Tag Archives: International Business

How to become a student of JAMK

My first semester at JAMK is almost over so time for a short flashback how it all started. But for the beginning …………. my name is Jasmin and I am an exchange student from Germany. I stay here for one year to study international business and graduate with a double bachelor. It all began in 2011 with my studies at Hochschule Harz in Wernigerode and ended in August 2013 here ……….. at JAMK and in Jyväskylä.

OK ………. application period came closer and closer and I got nervous. How to apply?? What would be important?? Which documents are needed??? All these questions came into my mind. And I found out that it is really easy to apply here at JAMK …… at least when you are coming from a partner university. Just fill in the application form online and choose your courses and then push the button print. My homeuniversity got a copy and with all the signatures on it my application was sent to JAMK. Ma partner university is the Hochschule Harz in Wernigerode but my hometown is Magdeburg ca. 80km away from Wernigerode and the capital of the federate state Saxony Anhalt.

Then I had to be patient and waited every day for the answer. Then finally I got the e-mail which told me that I was accepted and that my tutor will contact me few days later and that I will reach the final letter of acceptance a bit later. And I had to wait again but just few days and my tutor wrote me an e-mail and told me what the next steps are and what should be done first. Of course he recommended to apply for an appartment and then he answered all the questions which came to my mind. And finally the letter of acceptance reached my mailbox and I became the happiest person on earth and started my plannings.

The last step was to book the flight and tell my tutor the exact arrival time in Jyväskylä. There are more than just one option to reach Jyväskylä. First option is to fly to Helsinki and take the train to Jyväskylä and the second option is to fly directly to Jyväskylä. I chose the first option and flight to Helsinki and took the train to reach Jyväskylä – 3,5 hours time to figure out where your journey will end. Arrived in Jyväskylä my tutor was already waiting and brought me to my appartment. That was the moment my finnish adventure started and I still have the feeling I arrived few days ago.

That´s it…………a short description how to become a student at JAMK university of applied sciences. Next week I tell you something about KOAS and living in an appartment.


Application period is almost over. Hurry up! :)

Hy Everyone,


Here I am once again. I hope I could bring some useful info today and it would help You!

First of all, the application period is over next week, so if You are planning to apply, (and why wouldn’t You??????) You’d better get your stuff together and start working on it. It is quite easy, You just have to follow all the instructions that are given. Visit www.admissions.fi page and start doing it. Fill in the form logically, attach the documents if there is any asked to be attached and your application is basically done. If You have any further questions just write an e-mail to the school and they will reply as soon as it is possible. Trust me they are helpful and willing to give You any kind of information You may need.

I have gone through some basic things last time I posted here, but I guess not all. (Btw if any of You will have any questions just write a comment and I will answer asap)

This week there is a huge event going on, students went on a huge ship cruise organized by Konkurssi, called Money Sails. Most of the IB students are there having plenty of fun and enjoying themselves. It is something that I guess most of You will have to try, though unfortunately I did not have the opportunity to go this year. Student unions organize lots of events for us so we could never get bored at any time of the year. These do not always mean parties, but also different happenings, movie watching, sports events and different kind of interesting ways of spending our spare time.

This just came to my mind now fast and I just had to share it, so You would know that this is not a boring place to stay I promise You! :)

I learned my lesson this week, so I will be more careful from now on. I went home on Wednesday after school and found a paper on our kitchen’s table. “Warning for cleaning the apartment by the day: 13th February, 2013.” Wow, I thought. I never really considered myself the dirty guy, but it turns out that 3 of us had managed to make some mess after all. We have been having arguments with my flatmates about these cleaning things. A practical advice: Make a note or a schedule, that who is responsible for what on that actual week, so everyone knows what they are supposed to do. This could save You some stress and a warning note I already got. :)

One more lesson I learned. I use bus as a transportation to go to school, back home and travel in the city. The city-ticket for a month costs 62 euros at the moment, if You do not have a student card. I applied for a student card in the beginning of the year and I got it but I did not know that I could save money on the monthly tickets also. System in Finland works a bit differently than back home. I just accidentally saw one of the students paying for his monthly ticket and he payed 52 euros. Hmm I started thinking and then I asked. He said that I should have gone to the bus station (alias Matkakeskus) and change my details and show my student card to them. So I did that. It does not seem a lot of money, 10 euros a month, but for a year it is 120 euros…. Also the food. I never was the best chef in the world and it still has not changed, but I now decided, that I will try to cook as much as I just can, and try to make nice food from as little amount of money as I just can. It turned out that I saved a bit more than 50 euros in the last month on food only by trying to find the best solution. In the beginning it’s really hard I know but after a while You get to know which products are cheaper than the others but still taste good.

