Projects with NGOs (pilot)
The Aalto University School of Business has a long tradition of co-operation with different kinds of organizations, but the focus has mainly been on corporations. In line with the School’s motto Better Business – Better Society, the School wishes to provide more opportunities for its students to engage in collaboration with NGOs. One of the means to do so is through student projects, where the students tackle real-life challenges presented by NGOs. The project concept will be piloted in the academic year 2022-23.
The NGO project concept has been developed in collaboration with our School’s faculty members, management and experts, as well as Fingo.
The projects students carry out for the participating NGOs can be research and development projects, such as the development of a marketing and communication plan, the creation of an event concept, the comparison of different systems or the development of operational processes (e.g. member recruitment). It is essential that the topic of the project is related to the themes of business and economics so that the students can include it in their degrees. You can get acquainted with the programs of the School of Business here.
The project coordinator from the School of Business will search for a suitable academic supervisor for the topic, but if one cannot be found or is unavailable, the project cannot be undertaken as a part of this concept. It is highly recommended that NGOs contact the coordinator as early as possible.
The projects are free of charge for the NGO (excl. possible travel and other project-related expenses accrued by the student(s) which are always agreed in advance).
In this part you will find some detailed information and advices on projects.
As a non-governmental organization, you can find a student from the Aalto University School of Business to carry out your development project either:
- from among your own members,
- by the student proposing the project to you, or
- by advertising a project topic in Aalto JobTeaser (instructions later on this page).
The project can be undertaken by an individual student or a group of students from Aalto University School of Business. The scope of the project corresponds to 6 study credits per student (1 credit equals approximately 27 hours of study).
It is the responsibility of the NGO to select a suitable student and describe the objectives of the project. The School of Business is responsible for the academic guidance, but you naturally have the best knowledge of your day-to-day operations. The amount of work and involvement of the NGO depends on the topic and how the project is implemented. In some cases, the student will not need much guidance or materials from you during the project, but it is important to stay in contact also in-between the formal project meetings.
The topic of the project must be such that it is suitable for a master's degree student studying at the Aalto University School of Business. In other words, the students must be able to use the skills and knowledge they have learned in their studies (see our school’s degree programs). The topic is approved by the project coordinator and ultimately by the project supervisor. The NGO must be prepared to adapt the subject to suit both the master's level studies and the required six credits.
The focus of the project can be, for example, to:
- determine the adequacy / suitability / number of membership benefits
- develop the different forms of membership
- develop processes
- design a new operational model
- develop an organizational model for organizing events
- compare member management software and make a selection recommendation
- develop a communication plan
- prepare a marketing plan
- make a fundraising status report and mapping of new models
The project includes at least three project meetings, where the student(s), the contact person from the NGO (as well as other potentially relevant persons) and the academic supervisor of the project meet.
- At the first meeting, it is important to go through the purpose of the project, its scope, the necessary background information as well as its implementation and schedule.
- The second meeting ensures that the project is on schedule and provides a forum to discuss possible stumbling blocks.
- In the third meeting, students present their output and agree on the next steps (writing an article for publication and the format of the final output of the actual project) and receive feedback on their work.
The student(s) will write a news article about the project on the aalto.fi website. The article can also be published on the NGO's own channels. The article is approved by both the NGO and the school. Any confidential information will not be published in the article, but it is important to highlight the topic of the project and its key findings at a general level. After the project, feedback is collected from all participants to be able to develop the project concept.
The NGO must nominate a person responsible for the project, who is also the student's primary contact person. Several other persons in your organization may also be involved – e.g. in providing information to the student or as interviewees. The contact person is responsible for attending all the project meetings.
The project coordinator approves the topic tentatively and finds an academic supervisor for the project. She/he also helps the NGO promote the topic to students as needed (including using JobTeaser). The coordinator is also the primary point of contact for practical matters.
The academic supervisor is responsible for the academic content of the project. She/he guides the student in choosing the right methods and implementing the project professionally. The academic supervisor also ultimately evaluates how well the given topic (the content of the topic and the amount of work required) is suitable for the student's performance.
You can advertise your project to a wider group of students at the School of Business by publishing it on the Aalto JobTeaser service. In the same service, you can also advertise other job and internship positions and thesis assignments (note the publication terms!).
The project advert must follow the next terms / steps to be published and to be better noticed by our students. The coordinator will seek for the academic supervisor before the advert is published.
- The Job Title must follow this form: "NGO project or NGO-projekti: XX" in which you replace the XX by the topic of your project.
Nb! If you post the advert in English, the students will assume that they will not need any Finnish language skills in the project
- In the Job Description you should mention at least the following
- what skills does the project require
- is the topic as it is or can it be modified
- is this a project for one or many students (note: 6 credits per student)
- what is your time frame for the project
- the following text should be added (as it is) to every project advert (after your own texts) (please choose the version according to your advert language):
”NGO-projektit ovat vain Aalto-yliopiston kauppakorkeakoulun maisteriopiskelijoille tarkoitettuja 6 opintopisteen kokonaisuuksia. Projektin aihe tulee hyväksyttää projektikoordinaattorilla, joka etsii projektille myös akateemisen ohjaajan. Tämän jälkeen voit ilmoittautua kurssille. Lue lisää projektin MyCourses-sivulta (BIZ-E0110).”
”NGO project is an independent project course (6 ECTS) for Aalto University School of Business Master’s students only. The topic must be approved by the project coordinator who also finds a suitable academic supervisor for the project. After this you can register for the course. Please read more from the MyCourses page (BIZ-E0110).”
- Contract type = Part-time / student job
- Job Category choose the nearest option even if it is not easy, you can choose only one
- Tags = School of Business + BIZ NGO project
- Minimum experience required = Student / recent graduate
- Archiving date (last day to apply) we recommend to be longer than just a couple of weeks. The students might not be able to react fast due to their other engagements. However, it is also recommended to mention if you are going to interview applicants and if you might make your decision already during the application period.
- The advert should be targeted ONLY for the students in Aalto university School of Business
- Vacancy language = is the language the advert in written in. Advert will show for students that have stated they have it in their skills.
More detailed instructions are same as for other job adverts and you’ll find them here. There will also be video to guide you through posting a project advert (published later).