Tuesday, 14 April 2009

IB excursion to Berlin

TAMK University of Applied Sciences
Degree Programme in International Business
Report about excursion to Berlin in 2009
Tero Isokauppila

In 2008-2009 TAMK started a successful collaboration with Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft Berlin (HTW). HTW’s Project Management and Communication and TAMK’s Consulting Academy (TCA) have worked together which created the basis for this trip to Germany, to meet the students, be introduced to German business-life, and culture.
Five of us students from TCA participated in this trip; Yancho Dimov, Tero Isokauppila, Krista Kolehmainen, Laura Piela and Hobrawyld Chouat. We arrived in Berlin’s Tegel Airport on Wednesday the 1st of April where Mr. Antti Kapanen (who leads HTW’s masters programs) was waiting for us.
On Thursday we visited The Finnish Institute of Germany. The Institute is funded by the Finnish Ministry of Education for a mission to promote Finnish culture in German speaking countries. The Institute works closely with many Finnish schools. Possibilities are endless and Krista was able to find a tentative international training place through this Institute.
On Friday we visited the school. We met the director of the economics department, Dr. Sören Dressler who told us about their background. This is one of the largest schools of applied sciences in Germany, hosting 11,000 students. Many of the professors who teach there were old-consultants and the school encourages them to keep up with some of their clients.
After seeing the school, we met the students from the Master’s of engineering program. We talked about communication issues that occur while working with students from different countries. The main difficulty with communication is the difference between engineers and business people. We attended a lecture from BCPro which is a voluntary based Consultancy Academy. They do very similar work with real clients as we do in TCA, but they don’t do it for credit points but focus more on just networking. We enjoyed our time with their international students talking about different cultures, languages and communication problems. There were 18 master students which only one is German and the rest represent 14 different nations.
On Sunday we spent some time before our departure seeing the sights, which amongst the ones we visited, the last standing piece of the Berlin Wall was the most memorable.
We learned to appreciate the fact that TAMK really focuses on internationalism and learning by practical tactics for example, traveling and hands on experiences. We felt like real business people traveling by metro to and from our hotel to various meetings, business luncheons and gatherings on top of struggling with a foreign language. It’s impossible to learn these things at school!
In conclusion, we’d like to say that this trip was a perfect ending to our basic and professional studies and a great introduction to our practical studies!

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