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Step up your digital game with this summer's Digital Business Master Class

How can businesses thrive in the fast-changing digital strategy landscape? In the hybrid adaptation of Digital Business Master Class, students from all over the world have the chance to join a highly facilitated and challenge-based course on Digital Business either online or on-campus.
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The course gives the participants an excellent opportunity to build their professional networks and improve their cross-cultural communication skills. We sat down with Laura Kitinoja, Program Manager of the Digital Business Master Class (DBMC) at Aalto University Summer School. 

What tools or methods can companies adopt to be better able to handle fast-paced change?

Rather than specific tools, I would say that the ability to adapt to fast-paced change comes down to company culture. An organisation that encourages experimentation and well-connected people is better prepared. Diversity of skillsets and backgrounds is also important.

Additionally, as data is becoming more and more critical with the increased use of analytics, automation and artificial intelligence, companies need also to understand the responsibilities of using data. Compliance with regulations should be self-evident, but AI and data ethics go far beyond existing governance. 

Is a data-driven approach to business a must to survive today?

Data can be a great asset. However, using data also requires a lot of work and expertise. At the Digital Business Master Class, one of the first lectures introduces the students to data-intensive business, which is usually a great eye-opener to people who haven’t worked with data much before. 

How are the continuously evolving technology landscape and digitalisation transforming the future of work?

We have seen a massive jump in the digitalisation of work during the past year, and many people predict that remote work is here to stay. Another aspect is the digitalisation and automation of work tasks and jobs. While this can be scary for the people whose jobs are on the line, automation of work has been constant since the technological revolution. As routine work gets automated, people will focus more on the aspects humans excel at, such as creative problem solving, communication and strategic thinking. 

Do digital strategies automatically mean more agile processes?

Not necessarily. Companies should always look at their processes with a critical eye when implementing digital tools and strategies; otherwise, they risk the previous problems being transferred into the new digital environment. Digitalisation is by no means a silver bullet for organisations’ challenges. 

For example, many companies use a plethora of different digital communication channels, increasing the risk of missed information and confusion among employees. On the other hand, digital automation, for example, can lead to substantial time savings when appropriately implemented. Time put into planning and designing new processes is usually worth it for the end result.

What kind of business cases can students expect to work on during the course?

The business cases are related to different aspects of digital business, from the digital optimisation of existing operations to assessing new digital strategies. We strive to find projects that fit well with the course’s themes so that the lectures act as a natural source of information and coaching for the business cases.

The course prepares students with a better overall digital business knowledge for their careers and studies. On the course, each lecture is taught by an expert in that area of business, offering a well-rounded package of insights

Participants return to their studies or workplace with increased knowledge of digital business, data and new design tools.

Laura Kitinoja, Program Manager for Digital Business Master Class

What is the structure and the format of the course?

The course includes an intensive two-week lecture period, as well as individual pre-work and post-work. Students get their project brief during the pre-work and do background research of the project case. This acts as an excellent orientation for the topic, allowing students to get straight to work with their team during the intensive weeks.

The intensive weeks include three hours of daily lectures and teamwork on the business project. At the end of the lecture weeks, the teams present their results to the rest of the class and the project client. The course wraps up with a reflection and a teamwork analysis. Taking the time to process the new insights and reflect on oneself as a team member is an integral part of the learning experience.

For whom would you recommend the Digital Business Master Class?

I would recommend the DBMC to any master’s student who is interested in digital business and wants to include a hands-on project in their degree to show what they have learned. It’s also an excellent opportunity for people who would like to take the next step in their career and into a role that demands a better understanding of digital strategies and business solutions. 

Digital Business Master Class - Hybrid course 5-16 July 2021

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Interested in hearing more about this course and Aalto University Summer School? Read more and apply no later than 30 April 2021!

Teamwork

Digital Business Master Class (Summer)

DBMC is a challenge-based course with a focus on digital technologies as tools for building businesses. During the intensive course, students work in international teams to plan digital solutions for real business cases from partnering companies.

Aalto University Summer School
Tyler Spring standing in a harbour at sunset, smiling.

DBMC Alumnus Tyler Spring: ‘The course is an experience you won’t forget’

Tyler Spring attended the Digital Business Master Class in July 2019, and has successfully translated the course insights into positive changes at his work.

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