Interns can provide a lot of good ideas and fresh views on developing organisations’ operations

First, the IDBM programme got 15-year-old Rasmus as a TET intern and then as a summer worker.
Miikka J. Lehtonen, a visiting assistant professor in the IDBM programme and Rasmus’s (in the picture) introducer, recommends welcoming TET interns to everyone. "These encounters will definitely benefit both sides as long as it is well planned, also together with the TET intern, what tasks he or she could be performing during the TET period”, says Lehtonen.

At the beginning of the year, ninth-grader Rasmus Uusipaikka got an idea to apply for a TET internship at Aalto University. TET is the abbreviation for the Finnish term työelämään tutustuminen, and it refers to a period of work experience part of Finnish comprehensive school curriculum and intended to allow ninth graders an opportunity to experience working life. Rasmus got lucky and was invited to complete the TET internship at Aalto University’s International Design Business Management (IDBM) programme. After the one-week TET period completed in February, Rasmus requested if there was a summer job position available and was hired for a two-week summer job position in the programme.

According to Rasmus, the main reason for him to apply for a TET internship position at Aalto University was that he is interested in business and entrepreneurship. He thought that Aalto could possibly be the right study place for him, too, in the future. Although, this decision will not be made in the near future, Rasmus still was interested in seeing how Aalto University looked like from the inside.

Young people’s social media behaviour examined during the TET internship

On the first day of Rasmus TET internship in the IDBM, he agreed that he would be working with one larger project and, in addition, perform some smaller tasks.

"The people of the IDBM wanted to get more information on young people’s social media behaviour and what kind of content in IDBM channels could interest potential future students. During the week, I mapped these matters with the help of the Internet and, by the end of my TET week I wrote a presentation in English on the results of my investigation,” Rasmus says.

“Because entrepreneurship is something that interests me, during the week, I also got to interview a few IDBM alumni who are currently working as entrepreneurs. We agreed to meet both via Skype and at the premises of their respective companies, in case they located in the Helsinki metropolitan area within a reasonable distance. All in all, I think there were four to five interviews. The interviews were extremely interesting, and I also learnt a lot about the IDBM and entrepreneurship in general,” Rasmus continues.

The summer job focused on the development of the IDBM programme marketing and networks

As the summer started, Rasmus Uusipaikka returned to work for the IDBM programme, which had become familiar to him already in winter. Again, there were diverse tasks for him to perform, some of which he got to do independently and others together with programme assistants, in which case the working language was English.

“I searched for English-language teaching material on the Internet, such as videos, charts, and pictures, for the programme. In addition to this, I carried out a small-scale market research. The purpose was to map local design-themed events, partner universities suitable for the IDBM and various social media channels and other channels for impacting within and outside of Aalto University. Furthermore, I searched for good advertisements used by other companies and gave reasons how my findings could be utilised as inspiration for IDBM marketing,” Rasmus says.

Miikka J. Lehtonen, a visiting assistant professor in the IDBM programme and Rasmus’s introducer, requested the youngster, who had just finished comprehensive school, also to make a presentation where he would describe how the IDBM’s thematic areas could be taught already in upper secondary school.

“In order for me to make a good presentation, I familiarised myself with the curriculum for upper secondary school even more detailed as I had planned before autumn, as I will start upper secondary school only this autumn! However, I managed to finish the presentation, and I held the presentation in English to Miikka and IDBM assistants, which gave me the chance to utilise my English language skills and competence in PowerPoint presentations,” Rasmus describes.

Very good experience on both sides

Rasmus is very satisfied with his TET period and summer job weeks spent in the IDBM programme.

“I’m really happy and grateful for the weeks spent in the IDBM, and I feel that I really got to familiarise myself with Aalto University and see how it would be to study there. Working in the IDBM programme was truly inspiring, and the atmosphere was open and very warm. I learnt a lot of new things which definitely will be an asset in the future. Also, it was interesting to get to see what kind and what level of contents it is studied at Aalto. In addition to inspiring tasks, it was really nice that Miikka allowed me to come to follow a meeting held between him and some IDBM collaboration partners. I really appreciate all the effort Miikka and other programme staff members put into me during my TET period and summer job. A big thanks to them!”

Also the IDBM’s Miikka J. Lehtonen is very satisfied with Rasmus’s performance.

“Rasmus really was a huge help for us and developed some ideas that we already now are further processing in the programme. As an employee, Rasmus was proactive and hard-working,” thanks Miikka, who is excited about working with young people and learning from them, too, also in the future. “I recommend welcoming TET interns to everyone – these encounters will definitely benefit both sides as long as it is well planned, also together with the TET intern, what tasks he or she could be performing during the TET period.”

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