Thursday, 24 January 2013

Business Innovation Intensive Course in Estonia


Teambuilding activities with Aurelija from Lithuania
We spent almost one week in a Business Innovation Intensive Course Estonia in autumn 2012. 

Director of Academic Affairs Maris Sagar and Project Manager Annelis Tomingas from Tallinn College of Tallinn University of Technology organised for us an intensive course of the Nordic and Baltic Business Innovation Network, together with the coordinator of the network Pirkko Varis from TAMK. Altogether 28 students and 8 staff members from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Lithuania and Norway joined the intensive week. From TAMK, two students from Degree Programme in Tourism, Arja Niemi and Sauli Mamia and eight students from TAMK entrepreneurship programme Proacademy, Nina Granqvist, Joona Kapanen, Tommi Keränen, Joel Ojala, Saara-Kaisa Tenhunen, Juuso Uusitalo, Johanna Vuorenmaa and Pekka Äijälä took part in the intensive course “Business Innovation Focused on Experience-based Products/Services”. Veijo Hämäläinen was the staff member from Proacademy.

The following institutions are members of the Nordplus Nordic and Baltic Business Innovation Network:
- Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK), Business, Finland 
- University of Southern Denmark, Faculty of Engineering, Denmark
- Tallinn College of Tallinn University of Technology, Business, Estonia
- University of Tromsø, Business School, Norway
- Vytautas Magnus University, Faculty of Economics and Management, Lithuania

On Saturday, we travelled to Tallinn where we met other Nordic and Baltic students. We had a welcoming party at St. Patrick’s Pub, where we could get acquainted with each other and spend some time in not-so-official atmosphere. The next day, we had presentations of all the countries and study programmes taking part in this course. Afterwards, we had several team building activities in order to break the ice between us and learn something new about each other.
A country presentation of the team from Denmark
On Sunday, we were divided into teams with a representative from each country and two representatives from Finland. We were given an assignment to observe the Old Town of Tallinn on our own and re-enact legends connected to the spots on a map we got for our tour. We had fun during this assignment and had to work as a team. This way we had more time to get to know members of our teams. We took pictures from every spot and had to come up with a creative idea how to show a legend in one picture. It was interesting!

A team working on the assignment
Presentation of a team
From Monday on, we concentrated on the assignment from the company Tallinna Vesi (Tallinn Water). First, we visited the company, where we had a tour around the premises and were given the assignment to work on. The same day, we had two lectures: one was about innovations by Rünno Lumiste from Estonia and another about presentation skills by Vidar Alvarstein from Norway. We knew that over the next two days we had to work hard, so we used our free time to relax and gather strength.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, we worked in our teams in separate rooms as there was a competition which team would propose the best marketing solutions for the company. I think we were all stressed, as we had only two days and we had to work with people we met for the first time. We stayed late in the evening at the college and did some preparation in the hostel, too.

On Thursday, our presentations took place. We were nervous and excited. All the teams did a great job: we presented our results and the judges visited each team to ask some questions about the process and how do we felt after all the work. 

Judges Jane Libe from Tallinna Vesi, Aurelija  
Ganusauskaitė from Lithuania and Leif Henriksen
 from Denmark discussing with teams
On Thursday evening, we had a wonderful closing ceremony with several appetizers and refreshments, offered by Tallinn College. We congratulated the winners, thanked the organisers and students, took a lot of pictures of each other and headed to Old Town to continue our last evening together. 

Refreshments...
...awards...
...and fun!
We had a great time! It was like a small exchange in a short period: we met a lot of new people, worked and celebrated together. On Friday, our Finnish team was the first one to leave Tallinn – with a lot of great memories.

Text: Arja Niemi, student of TAMK Degree Programme in Tourism

Photos: Maris Sagar, Director of Academic Affairs & Annelis Tomingas, Project manager
Tallinn College of Tallinn University of Technology