The main point of this was that if You look around carefully and search for the best options, this is not even that expensive as one may think. Of course this does not include going to a restaurant, bar or any other kind of places like this.

And the most important thing again. Start to apply and do not think of it as a must, think of it as an opportunity! Jyväskylä is welcoming all of You! And I would like to do the same! :)

Best luck to all of You,

Tibi :)



First year at JAMK! Quite a lot of fun and new things…

Hello Everyone,

I have been preparing for posting here for quite a long time now.

My name is Tibor Kis and I am a first year student at JAMK studying International Business. So far this has been one of the best things that happened to me before, so I would like to write a few things about it and some info that could be quite useful for You.

It all started 3 years ago. I applied to an exchange student program and I had to opportunity to spend a year in Finland with a Finnish family. I immediately fell in love with Finland. I have seen quite a few places around the world before, but this is seriously one of the best places to live in my opinion. I had not experienced the safety and the wealthiness before I started my little trip to here. Then my exchange year was over. I went back to Hungary and started to think about my future. I had strange feelings in myself but then I finally decided to apply to higher education to Finland. I have a great interest in business so it was kind of obvious for me to search for a business programme in here. I started to browse on the internet, asked a few of my Finnish friends and that is when I finally found JAMK. The International Business line was said to be one of the best in the country and in addition it was in a city that has around 40.000 students living in it.

So last January I applied. Application went quite easily. Here are two links that could help You also if You are looking to apply.



I finally got the mail that I was accepted for the entrance examinations. I guess I do not have to say how excited I was. Then preparations and the other necessary things went through, I sent the needed documents to the school and almost everything was done before the entrance exams. (Btw: You will find all information if You click on the links I already copied). For me the entrance exams were quite big surprises. All the things were basically about testing your logic, communication skills, group-working abilities and a lots of real thing situations were included. For some reason I even enjoyed it though of course I was in a way nervous at the same time.

Then came the end of may. I was in the middle of my final exams in my Hungarian high school, when one afternoon I got a mail. I was accepted. The details about the next few days I am not going to write down, I guess it is better for all of us. Let’s just say that I was not nervous anymore. :) After all just final preparations, e-mails, paperwork and I was already officially a part of JAMK. Happy times I guess…

In July after I was done with all the things I needed to do, practical questions came to my mind. Where am I going to live? How am I going to find an apartment from Hungary? How am I going to survive financially? I decided to write an e-mail to the school and ask these questions from them. I supposed they knew these things much better than me. And I was right (as always… Not.).

Apartment situation: KOAS. KOAS is the organization that helps You to find a flat that is the most student friendly and the best choice if You want to get a reasonably-priced apartment or room in Jyväskylä. I visited the page and it went through easily. A few mails, application, filling in a form and after a week I already got an offer for a flat in Keltinmäki. It is a quite cheap place, for around 200 Euros one gets a room, internet connection, electricity, water and a warm room with a common kitchen and bathroom. Isn’t it just enough for a student?

I just needed a plane ticket. Cheap flights come to Finland quite often so it is not a huge amount of money if one wants to come here. The prices here are quite high though. I do not say it is cheap to live here, but no tuition fee is a thing that saves a lot of money for all of us. It depends on the person, but since I love to eat it costs a bit more to me. Bus ticket inside the town for a month is around 50 euros and these are mostly all your expenses. (Biking even in the winter is quite a common thing also)

But yeah I was ready to go. Then it was already the end of August, when I just arrived here. The whole year started with an orientation week. We got to know our tutors, the school, the methods, the IT systems and basically everything we needed to survive. We had plenty of events organized for us and with that we got to know the town, each other and the school more and more. (Some things happened also after 9 p.m. but I think it is again better not to get into the details…. :) ) .

