Summer School Alum story: “Never before have I learned so much in two weeks”

With 35 students from 16 different countries, this summer’s Digital Business Master Class by Aalto University Summer School taught the students all things digital business and allowed them to collaborate on real-life business cases by partnering companies in an international setting.
Liva Gramlow and another student standing in front of the classroom giving their final presentations at Digital Business Master Class by Aalto University Summer School.
Liva Gramlow (left) will have a tough traveling schedule next year as she wants to visit all the new friends she made during the Digital Business summer course. Photo: Ayse Pekdiker / Aalto University

Liva Gramlow from Hamburg is about to start a family business venture with her mother and took the Digital Business course at Aalto University Summer School to get a head start on the tools used in today’s digital business landscape.

‘I chose the Digital Business Master Class at Aalto University Summer School because the economic side of my bachelor did cover all the basics referring to economy and management but left out the part about digitalisation, which is obviously becoming more and more important every day,’ Liva comments.

Liva has recently received her Bachelor’s degree in culture economy at Universität Duisburg Essen and is continuing her master’s studies in culture and media management.

‘Since I was little I loved exploring new cultures, travelling has always been a big passion of mine. Besides that, I love to read, and since my mother is a sewer, handicrafts have also always been part of my life,’ says Liva.

Has the course helped you with new insights for your studies or career? 

A big YES! In one of my emails to the program manager, I said, “never before have I learned so much in just two weeks“. I gained a lot of new knowledge about the importance and the usage of platform business models, and the lectures about AI showed me that there is still a long way to go to implement the new technology the right way into our society.

Additionally, the short exchange with all these international people from different backgrounds has enriched me with many new perspectives.

Why do you think this course is important for students/professionals entering today’s digital business landscape?

Digitalisation is essential in today’s modern world. It is and will be very important to be a part of the changing process and create new valuable business for a better future using all the tools available. We need to strengthen and expand our knowledge to use all those tools from the toolbox. This course is important for students and professionals because we all learn how to work on this together. 

What was the best part of the course?

It sounds funny, but the food really brought us together as a group. The whole team would probably say the treat of being served coffee and a traditional Finnish pastry every morning before class. I also remember a really good pizza: One evening, a fellow student and I wanted to go out for dinner together, and suddenly we were a group of 15 people sitting in the backyard having pizza, beer and a lot of laughs. It still surprises me how such a big group of international people could connect so fast. 

I’ll have a tough travel schedule for the next few years, visiting all the new friends I have made.

Liva Gramlow in sunglasses, smiling towards the camera in front of the Parliament House in Helsinki.
Liva at the Oodi library terrace, facing the Parliamentary House in Helsinki. Photo: Liva Gramlow's archive

Can you give three tips for aspiring students considering applying for the course?

1. Do it
2. Do it
3. Do it!

Make this short-term exchange an adventure for yourself. Focus on why you want to be part of this course and truly own your experience. As a bonus, the Summer School staff were also incredibly helpful and would always give you a helpful and friendly answer.

What was your first impression of Finland and Aalto University?

After a disastrous trip, where nearly everything went wrong, from a lost bag and a 12h delay on my way from Germany, I remember that I called my Mom and said that since I arrived in Finland, everything had gone so smooth. My first impression was a warm welcome with cinnamon buns and coffee for breakfast, friendly, helpful uncomplicated people and a blue sky. 

I also loved sharing a sweaty sauna experience with strangers and was impressed by the absence of the coronavirus. I knew it would be hard to leave this place.

For whom would you recommend the course?

Coming from a more cultural study background, I took the role of the black sheep in the group. Sometimes I needed to put in some extra work, but I never felt out of place. I recommend this course to everyone who wants to know the digital business landscape better, even if you’re like me and not very familiar with the digital business world. 

More information about the Digital Business Master Class courses for winter and summer 2023 will be updated on the Aalto University Summer School website shortly.

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