Monday morning, JAMK main campus, a small traffic jam in a parking place, a glass of icy water in a café, and a week starts with… group discussion. Today we are going to export fancy shoes of Finnish designer Minna Parikka to Russia. We have to decide and justify our decision on how to pack, which transportation mode and what terms of contract to choose, fill in the invoice and the certificate of origin and upload the report to students’ interface where the teacher can read it. When I say “we” I mean Team One – a group of 7 students, among whom there are 4 Finns, 1 Nepalese, 1 Ethiopian and 1 Russian (me). There are six groups in our class and some about 45 students. Different groups work on different projects. We have lots of group works and it’s awesome! First of all it is fun! Then if we want to succeed we have to adjust ourselves in the intercultural environment of our group and it gives us that intercultural intelligence which is valued so high nowadays. And last but not least it involves almost all methods of learning:
- reading (yeah, we have to read theory before doing the practice task)
- visual perception (in most cases we have to make a slide presentation)
- demonstration (presenation performance in front of the whole class)
- group discussion (yeahhhh!!! That is what I love most! The greatest ideas are always born during or after a group discussion)
- teaching others (we want to be efficient and if someone from the team doesn’t understand a thing it’a our job to explane it in a simple words)
Besides studying cases we also had real projects. In the very first days of our studying we visited Ariterm, the factory producing bio-energy boilers, ovens and heating systems. We had a task to study the process from all points of view – Research & Development, Production, Marketing, Sales and Services, Human Resource Management and Procurement (Buying) and of course to present our research to the others. Then some of our classmates had a project with bio-diesel – a totally new product, which is now developed by British and Finnish engineers together here at JAMK, well we are in Finland, aren’t we? Everything tends to be bio here, and that is actually great!
Our group had a project to promote foreign students of JAMK’s School of Business and Service Management among Finnish companies. We made a brochure containing profiles of students with their photos, contact info, brief skills and experience description and spread it in the KiVi event. Since I was lucky to participate in that project I will say a bit more about that conference.
KiVi is an event organized by the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment of Finland which targeted Finnish companies to raise their competitiveness of exports and internationalization. The main theme of the conference which took place in Jyväskylä, December, 1 was business opportunities in Africa. Although the presentations were in Finnish there was a great opportunity of networking, there were a number of key players who can help your company’s internationalization, including such organizations as Jyväskylä Regional Development Company Jykes, Central Finland Chamber of commerce, Finnvera, Finpro, Krogerus, CIMO, Protomo. We did a great job and
spread some about 60 brochures during the event.
Finnish educational system considers that since one got to the polytechnic / university once he or she can use then all the opportunities and take all the advantages from the studying. So we are free to choose courses from different study tracks at JAMK, and we can take language
courses at the University of Jyvaskyla. Basically you do not need that because there is a wide choice of languages at JAMK (Finnish, English, German, French, Spanish …). But I took a course of Finnish for next spring in addition to one at JAMK – I am targeted to speak Finnish after this spring. I also took Real Estate Business course from Facility management program, and I think to take also some entrepreneurial courses from Team Academy School next year. Well if you want to add more taste to your studies you can choose a course of Wine Degustation 😉
Next time I will try to tell more about students of International Business program – who we are and what we are doing here!