Tag Archives: IB-ers

IB #5: I heart IB.

Hei you again! So far we have gone through different elements of the big HOW question about the pursuit of a Bachelor’s Degree in International Business at JAMK. During the week I have got to know more wonderings from some people reading this blog. Now probably is the time for us to tackle them together.

1.     What is the entrance exam like?

© A. Selezneva

© A. Selezneva

You can find the general information about entrance exam (countries where the exam is gonna be hold in, the date, etc) at www.jamk.fi/english/education/howtoapply/entranceexaminations/internationalbusiness and www.admissions.fi . There are three parts out of the exam:

-        Mathematics/Logic with multiple-choice questions at high school level

-        Pre-reading Materials part: You need to read carefully the materials (e-books, articles, journals) JAMK publishes in the official webpage before the exam. Topics of these materials are varied during the course of time. There are multiple-choice and essay questions asking about the knowledge provided by these.

-        Interview: It depends on the countries and the years that the interview part is different. You may have written or face-to-face interviews to perform your general understanding about business/ enterprises/ management as well as your motivation and interest in getting the degree in Jyväskylä. In-face interviews may be conducted individually or in group.

Do not be overly alarmed by the statistical fact “First-choice applicants / Annual intake 2010: 526/50” stated at JAMK’s website. IB entrance exam will be a piece of cake once you have spent enough time and efforts to study pre-reading materials + get to know Mathematics questions thoroughly, and equipped yourself with sound goals for your future study at JAMK. Questions of previous JAMK’s entrance exams are available from various student forum sites in the Internet if you want to practice more.

2.     How are the school facilities?

© S. Wu

© S. Wu

The facilities of Finnish universities are just awesome. Classrooms, computers, cafeteria and all others are in very good conditions. If you have any problem, the staff is always available for help. You can also borrow books from the school library instead of buying your own books. By the way, library services in Finland can be of a definite pleasant for you if you are a passionate reader. Due to the profound reading tradition of Finnish, there are mountains of good books can be found in the libraries (of JAMK University of Applied Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, the City of Jyväskylä) and you do not need to pay anything for membership. Just come registering and read as much as you want.

3.     How varied is the range of age of IB-ers?

© S. Wu

© S. Wu

16 – 32.

4.     How many credits I can get beside 210 required credits of the degree?

There is no limit for your study at JAMK. As stated before, once being JAMK’s student, you can pick up as many courses as you wish with no additional fees at all. Your course choices can be from different faculties, not only IB.

5.     How is the life in Jyväskylä?

© A. Le

© A. Le

Jyväskylä is a worth living place. The city is pretty small with approximately 130 000 people, but all necessary facilities are in reach. Located in the Central Finland, you travel conveniently to anywhere of the country. Besides, Jyväskylä is regarded as a dynamic city in which more than half of the population is young students from different parts of Finland, down to the reason that the schools in Jyväskylä are known to be at the highest standard of Finnish education.

6.     Winter in Finland is crazy, isn’t it?

Winter here goes disastrous only when you do not dress properly and do not have anything to do. You can always warm up your winter with a bunch of activities: go skiing/ skating, watch ice-hockey games, visit Finnish host families, enjoy parties, go reading in high-quality libraries and so on. My first winter holiday was spent on the visit to several European nations because it is not that often for me as a non-European citizen to travel in Europe without any additional paper work;

then I spent my second winter vacation with some Finnish families in Jyväskylä which was such an unforgettably warm time.

7.     Are you satisfied with your study at JAMK IB?

I found this question from my e-mail box this morning, and it took no second for me to have one and only answer: Yes, I am. I heart IB, I heart JAMK and I heart Finland.One of the most meaningful times of my life has been spent here at JAMK when both professional and personal life of mine has been enriched lots. Honestly I was not really convinced by the former slogan of JAMK saying that the time being a JAMK-er is “The best time of your life”, because I believe that studying at JAMK IB is only the beginning and concrete foundation for the best time of my life later when I can fulfill all of my dreams; or to say like this year: “Your future starts here”. ;)

© T. Surugiu

© T. Surugiu

Okay.. thank you guys (and girls) for following my IB stories! I do not want to say “goodbye” to you, not because I am afraid of saying it in 30 languages =P but we do hope to see you again next fall and contribute more cool IB tales with us!

~ Kathy

IB #4: You just can’t resist the sweet “I”: “International”!