So we had an awesome week. We basically knew the things we needed to do, the real job started. Courses were introduced, new teachers, new subjects, so I guess we were all kind of busy at that point of the year. The whole autumn was fun. I cannot find a better word for that. Even when we had to sit down and study it still was something much more interesting than I was used to before. AWESOME!!!!!!!!! :)

Exams came, we got to know plenty of new things, we worked with real case-companies and collected already business-cards while having fun. I will never forget it. We got to know how many opportunities we will have later on in the future and that motivated believe me.

I do not want to get to the boring details, You will anyways experience all of it if You apply and get accepted. Trust me it is a great choice.

About visiting home: We had an autumn break in October when I flew back for a week, then of course for Christmas also. Of course we all have a bit of homesick, but there is always a possibility to go home for a while, meet the good Oldies and get back to the life again. It is never really boring here so I guess most of us do not even feel homesick…..

It is truly fun, useful and the best thing that has happened to me. So come on and don’t hesitate a lot.

I will get back with other stories, happenings and experiences that could be useful for all of You! Until that have fun, enjoy life and DO NOT MISS great opportunities!!!!!!!! :)



I wish You all a very nice day!!! Heyya!


Continuation of IB at JAMK story

Hello :)

I hope that you are still interested in reading about International Business programme at JAMK. Today I’m going to tell you more about practical issues – how the studies look like from student’s perspective.

First of all, everyone starting her/his IB studies at JAMK has a peer tutor. Peer tutor is a person, most likely 2nd or 3rd year student of IB, designated to help a newcomer in first steps in Finland. Peer tutor contacts his/her wards well before they come to Finland, so if there are any questions, it is easy to get an answer. Peer tutor picks up her/his tutorees from Jyväskylä airport/bus or railway station and brings them to their apartments. She/he also helps in getting to school for a very first time, guides around the city and is of any assistance if needed.

There is also a teacher tutor designated for each student. He monitors study progress and helps in sorting out any problem issues. Each student has annually at least one discussion with her/his teacher tutor so to make sure that everything is going well and according to a plan.

First year studies begin with an orientation week. During this time students get to know each other, their teachers, and Heads of JAMK. Ideally there is 50-50 division of students in every IB class: half of the students are Finns and another half foreigners. Besides more formal presentations of school, programme and staff, there are also other activities helping in familiarising with others and creating group spirit. I would say that participating in first week events really helps in finding good friends ;)

Nice information for people who already studied something before IB at JAMK: there is a chance that some credits for IB studies will be granted based on your knowledge and skills acquired at previous university. For more information visit this site.

Now something more about regular studies. At the beginning of first year whole class is divided into smaller groups (in my class there were 6 of them). Teachers try to do it in this way that in one group there are people from different continents, countries, cultural background. There is plenty of group-works during studies, so each student will experience working with various people in various teams. However for at least first semester groups are assigned – just to make sure that everyone works with different people, not only closest friends, and that studies are really going to be international ;)

I’m not sure how it works in different countries, but for me way of working at JAMK was a bit surprising at the beginning. What I mean is that during my studies in Poland I of course had classes, sometimes small homework, announced tests during semester and one 2-3 weeks long exam session for all the subjects at the end of the semester (and that was the only time when everyone was actually learning). At JAMK it looks different. Students work during the whole semester. There are many assignments, projects, presentations, group-works, so besides classes everyone spends quite a lot of time on school stuff. But it really works! I feel that I learn a lot by doing, by listening, by presenting and it is not this kind of knowledge I’ll forget two weeks after exam session – because it’s practical knowledge. In different courses there are different assessment criteria, but one I can assure – grade from exam (if any) is just a part of final grade. The overall performance counts. Earlier shocking for me, but really nice and fair! :) Classroom

Another great “feature” of JAMK is Optima – web-based learning platform. Teachers publish there materials, schedules, links. Students may find there also descriptions of assignments and return boxes for tasks done. Everything is in one place – easily accessible from wherever you are. Additionally JAMK uses internal school email system. It makes communicating with teachers and fellow students easier and faster.

