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.
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 Or in the course Management, our focus is on new management trends and tools in the 21st century instead of outdated theories and research works in the past.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.
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.
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:
- 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