Today I used a fun-fact application for my Facebook friend list, and here come some numbers:

*In 2008 when I was not an IB-er at JAMK:

© T. Surugiu

© T. Surugiu

- I had 40 friends

- Friends from 4 countries

- Friends from 2 continents of Asia and America

*Now at the beginning of 2011 when I’ve enjoyed my JAMK-IB life for a while:

- There are 424 friends in my list

- Friends from 31 nations

- Friends from all continents except the Antarctic

I bet you see a huge difference between those two points of time regarding how international my IB life has become, and note that I have been at JAMK for only 1.5 years!

Well actually not that hard to explain… The very first thing I want to reveal is that whenever being at JAMK campuses, I always have the feeling of being in a miniature world. I hear all kinds of languages at the school restaurant, I see all sorts of learning and living styles of my international friends when we are together. Could it be any cooler than to have many Chinese friends to practice the language with them right after your lessons, or to check the correctness of some culture lecture when the person who sits next to you in class is from that country?

© O. Glukhovskaya

© O. Glukhovskaya

Moreover, IB professors are from various nations (Poland, Finland, the US, Turkey for the time being) and with many years of working experiences, they do know how to bring us to any corner of the world. We also welcome a number of guest lecturers from, again, all continents. The point here is, once we have those kinds of daily “tests and experiments” with our international teachers and friends, the accuracy of our understanding about business knowledge from the global perspective will be much more guaranteed.

Remember when I told you in the very beginning that we IB-ers are asked to go abroad at some point of our study? Such a pleasant requirement! Thank to JAMK’s wide network with many higher education institutions outside Finland, IB-ers can choose to go exchange in our favorite nations (in/ outside Europe) for one semester or one academic year. We start to apply for the exchange period in the spring of the second year, and there are three choices for one student to apply. The school will then give us mobility grants (200€/ month) when the exchange period is started. Actually I have just sent my exchange application before writing today tale. My choices are the US, Canada and the UK for the next school year. Cross your fingers for me guys!

The last piece of my IBers-going-even-more-international tale is about the Seventh International Youth Scientific Conference which is hold annually by the Business Faculty of JAMK and Frida University in Obninsk, Russia. This conference is regarded as a concrete bridge for JAMK IB-ers and Business students in Russia to perform and share relevant knowledge and experiences. I participated in the conference last April, and that has been one of the best times of my life. :)

© A. Zhang

© A. Zhang

Not only gaining lots of professional and personal development after giving presentations about Business/Politics/Innovation topics, or appearing as an ambassador for my hometown Vietnam in the country fair, or joining in thought-provoking Cafe World sessions; I also had such  a memorable time with Russian teachers and friends: our pan-cake party, the country tour across Moscow-St. Petersburg and other outrageously beautiful Russian cities (the list does go on). The warmest connection has been kept between us since the conference, and more great times are coming on our promise.

Have you got more excited about being an IB-er? We still have more stories reserved for you… *giggling*.

~ Kathy

IB #3: Practicality calling!

I had International Business Law today. You may assume having Law classes in morning is one of the sleepiest things you have to stand; but the reality, or should I say the JAMK-reality is much brighter. :D Our Law teacher only introduced and explained main ideas in the first half of the class, and then we started to go through and discuss different case studies together.  This way of learning turns the hard-to-remember-all nature of Law into a long and vivid memory for key issues.  Here comes the first piece of practical studies at JAMK IB: case studies and open forums for discussions (and sometimes arguments due to a bunch of concrete opinions from IB-ers).

© O. Glukhovskaya

© O. Glukhovskaya

Teamwork, presentations, reports… there is a sea of those waiting for IB-ers to swim in. One of the very first lessons for JAMK IB-ers is to practice giving presentations and write reports in a truly professional way. Besides, groupwork may drive us happy or crazy, but for sure we will learn tons from it. One of my group work last fall was to write about several Human Resources Management (HRM) subjects in a modern corporation. Having been impressed by a lecture about Microsoft Finland which has been continuously highly ranked in HR field around the world, we decided to contact and ask Microsoft if we could have a face-to-face interview with their HR Manager. The interview then went soundly and my group really got to know the way Microsoft has developed and consolidated their HR system to get continuing successes. In a sense, that HR group work meant much more to us than just an excellent grade at the end of the course.