Well, that’s all for today. I wish you happy weekend :)

Greetings from cold and snowy Jyväskylä ;)


International Business at JAMK

Hello again :)

Today I’m going to tell you something more about studying International Business at JAMK.

Generally speaking, studies last 3.5 years. During this time every student is required to collect at least 210 ECTS credits for specific activities.
Obligatory courses from 1st  year cover 65 and from 2nd year 50 ECTS credits. Those courses are focused on business in general – marketing, management, finances, research, communication, etc. Additionally every foreign student gets familiar with basics of Finnish language during obligatory course (Finns have to participate in Swedish for Working Life). In turn, during the third year, there is a time for enhancing specific business skills, which accounts for 25 ECTS credits. There are several options to choose from, depending on person’s interest, e.g. Global Business Operations or High-Tech Management specialisations. This is more or less how the schedule for three years looks like ;)
Good news – we are asked to make more decisions (not only about the specialisation) on our own ;) 15 credits is scheduled for elective studies. This means we can choose courses we are interested in, not only from our degree programme :) Moreover, each person is required to gain 10 ECTS credits for language courses – two levels of the same language (of course besides mother tongue and English ;) ).  Offer is quite wide: Russian, German, French, Chinese, Spanish, etc. Good to know that JAMK has a special agreement with the University of Jyväskylä. If you can’t find desired language course here and University has it in its offer – you can take it and JAMK will accept credits for this. As I wrote last time – they care about students! :)

Let’s talk now about part of IB studies focused most on practicality – projects and practical training. Every IB student is required to collect 30 ECTS credits altogether in these two parts, but number of project credits cannot be lower than 10. One ECTS credit is given for about 27.5 documented hours of working. That means that usual practical training lasts at least 3.5 months (if speaking about 40 hours in every working week). I would say that this is pretty well-planned amount of time – one can really observe how the business life looks like and definitely learn a lot. There are many possibilities: students can do practical training in Finland or abroad (even in home country), depending on their interest, will and of course acceptance from the companies. Projects are usually done for local businesses. They are focused mostly on doing research. Very nice thing is that, besides searching on their own, students receive information about possible projects or practical training from the teachers. In this practical part of studies, the most important thing is not what you have done, but what you have learned. Studying – it is pretty much about learning, isn’t it? :)

Remaining 15 credits is accounted for Bachelor’s thesis. It is important to choose a topic one is really interested in (and which of course is related to business). This makes research and writing easier and nicer ;)

Now, as I described you how 210 ECTS credits are distributed, I would like to mention about one additional possibility: exchange :D For Finnish students of IB it is required to spend at least one semester of studies abroad – just to gain international experience and perspective. Other students, as they are already in foreign country, are not forced to go anywhere…but they can ;) There are so many options, so many countries and cities in an offer and only three steps between: apply, wait for acceptance, buy a ticket ;)

So, with this optimistic accent, I’m finishing my post today.

Have a nice weekend and “see you” soon! :)


Why Finland? Why JAMK? Polish IB student’s perspective

Hello, hello! :)

My name is Monika. I come from Poland and I’m a second year student of IB. FMe and winter in Jyväskyläor the next couple of weeks I’ll be your guide in the world of JAMK ;) I have in mind several topics I want to tell you about, but I’m willing to hear what kind of information you are interested in and write about it. So, feel free to comment whenever something comes to your mind! :)

Today I would like to tell you what is so special about JAMK and why I decided to study here.

Let’s start from a big picture. What makes Finland outstanding?
In my opinion, first of all, nature. One of a kind. All the lakes, forests, reindeer, squirrels and other animals, bright nights during summer and even snow and coolness during winter – it’s simply beautiful! Secondly, Finland is rather quiet country, very peaceful. I feel safe in here and I really appreciate this state.
Last but not least – Finland is a country you can trust. Everything is transparent. People obey rules. If they say something, they do so. Finns are very helpful. Additionally, their English skills (not only among youngest ones) are impressive.

Now, as you know what I consider as biggest advantages of Finland, it’s time to speak about JAMK itself. What attracted me most?

