Collaboration between Nokia and the CEMS programme results in several strategic business projects every spring

CEMS as a unique global community delivers a leading Master’s in International Management programme, which educates responsible future leaders to contribute to creating a more open, sustainable and inclusive world.
Men and women sitting around tables working in groups.

The CEMS Global Alliance in Management Education was established in 1988. It constitutes a unique global community that comprises 33 member schools, 70 corporate partners and 7 social partners. Aalto University School of Business joined the alliance in 1998. 

Nokia has been a dedicated CEMS corporate partner since the early days of Aalto’s CEMS membership, providing valuable support in building the bridge between studies and working life. Nokia's partnership also enables the company an intensive collaboration with other alliance universities.

Connecting education and working life

Each year, about 1 300 MIM students representing 80 different nationalities worldwide enroll in the programme. Typically, the students are very ambitious and open-minded, have high moral standards and show a genuine interest in socially responsible working and acting.

Combining cutting-edge theoretical knowledge with real-life business cases from corporate partners, the CEMS MIM (Master’s in International Management) programme prepares students for the future. It helps students develop their capabilities to craft insightful and sustainable solutions for businesses and other organisations. 

Nokia’s contribution to building a bridge between students’ education and their working life has been invaluable in the CEMS programme. 

‘We are extremely grateful for Nokia's active involvement in the programme. Nokia representatives regularly visit and speak at CEMS exclusive courses, participate in the development of the programme as a permanent member of the CEMS programme committee, contribute to the student selection process, and commission interesting and challenging business projects each spring. This year alone, Tarun Sharma from Nokia Bell Labs has been a guest speaker in CEMS exclusive courses ranging from Global Strategy to Technology Innovation and Diversity, to name a few’, says Rita Järventie-Thesleff, the CEMS Academic Director at Aalto.

Valuable information also for companies

The business project forms approximately half of the students’ workload during CEMS spring term. Nokia has been very active in these projects and has commissioned 15 business projects since 2015. These projects offer participating companies an opportunity to pick the brains of young students and get an outside-in perspective on a particular business opportunity or potential challenge. 

Additionally, these projects reinforce the strategic partnership between Aalto & Nokia in a unique, concrete and tangible manner. Each project is composed of a team of international students who are guided by a business tutor from a corporate partner and an academic tutor from the Aalto University School of Business. 

Tarun Sharma, Head of Digital & Strategy at Nokia Bell Labs and Pekka Kupila, Incubation Lead at Nokia Bell Labs, act as contact persons for Nokia’s CEMS partnership. Last spring, they acted as Nokia’s business tutors in the projects taken on by the partnership.

Men and women standing in a large group and smiling for the photo.

‘The team did an incredible job on the project. They were rigorous, disciplined and possessed excellent collaboration skills, which is very important. They utilised theoretical frameworks well, read a lot of literature, did external benchmarking and conducted many interviews before coming up with strategic recommendations. They worked with such professionalism and maturity, which often made me forget that they were still master’s students and this was only their master’s project,’ admitted Tarun Sharma after the final project presentations.

'The students appreciated the collaboration with Nokia. As an example of Nokia’s devoted guidance, they mentioned an extensive kick-off meeting at Nokia as valuable for understanding the projects’ objectives,' says Rita Järventie-Thesleff. 

In spring 2021, Aalto's CEMS cohort will be exceptionally international. This will once again enable educational and exciting projects to be carried out together with the CEMS corporate partners like Nokia. 

This semester, Nokia will also be working with the French CEMS school HEC Paris, and commission an interesting business project related to a new mobility service in Europe. In addition to Nokia, Aalto's CEMS programme hosts KONE's CEMS partnership.

Further information:

 Tarun Sharma, Head of Digital & Strategy at Nokia Bell Labs

Tarun Sharma, Head of Digital & Strategy at Nokia Bell Labs
 Pekka Kupila, Incubation Lead at Nokia Bell Labs

Pekka Kupila, Incubation Lead at Nokia Bell Labs
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