We also play games in courses, yes, we play games. It can be the one-week Global Mergers & Acquisitions game in which we play as different companies to negotiate with each other in the stock market with the support from some specialized computer software, or the Global Supply Chain game when we try to calculate and make purchase decisions to gain values for our imaginary organizations. We also play “language cards” in silence during one Cross-cultural Management lecture to get the idea how hard it is when we do not understand each other but keep on playing our own social rules. Actually my class has just started a new game called the Stock Market Game since today and the game is gonna take place until April (gotta be fun!!). Well, the list cannot be ended here and I promise you will play a lot more cool games at JAMK. ;)

Company projects is another method to get relevant hands-on experiences. Projects are introduced by real companies in and outside Finland, often included in courses and make up for 50% of your total grade.

© K. Nguyen

© K. Nguyen

One example is our project for KONE in Marketing Communications last spring. The biggest elevator producer in Finland at that time was facing a profound challenge to reach a new customer segment. With knowledge gained through lectures, our IB group was working pretty hard with the company to come up with a sound plan and ready-to-be-used solutions.

More than that, IB-ers need to get at least 10 ETCS for projects outside courses which are also from various organizations within the industry and international network of JAMK. Last year I worked for one marketing project of Silenta, a Finnish hearing protection equipment producer. Our goal was to do researches about large airports all over the world as potential customers to purchase Silenta’s products for their airport working staff. Based on that data collection, we made suggestions to Silenta on which airports they should reach first, which ones they should not and etc. This kind of project-based learning puts IB-ers in a professional working environment and so explores possibilities for practical lessons.

Conferences, seminars and other study activities are often organized by JAMK generally and the Business Faculty particularly. How about internships? As an IB-er, you will get many internship placements announced by the school (i bet you still remember that JAMK has such a strong network with companies and institutions in Finland, Europe and other parts of the world) or you can acquire training places by yourselves. The training has to last at least 3.5 months (full-time working) and there will be financial supports from the school if  the work places  are not located in your home country (400€ per month). I am working now for JAMK Research and Development Department as a researcher, and I have to say I have been learning a lot there. :)

Oppsss we should call it a day shouldn’t we? See you tomorrow with the 4th story about IB-ers going internationalization!

~ Kathy

[Second IB tale] Be updated. Be critical. Be diverse.

People live in a world of change and learn to do business at a level of uncertainty. For IB groups these years, it is even more challenging and interesting to study the field in a special situation when the global economy is still in its recovery underway. Hence, the IB program at JAMK has been flexibly designed to fit the new era and equip IB-ers with sufficient up-to-date business intellects and skills as foundation for IB-ers’ successes in short and long run.

Be updated

© O. Glukhovskaya

© O. Glukhovskaya

Let take our course Global Financial Management last semester as an example. After being introduced about main points in lecture hours, our group was asked to do teamwork on observing and analyzing the way multinational corporations were dealing with the economic crisis regarding to financial techniques. By poring over all data of the companies, we have learned a lot about the real situation out there. Or in the course Management, our focus is on new management trends and tools in the 21st century instead of outdated theories and research works in the past. Obviously there are always traditional “fixed” concepts which all business students need to know, but almost of what our teachers try to bring to the table are on the news the day before. Thus, do not be surprised if you are asked about some phenomena-of-the-day during final exams. You are highly recommended to be aware of things going on in the business world, at every moment.

Be critical

© S. Wu

© S. Wu

IB-ers are taught to form their opinion about any issue. “When one tells you that he neither agrees nor disagrees on something, he just does not tell you anything”, said by one of our teachers. At nowhere but the Business Faculty of JAMK, you learn to be critical the most. You learn to ask “why” all the times. You are intensively asked to make thorough comparison between various theories and researches, apply them to real cases and present your own view towards different subjects through presentations, assignments, exams and all other study activities.

Back to our group work in Global Financial Management, beside analyzing companies’ reactions on the economic downturn, the other part of our workload is to make comment on those actions and come up with better solutions. Another fact is that IB-ers are always expected to see questions started with “What do you think about…? What would you do if…?” in all exams, and those questions count pretty much in the total grade. Thus, one would better not hope to get high results of any work if he did not understand the situation clearly and did not know his approach side.