 1) Practicality

In my entire previous education there has been always focus put on theory. Practice, if any, was applied in a very small extent. Then, in 2008, I came to Finland for exchange and I realised that other approach is possible. OK, in Poland I studied Mathematics, so it’s slightly different story, but still ;) I saw so many advantages of Finnish education system….and here I am again ;)

At JAMK theory is just an addition to practice. Teachers know that we learn best by applying concepts to real-life situations. There are numerous assignments, case studies, projects during the courses. We do many class exercises, analyse tons of data, write reports, give dozens of presentations…and still are ready for more ;) Visitors, business people give us lectures. By frequent teamwork we are being prepared for working life. We cooperate with companies by projects, researches. There is always practical training involved in our study time.

Now I see how much I’ve learned so far even if often I didn’t feel it was learning. But, as you know, if you do something, it stays in you.

2) Internationality

For me, student of International Business, this is rather vital part of studies. At JAMK you can meet people from literally all over the world (OK, I haven’t met anyone from Australia yet, but I still have time ;) ).

At JAMK you have a great opportunity to familiarise yourself with many different cultures. Through teamwork you learn what are and how to handle differences in viewpoints. It really prepares not only for working but also for living in today’s global world.

3) English

Without any doubt, studies at JAMK help in developing English skills. Everyday students have to communicate with each other. There are discussions, group-works, presentations; all the lectures are in English. There is also a need to write assignments, reports, etc. English becomes so natural :)
JAMK’s virtue is also a presence of native English speakers – from USA, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland – not only students, but also lecturers.

4) Attitude

Being JAMK’s student makes you special. After my previous educational experience, it was quite big shock here. You are not another name on the list – you are a person! If you have any question, problem, there is number of people willing to help you.
Teachers are approachable. Students call them by first name, without using all this degrees or titles (like master, doctor, etc.). Questions are welcome – “The only stupid question is a question you haven’t asked” as one of my lecturers says. Teachers know their students, not only by name but also personality, capabilities, etc. Atmosphere is definitely more informal than in Poland and I love it here! It’s like everyone is a part of JAMK’s community. Simple and great! :)

Well, that’s all for today. I hope that I intrigued you a bit with my JAMK stories ;) More is coming next week. As I already mentioned, if you have any question or comment, I’m eager to read it and answer.



Business opportunities in Finland, in Jyväskylä and at JAMK

Finland is an entrepreneur friendly country. To raise the level of entrepreneurship is a target stated by the government. And Finns are doing it thoroughly as they do everything else. There is even competition between noncommercial organizations and programs which are targeted to help entrepreneurs to startup or develop their business at the early stages. I will specify some interesting opportunities for entry-level entrepreneurs and you are surely free to choose what you like.

For those students who are interested in entrepreneurship JAMK Generator works. In practice it means that a student can take classes related to business and entrepreneurship, those students who do not have a business idea yet are encouraged to develop their skills and create ideas. Those students who already have an idea for business are getting a personal coach and support at every stage of setting up a business.  The link to JAMK Generator description: http://www.jamk.fi/english/research/jamk_generator

There are several organizations and programs that work in Finland and in Jyväskylä in particular to support entrepreneurs.

Jyväskylä Regional Development Company Jykes Ltd., established in 1996, is a business promotion and development company owned by the four municipalities (City of Jyväskylä, Laukaa, Muurame and Uurainen) of the Jyväskylä Region. The aim of Jykes is to create a favourable business environment and to improve the co-operation between companies and the public sector. By offering expertise, support and various networks for companies, Jykes creates opportunities and conditions for profitable business operations. http://www.jykes.fi/en/

Jyväskylä Innovation Ltd is linking research and business. It is a development company that aims to make the Jyväskylä region an internationally thriving, technological growth centre for benefiting its diversified branches. The organization is supporting with its activities growth, development and competitiveness of technological enterprises in Jyväskylä Region and Central Finland. http://www.jklinnovation.fi/en

Technopolis Jyväskylä offers a service package in Jyväskylä, which seamlessly combines premises and related services in a user-friendly solution. The idea is to provide the optimal operating environment for technology companies. The centralized acquisition of services produces significant economies of scale that, combined with efficient use of space, ensure an economically favorable premises solution for the customer. http://www.technopolis.fi/index.php?id=21&lang_id=1

