Diving into the growth company scene in Finland

Crossing paths with Aava & Bang has been the best thing that’s happened to my professional career so far. Not that mine is that impressive yet anyways since I’m only in the verge of graduating, but the internship definitely kick-started things.

In the fall of 2017, I applied for a Kasvu Open intern position at a marketing agency located in Jyväskylä. Back then I really had no idea what Kasvu Open was, but a quick research convinced me that maybe it’s worth applying for. I had just studied event management, after all. Little did I know that being a Kasvu Open trainee would be my best choice at that point in time considering my professional future.

Basically, Kasvu Open is the largest project for sparring eager to grow companies around Finland. It is a competition, but it’s open for everyone – no matter the size, turnover, or the firm’s future goals. Only thing all contestant have in common is the passion to achieve growth. Kasvu Open then brings together the most promising growth companies and growth experts and investors, creating one solid network with the aim of supporting companies in their journey to grow.

Aava & Bang is one of the authorized facilitators of Kasvu Open. I spent the whole of last spring organizing events where the best possible growth venture experts met with companies wanting to grow, all around Finland. My main tasks included sales, marketing, communications and obviously, event management. I also had a peek inside a busy growth marketing agency and got to experience the world of video producing, consulting and digital marketing up close.

The spring taught me a lot. I’m so grateful to have got a front row seat to see the blooming ecosystem of eager to grow SMEs in Finland. I made hundreds of new contacts during my internship, including both fresh entrepreneurs and long-term growth professionals. Kasvu Open is the best opportunity for networking – I heard so many inspiring stories during my time as a Kasvu Open facilitator and met so many new professionals, whom I’d never got the chance to meet hadn’t it been thanks to my internship.

It was also tiring at times. We travelled around Finland every week, worked long hours and had to deal with last minute cancellations and other tricky situations. But oh boy was it rewarding. Seeing the excited faces of the entrepreneurs after a long day of consulting sessions, seeing the experts inspire the entrepreneurs and vice versa. Hearing amazing growth stories, future plans and learning about innovative solutions. It was more than I ever imagined an internship would be – not one day was the same, it was never boring. And I learned so much, not only about event planning and project management, but of the importance of networks and problem-solving skills.

The highlight of my internship was definitely during the last week, when I got to step on the stage and host an event by myself. I was a nervous wreck beforehand but ended up totally exceeding myself. That was a rare opportunity I’m glad I had, because through it I gained a lot of self-confidence.

I’m lucky to continue my journey at Aava & Bang. Excited to see what the future holds for me – and if you didn’t manage to read it between the lines; I’d recommend Aava & Bang for anyone looking for an internship opportunity.