Starting studies in university is a big life change and many questions run through new students’ minds: How am I going to manage, will I make friends with fellow students, are the professors harsh and distant etc. Well, what about if you start your university path in an extraordinary situation due to a global pandemic? Then the student community, approachable teachers and professional university staff play a key role to ensure a successful study experience.
New students who started in the Bachelor's Program in International Business (also called the BScBA Program) last fall, seem to have coped quite well. A first-year School of Business at the Mikkeli Campus, student Anne Torvinen, surely speaks also for her fellow students when she says that during her short time in Mikkeli, she has created unforgettable memories.
“When I first applied to this program, I had few expectations and tried to keep an open mind. I was blown away by our amazing and supportive community. I have met some of the funniest and most interesting people, and not once have I regretted applying to this program”, Anne says.
Studying online but maintaining the quality of teaching
The fist-year students only had one contact course before teaching was moved entirely online. Though online teaching has raised new challenges, the students have achieved the learning outcomes very well. Anne admits that she was not looking forward to online classes and the unfamiliar city of Mikkeli: “I was sceptical of what awaited me due to the pandemic. But now being here I would not trade my experience with anyone. Our lectures have been fun and engaging!”
The learning experience of the BScBA Program is module-based with students taking one course at a time, making the studies interactive, intense and focused.
“I have enjoyed studying in modules since we get to concentrate on one specific course for the three weeks’ time. Our assignments are evenly spread out through the module so that the workload does not feel overly draining”, Anne explains.
The lecturers of the BScBA Program are top scholars in their field, and they bring globally competitive knowledge into teaching and assignments. Students find them supportive and approachable and this hasn’t changed during the online courses. “The professors come from different parts of the world. The quality of teaching is extremely high and the students provide valuable feedback on the professors’ performance in class.”
As the classes have been online, Anne thinks that it might sometimes be a bit challenging to follow the teaching. And at that point, the professional skills of the teachers step in.
“My favorite professor so far has been our Business Math with Excel teacher Roman Stepanov. Roman ensured that every student understood the subject, made himself easily approachable and was regularly available to the students”, Anne says.