Be diverse

IB-ers need to get 15 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System credits) which can approximately be gained from three courses, for elective studies of the whole degree. However, the good news is that you can pick up as many subjects as you wish! JAMK helps you to enrich your educational background by giving you the right to diversify your knowledge which means you can participate in any courses offered by the school, even when those courses are not provided from IB Program. Once being student at JAMK, you immediately have the access to all subjects in all departments without any additional fee or paper work. Moreover, you are allowed to take courses of any subjects at Finnish Virtual University of Applied Sciences (www.amk.fi). You can further your language studies at University of Jyväskylä (www.jyu.fi) with the financial support from JAMK if you want to, though JAMK courses themselves are diverse already.

Therefore, I always pick up more courses beside five compulsory subjects every semester to complement my main study background in Business or just for my liking. Below are what I have chosen so far:

© O. Glukhovskaya

© O. Glukhovskaya

  • Experience Industry (from Music and Media Management Program, or MMM)
  • Media and Public Relations (MMM)
  • Journalism (MMM)
  • Media Analysis (MMM)
  • Social Media (MMM)
  • Organizational Psychology (Finnish Virtual University of Applied Sciences)
  • Business English and Presentations (Language and Communication Department)
  • English Conversation (Language and Communication Department)
  • Chinese 1 & 2 (University of Jyväskylä)
  • Chinese Culture (University of Jyväskylä)

Sounds tempting doesn’t it? Trust me, these are not perks that many universities around the world can offer you. Exchange and visiting students coming to JAMK have always been pleasantly amazed to realize their study choices are not limited to any extent. It all depends on your ability and interest!

~ Kathy Nguyen

First IB tale: HOW…?

© Kathy Ng.

© H. Lämsä

Moi! (Finnish)

привет! (Russian)

Bonjour! (French)

Ciao! (Italian)

Hola! (Spanish)

你 好! (Chinese)

नमस्ते! (Hindi)

Cześć! (Polish)

… and other warm ”hello”(s) in more than 20 languages else from International Business students at JAMK University of Applied Sciences! Welcome to the one-week blog of IB-ers!

I should firstly introduce myself. I’m Kathy, from Vietnam, a JAMK-IB sophomore and also a JAMK-IB lover. After a definitely inspiring blogging time of my friends Mona and Johanna from two other English-based degrees, I’m now on stage during this week to be with you. Honestly, at anytime I can imagine myself buried in a mountain of cool tales about IB, but I’ll try my best to bring here the most JAMK-IB stuff with which you may hopefully get a clearer and more holistic picture about us, as IB-ers, indulging ourselves in the whole degree at JAMK.

You may already have some ideas about WHAT an International Business degree is. The program name tells us all doesn’t it? Just simply about studying business in an international context. A more puzzling question starts with HOW:  How an International Business degree is conducted by JAMK, as a university of applied sciences?

To be a little bit more detailed:

-Business (studies): IB-ers are on the way of mastering the whole business operation including different functions, e.g. logistics, finance, marketing, etc, in a modern organization. Project management, teamwork, analytical tools, organization communications and other business-skill trainings are the musts. All up-to-date business topics, such as globalization or the current economic crisis are taken into account from the global perspective.

-International (context): IB-ers are international themselves (saying hello to my classmates from all continents in their native languages has been one of the most challenging tasks I’ve ever tried my life). IB-ers go to JAMK to be even more international in a harmonious relationship by studying business and sharing experiences together, by applying cross-cultural and language knowledge with schoolmates at lunch and other activities in our exciting student life. We are also “forced” to fly around the world through exchange and internship opportunities in order to enhance our cultural and communication background.

-JAMK University of Applied Sciences:

© Kathy Ng.

© K. Nguyen

Your total learning = ½ conceptual study (lectures, theories) + ½ practical knowledge (case studies, real projects from companies in and outside Finland, internships). To get good grades, IB-ers are expected to apply and perform their profound understanding about theoretical issues into their hands-on workload; and JAMK has its own system to instruct, support and motivate us in this sense (wonder no more, we’ll talk about that soon).

You are starting to view the JAMK-IB picture aren’t you? Above are only the basic ideas about studying IB at JAMK, also the main theme of my daily stories in this week. Let’s go deeper into the IB world tomorrow!

P/S: Let’s stay connected! My e-mail thuy.ng.nguyen@gmail.com is also used for my Facebook account. Feel free to ask me anything you are wondering about IB, okay? :)

~ Kathy Nguyen

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