"I learned that clients don't always know what they need" says Aalto University Information Technology Program alum Elina Ståhlberg
Quick recap of ITP
Information Technology Program (ITP) is an annual Aalto University summer minor program of 24 ECTS. It combines business, design, and technology and hosts students from various fields and countries, making it both international and multidisciplinary. At the core of the three-month program are business projects done in collaboration with real companies.
There are 3 specialization tracks with their respective coordinators: Information and Service Business (ISB), Digital and Intelligent Ecosystems (DIE) and Strategy and Experience Design (SED).
Learning to trust yourself through concrete work experience
Elina was looking for the right minor for a while, but nothing really felt right. Then she heard about ITP from a friend, who had done their minor in the Strategic Experience Design track (SED) the year before. Since Elina is interested in a career in design, she found ITP, especially the SED track, the most interesting out of all minors she had previously in mind.
Elina did her minor in Strategic Experience Design in 2021, and really enjoyed her experience in ITP. She learned what working as a designer could look like in practice for the first time, as she had previously only learned about it in theory. She found the business project to be a very concrete example of how project work looks like in a real job. One of the most valuable things she learned during the summer was how to navigate situations, where a client might have different expectations for her work and that she should trust her own expertise. One key insight from the courses for Elina was that clients don’t always know what they actually need. As a designer, you shouldn’t take the brief your client gives you as is, but instead get to the bottom of the problem. All in all, the courses and faculty supported the project work well.
Elina Ståhlberg, 2022
I got more concrete work experience from ITP than I would have gotten from a summer job at this point of my studies!
Elina really appreciated the time that was allocated to getting to know your teammates and other ITP students, as well as building team spirit during Kick-Off Week in May. The value placed on getting to know your team and having fun together, and facilitating that in the program, was a great start for the summer. She really enjoyed hanging out with her team and other ITP folk during the summer. Elina enjoyed her team and found it to be an irreplaceable source of support.
For all of you students considering applying, Elina says not to hesitate putting in an application. It’s a great opportunity to further your studies and get some real work experience that you maybe wouldn’t be able to get from a summer job, depending on where you are in your studies. You don’t have to stress about the application or sit on it for weeks cause you’re not 100% satisfied - just be brave and apply!
Elina is a 4th year information networks student. She is an active member of Athene, the guild of information networks. She also plays the piano and sings!