Luotsi is an organization targeted to develop entrepreneurship in Jyväskylä, they have services in English but you cannot guess that visiting their webpage ;) The most persistent non-speakers of Finnish can always try on-line translator:  http://www.luotsi.info/fi/tutustu_luotsiin/?id=8

Protomo is a multidisciplinary and social innovation and entrepreneur environment which works in several Finnish including Jyväskylä. It’s basic idea is to provide facilities, support of the community and sparring from the experts, free of charge, to help develop new services and products for the market. http://protomo.fi/en/what-is-protomo

Tekes – the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation. Works all around Finland. Every year, Tekes finances some 1,500 business research and development projects, and almost 600 public research projects at universities, research institutes and polytechnics. http://www.tekes.fi/en/community/Home/351/Home/473

Vigo is a new type of acceleration program which bridges the gap between the early stage technology companies and international venture funding. http://www.vigo.fi/frontpage

Finnvera is a specialized financing company owned by the State of Finland. It provides its clients with loans, guarantees, venture capital investments and export credit guarantees. Finnvera is the official Export Credit Agency (ECA) of Finland. http://www.finnvera.fi/eng/

Some other useful links:

Human technology Central Finland http://www.humantechnology.fi/en/do_business_with_us/?id=2

The Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (manage the regional implementation and development tasks of the state administration).  http://www.ely-keskus.fi/en/frontpage/Sivut/default.aspx

Jyväskylä city website about business opportunities: http://www.jyvaskyla.fi/international/business

The leading startup conference in Northern Europe Slush (Helsinki) http://www.slush.fi/

Startup Sauna is a program that pushes the selected startups develop to a stage where they’re ready to take over the international markets. Startup Sauna takes two batches annually in the spring and fall (Helsinki).  http://startupsauna.com/

So those who are interested in entrepreneurship you are warmly welcomed to Jyväskylä and JAMK! There are plenty opportunities for you here!!! And good luck in the entrance exams!

I will be happy to answer all the questions about my experience of living in Jyväskylä and studying at JAMK, and if you want to ask something privetly you can write to my email: starovoytova.irina@gmail.com

See you in Jyväskylä ;)


International Business Students

We are different. We can speak different languages, we are of different age, different culture, and different experience. We contribute

to each other and learn from each other.

We are good communicators: we communicate to about 45 other students from our group every day. We are good speakers and performers: we make presentations in front of half hundred people at least every second week. We are good sellers: three students sold more than 60 brochures at KiVi event.

We are proactive. Some of us run their business while studying at JAMK, some do international working projects, many are participating in different students’ organizations, and we also have our classmate elected for JAMKO board.

We are curious: more than a half of International Business students have an exchange period abroad during their studies at JAMK.

Active students always have more fun. I can just shortly list the activities in which my friends and me took part during this autumn:

  • IDIS-competition /  Competitions among students teams about creating new ideas, which took 3 days, during which we were living in nice cottages in golf resort not far from Jyvaskyla, and had all meals and sauna included.  The tasks were set by the City of Jyvaskyla and Luotsi, non commercial organization supporting entrepreneurship in Central Finland. The award for a winner team was 800 EUR.
  • AIESEC / the world biggest students run organization which is targeted to make this planet more open-minded
  • JAMK Ambassadors / the program of promoting JAMK abroad
  • Lingua Café / the traditional Erasmus event, where you can speak different languages over a cup of tea
  • Feel Finnish habits evenings / every second week meetings, where you can find out and experience Finnish culture
  • Family Friend program / program of JAMK for foreign students to let them feel Finnish way of living inside a family
  • KiVi event
  • Protomo Open Doors Day / Protomo works like business incubator for startups, provides help, place and a fund for developing startups
  • Business Incubator Wednesdays / consultations and help for students of JAMK interested in entrepreneurship

I will not list all the parties and entertainments we are having here, it will take too much place, just believe me: that there are plenty of them.

See you next time, it will be post devoted to entrepreneurship in Finland and in Jyväskylä and at JAMK in particular.


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