In fall 2016 we spent one week in Kaunas, Lithuania. The coordinator of the Nordplus Nordic and Baltic Business Innovation Network and the intensive course “Customized product/service innovation & marketing through traditional, digital and social media”, Senior Lecturer in Marketing Pirkko Varis from Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK), Finland together with Monika Didžgalvytė and Aurelija Ganusauskaitė from Vytautas Magnus University, Faculty of Economics and Management, organized for us the programme. Loreta Petrauskaitė and Mindaugas Šerpytis coordinated the teambuilding activities and assisted in other tasks.
Altogether 30 students and 8 staff members from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Norway and Lithuania joined the intensive course. From TAMK, Finland students Heli Hekkanen, Hannele Keto, Jenni Kohtamäki, Ella Ora, Jane Nurmala, Anna Jaakkola, Pauliina Suojärvi and Mikael Lagerbohm took part in the Nordic & Baltic week.
On weekend we had some teambuilding activities and we could get acquainted with each other and spend some time together. In our working teams of students with different educational and international backgrounds we visited some famous places in Kaunas, did some photo/video tasks and created a photo story to present the tour in Kaunas city. We also had presentations of all the countries, cities, universities and study programmes taking part in the course.
On Monday we were given the assignment from a Lithuanian company “Kavos Draugas” to work on conceptualizing persona and on generating marketing communications plan. It took us into the world of coffee. The company sells coffee machines mostly in Lithuania and other Baltic countries and in Finland, too. We also had a workshop on Design Thinking by Aurelija Ganusauskaitė. In the afternoon we worked in teams discussing the challenges and analyzing the market and the clients. We did a thorough research and found out details to support our choices. To help us get a better understanding of why the company differentiated itself from the common retailer, all participants went idea generating at different coffee shops around the city.
On Tuesday and Wednesday we worked in our teams with the assignment. We also went to an exquisite coffee tasting in Vero Café House. We did visualization of the persona and created a marketing communications plan including online marketing and social media. We finalized our work and also delivered our reports by the deadline.
On Thursday our presentations took place. Many different target groups and communication plans were presented, and a winner was chosen between the five teams. All teams did great work. The winning team members were Simon Barman-Jenssen, Kristine Green, Janne Disko, Anna Jaakkola, Pauliina Suojärvi, Monika Lisauskaitė and Morten Tanne. On Thursday evening we had a closing ceremony and dinner. We congratulated the winners and thanked the organisers and all participants and spent the evening together. On Friday we left Kaunas with a lot of nice memories.
In the following some students share their experiences and thoughts of the intensive course and time in Lithuania.
Simon Barman-Jenssen from UiT The Arctic University of Norway, School of Business and Economics, Tromsø, Norway
Getting this opportunity to work with so many talented people was an experience I won’t forget in the foreseeable future. I’ve met and worked with people I’d love to work with again, and I’ve made friends that I know I’ll be seeing a lot of in the years to come. A big applause to our hosts in Kaunas. I thank you for letting me take part in this great project!
Students from the University of Southern Denmark, Faculty of Engineering, Odense, Denmark
written by Sidsel Dahl Knudsen
Six 3rd semester students from PDI together with PDI’s project coordinator Christian Hammerich spent a week in Lithuania developing their PDI skills in an international business week, while working on a case. The Nordic Baltic Business Week is an opportunity for 3rd semester PDI students to go out and use our new learned innovative project management and business skills. The week provides an international environment where both creative learning and fun is important.
For a student at PDI, all six participants agree that this business week allow us, as students, to take on a project leader role and use the skills we have gained so far to understand a job fast and gain an impression of the different competences available in a team. It is clear that we as PDI’s can take on different roles and create good internal as well as external team communication. One week can mean a large amount of personal development – if you are open and motivated. So as a call for the 1st semester PDI’s take some changes and do participate in an international project when your chance is there.
Students from Tallinn College of Tallinn University of Technology, Business, Estonia
Participating in this project for me was really interesting, since it was the first international project for me. What made it more interesting was that we were working for a small local business and we worked in international teams. We all had different ideas and backgrounds, therefore our final project came out even better than we expected!
Work hard, play hard – a week when intensive work mingles with fun!
International diversity is not an obstacle but a joy and an opportunity for self-development!
I really loved participating in the Nordic and Baltic business week. I had a great team to work with and it was really interesting and useful for the future to work in a fully international group. It was interesting to see how students from different countries have different lifestyles and perspective to life and it was a challenge to combine all these different opinions for a mutual understanding and outcome. Finally we were able to do it successfully and we were all really proud of the work we did as one team. Also really important part of the experience for me was the free time, mainly because then we had the opportunity to discuss about all the topics that are close to our hearts and it was really nice to see that it doesn`t matter where you come from, we are all still the same. It was fun to get new friends from all over the Europe. I truly enjoyed my time in Kaunas and I would love to take part in this kind of a project again in the future.
Students from Denmark, Estonia and Norway
Monika Didžgalvytė & Jonas Petronis, Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania
Anneliis Tomingas, Tallinn College of Tallinn University of Technology, Business, Estonia
Pirkko Varis, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, Finland
The following institutions are members of the Nordplus Nordic and Baltic Business Innovation Network:
Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK), Business, Finland
The University of Southern Denmark, Faculty of Engineering, Odense, Denmark
Tallinn College of Tallinn University of Technology, Business, Estonia
UiT The Arctic University of Norway, School of Business and Economics, Tromsø, Norway
Vytautas Magnus University, Faculty of Economics and Management, Kaunas, Lithuania