‘Finland and Aalto have given me a whole new view on digital business’

International students experienced the Finnish spring and deepened their knowledge of digital business at the Aalto University Summer School’s Digital Business course in March.
Group pucture taken at the stairs in Väre of happy Digital Business students, smiling and waving to the camera.

After two years of online courses, the Digital Business Master Class returned to campus in March 2022. Students from Peru, Argentina, Canada, the United States, Scotland and Finland joined the course, where participants dive into key topics of digital business through expert lectures and real-life company cases. 

‘The students were excited to travel and experience a new country. Studying, working and exploring Finland together for two weeks created great friendships. Our lecturers were also thrilled to be back on campus. Everyone has had their fair share of online lectures and is looking for new connections,’ comments Laura Kitinoja, program manager at Aalto University Summer School. 

During their two weeks in Finland, students attended lectures and workshops to learn about the different aspects of digital business. Sessions such as Design Methods in Digital Business, Platform Business Models, Leadership in the Digital Age and AI Ethics in Practice give participants multiple perspectives on how digitalisation and the data-intensiveness of today’s world influence businesses. The insights are put into practice through real-life cases provided by partner organisations. This time, projects were done in collaboration with CMI, Digimuseo, Posti and PwC Finland. 

The project work is the highlight of the course for many students

‘For me, the biggest learning outcome of the course was the project itself. Our challenge was to help Posti establish a stronger data culture in their organisation. The research and learning about what encompasses a data culture were probably the most enlightening part of the course. It’s far more than just how you work with stats and figures – it's how you work with the people in your organisation,’ reflected course participant Ruaridh Jackson, who attended the course as a working professional to bring new insights to his role at the Glasgow School of Art.

Other project topics included coming up with new service business models for PwC Finland, fine-tuning Digimuseo’s offering for the suppliers and consumers on their virtual museum platform and ideating solutions for improving the safety of sensitive dialogues through mitigating information leaks in collaboration with CMI’s digital peacemaking team.

A group oicture taken with a selfie stick of a group of smiling Summer School students on the Market Squre in Helsinki.
All smiles by the Market Square in Helsinki.

Since a part of the course workload is divided over online pre- and post-work periods, students also had the opportunity to explore Helsinki during the intensive weeks. Events such as a welcome evening, a tour of historical Helsinki and a farewell dinner were organised as a part of the course social programme. In addition to this, students made the most of their trip with dinners, a local hockey match, and travelling to destinations like Lapland or Tallinn over the weekend.

‘Finland as a country and Aalto as a university have given me a whole new view on digital business and how my knowledge of digitalisation was quite far behind. There is still a long way to go in my home country of Peru. It was eye-opening to see another culture and the way of working, thinking and behaving of Finnish people, which is more relaxed and less job-driven.’ says Ángela Velásquez Bellido, MBA student from ESAN Graduate School of Business in Peru. Students interested in learning more about the Finnish way of working can complement their studies at Aalto University Summer School with the Finland Works open online course.

The application period for the Digital Business summer course in July is open until the 6th of May. 

‘I’m thankful for being a participant in the program and for the experiences, classes, classmates and professors. I’m happy to recommend the program to more people.’ Velásquez Bellido sums up her experience. 

Illustration of a person holding their CV.

Finland Works open online course (external link)

In this course, we will look at how to navigate Finnish working life and how to build a career. We explore working life in Finland from societal, organisational and individual perspectives.

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