Prodeko Alumni society takes on the challenge of life-long learning with the help of peer power
For the first time in autumn 2018, Aalto University Department of Industrial Engineering and Management and the alumni society of its guild, Prodeko, have tried out the model of life-long learning based on collaborative learning between alumni. Working together and on a voluntary basis, student and alumni associations and teaching staff have planned and implemented two courses for the alumni of the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management.
Prodeko Lifelong Learning courses’ first topics are challenges related to the implementation of acquisitions, and the development of personal leadership. The alumni have shared their experiences on the course topics gained throughout their working careers in the spirit of collaborative learning. The department’s professors have complemented the peer discussion with their own insights and through current scientific research.
‘Prodeko alumni’s idea to update a degree on a voluntary basis is great. It is exciting to compare experiences gained throughout one’s career with the other alumni’, says one of the course participants, Managing Partner of Redstone Nordics Kaj Hagros.
I learned a lot from the other alumni participants, but also from the very suitable scientific articles. Thanks to the course, I now understand the strengths of my own organisation better, and know how to benefit from them in the future’, says Director, Mergers & Acquisitions at Esperi Care Oy Sebastian Knight, who also participated in the course.
Thanks to the course, I now understand the strengths of my own organisation better, and know how to benefit from them in the future.
The course on personal leadership and growth focuses on, for instance, the principles of leadership, practices of self-management, interrelationships and the maintenance of personal well-being. Under the guidance of Jari Ylitalo and Juha Äkräs, the participants examine their own day-to-day practices, interview their partners, experiment with change, create a development plan for themselves, and share their experiences in peer discussions.
‘We are all incomplete in some way, and have a need for discussion and reflection on our own well-being, development and learning. The most meaningful benefits of a course like this are taking time to focus on one’s personal issues, discussing and sharing experiences with peers, as well as receiving tips for your daily life’, Jari Ylitalo says.
Head of the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Risto Rajala says that new operational models will be created on the basis of this experiment, which will benefit all university graduates, as well as people studying or working at the university.
‘Continuous learning is an increasingly important part of everyone’s working career. Operational models developed during the experiment received very positive feedback from the participants.’
Continuous learning is an increasingly important part of everyone’s working career.
After analysing the pilot courses’ results, the intention is to continue and develop our activities within life-long learning. The 2019 Chair of Prodeko Alumni Karla Nieminen says that the following courses are already under development, and next the alumni will learn something new at the shared seminar of the guild, the department and the alumni. The seminar will be organised in April under the theme of ‘Business with Purpose’.
‘From the Alumni’s perspective, one of our most important tasks is to support the professional development of our members.’
As the project continues, the objective is to develop new operational models for solving the needs of life-long learning within the entire Aalto University and the society as a whole.
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