + drink
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Tradewind Recruitment: Maths Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Our exclusive client in St Albans Hertfords...

Tradewind Recruitment: KS2 Primary Teachers

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Key Stage 2 Teachers needed in Hertfordshir...

Tradewind Recruitment: Biology Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Teacher of Biology Required for April 2015...

Tradewind Recruitment: English Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: This post arises as a result of the need to...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness