Posts in the International cooperation category

Assignment to market the satellite programme – introduction by Manager Rauno Gordon

In fall 2017 we spent one week in Tallinn, Estonia. 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 Professor Martin Pärn and Assistant to Dean Anneliis Tomingas from Tallinn University of Technology, School of Engineering organized the programme for us.

 

Coordinator Pirkko Varis with all participants of the intensive course

Altogether 33 students and 9 staff members from Denmark, Finland, Lithuania, Norway and    Estonia joined the intensive course. From TAMK, Finland students Anna Jaakkola, Jenna Mäkelä, Kajsa Lundell, Minttu Kylmälahti, Janni Huura, Riina Hahtokari, Vili Haara and Aleksi Orenius took part in the Nordic & Baltic week. 

 

Teambuilding activities

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 disciplinary and international backgrounds we visited some places in relation to famous legends in Tallinn, tried to re-an-act the legends as we understood them and took some photos/videos to be used in presentations of the stories to take place on Monday. On Sunday we also had presentations of all the countries, cities, universities and study programmes taking part in the intensive course.

 

Teambuilding outdoors

 

Visit to TTÜ Business and Innovation Centre Mektory

On Monday we were given the assignment from the representatives of the satellite programme,  Rauno Gordon, Manager of the satellite programme and Katrin Arvola, who is in charge of marketing of the satellite programme.  Student teams were given tasks to develop marketing activities for the whole period of the satellite programme, to choose marketing channels and media and create marketing campaigns for the selected target audiences.

 

Visit to TTÜ Mektory

On Monday we also had the presentations of Sunday’s team building game, campus tour and visit to TTÜ Business and Innovation Centre Mektory.

 

Design Spark with Professor Martin Pärn – initial team ideas

On Tuesday morning we had a design spark workshop by designer and professor Martin Pärn.  On Tuesday and Wednesday we worked in our teams with the assignment.  We created marketing and marketing communications plans including online marketing, mobile and social media. We finalized our work and also delivered our reports by the deadline.

 

Presentation of team 1

 

Presentation of team 6 – Kosmosbuss

On Thursday our presentations took place. Various marketing and marketing communications plans were presented, and a winner was chosen between the teams. All teams did great work and the results of the teams can be used at various stages of the satellite programme. The winning team 6 – Kosmosbuss members were Zeynep Yarkin, Anita Larsen, Jenna Mäkelä, Kristian Østgård, Tautvydas Iešmanta and Ghalib Ashraf. 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 Tallinn with a lot of nice experiences.

 

Winning team – Tautvydas, Kristian, Zeynep, Anita, Jenna and Ghalib – happy with the award

 

Thursday evening dinner

 

In the following some students share their experiences and thoughts of the intensive course and time in Tallinn.

Students from UiT The Arctic University of Norway, School of Business and Economics, Tromsø and Narvik, Norway

Zeynep Yarkin  

I am very happy that I had the chance to attend the intensive course in Tallinn. I met and worked with many amazing people from different countries. I gained friends, which I am very happy to have met. We had a lot of fun and also worked hard and learned many things from each other. I saw how creative people can be, even in groups with whom they just met. Being a member of the winning team was also an honour for me.  First I would like to thank you Pirkko and Anneliis and everyone who took part in such a good organization and all of my friends for turning this week into a week to remember for a lifetime.

Kristian Østgård

We talked in Tallinn about our countries’ prejudices towards the other countries, and after a week with students from Lithuania, Estonia, Finland and Denmark, I can assure all Norwegians that they are beautiful, intelligent and fun to be around. We learned a lot about them, ourselves and marketing / innovation.

Roy-Anders Jørgensen

I have so much good experiences from this course, which I want to take with me in my life.

Different people, different cultures, but under the same roof we are the same, with the same goal to learn something new in marketing. And I feel blessed, I have got new friends from 5 different countries. Thank you so much Nordic & Baltic Business Innovation week 2017!

 

Presentation of team 5 – Kajsa, Minttu, Kristina R., Roy-Anders, Kaarel and Mikkel Thune

 

Simon Bruhn from the University of Southern Denmark, Faculty of Engineering, Product Development and Innovation, Odense, Denmark

It was a good experience to work in mixed teams of different nationalities and study programmes. It was also interesting to work on a real case, and nice that our findings were embraced. The best thing was to spend the free time with the other students.

Team 4 – Marcela, Simon, Anna, Ieva and Sander – presenting the results of the work

 

Students from Vytautas Magnus University, Faculty of Economics and Management, Kaunas, Lithuania

Tautvydas Iešmanta

I want to thank you for the great opportunity to visit Tallinn, learn some culture, meet new people and of course, the challenge that had been prepared for us. Although it was not an easy one, we and our team did put a lot of effort and passion in solving the task given, had a lot of discussion and ideas to consider. The experience we got is invaluable and I really enjoyed working together. Not to mention we made friends and good memories for years to keep. Team KOSMOSBUSS and the time we had together was something really special. Thank you again and hopefully I can make it to future projects 🙂

Kristina Rudytė

I really wanna say thank you. It was such an amazing week. With full of experiences, practice, meeting people, enjoying stay in Tallinn, and all the atmosphere about the project. I can say that was one of the best weeks during my studies. And it is all due to you, who are doing this really good project. If I could repeat this week, I would! So, thank you a lot for this amazing experience!

Kristina Jusytė

One week in Tallinn was full of new experiences. I was glad to work with people of different outlook into the life and work. These courses show that despite that we are living in different countries and have in them one society and system in life, we are all tolerant and patient for different people. That’s why I think that all groups suggested good plans and interesting ideas for the satellite project.

Viktorina Kaunietytė

I really enjoyed these days with this project, it was great opportunity to practice my English. I was really impressed with Tallinn and the university. Hope to visit Tallinn soon! Thank you!

Ieva Stankevičiūtė             

Thank you for an amazing week! The hotel, spa and food were perfect and the assignment challenging, but very interesting. I would definitely do it all again!

 

Audience having fun in doing quiz about Lithuania

 

Text

Pirkko Varis, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, Finland 

Students from Norway, Denmark and Lithuania

Photos

Anneliis Tomingas, Tallinn University of Technology, School of Engineering

 

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 University of Technology, Schools of Engineering & Business and Governance, Estonia

UiT The Arctic University of Norway, School of Business and Economics, Tromsø, Norway

Vytautas Magnus University, Faculty of Economics and Management, Kaunas, Lithuania

 

Text and photos: Henri Annala, Kirsi Jokipakka, Tarja Kalliomäki-Linnas, Sanna Laiho

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Team TAMK

The EAIE Conference is the biggest event in Europe within the context of higher education, and this year it was organised under the scorching sun of Seville, Spain. Taking place on 12-15 September, it was the 29th EAIE conference ever organised, and it hosted a record number of 6,000 participants from 95 countries. TAMK sent a team of four people to attend, and in this blog post we try to crystallise some of the ideas and insights raised by the event.

Henri Annala, International Coordinator for the Language Centre and Social Services, attended the conference for the first time and felt it was a really immersive experience in many ways. Besides attending a number of very interesting and relevant sessions on topics such as online collaboration, internationalisation at home and internationalising university strategy, the week offered plenty of chances for ever so crucial networking.

The opening reception

This proved to be the most significant benefit the conference could offer: as a result of several meetings, receptions and negotiations, there are now many new contacts and ideas for collaboration both in the field of languages and social services. In addition to creating new contacts, it was of course also really important to meet with the already existing partners (for example the Hague University of Applied Sciences) and strengthen TAMK’s collaboration with them.

Henri would definitely recommend the event for staff wanting to kill several birds with one stone in terms of networking and relationship building – instead of attending a single international week hosted by a partner university, you could go to EAIE and meet almost all your partners at once. In addition, Seville proved to be a really beautiful and hot venue for the conference.

Kirsi Jokipakka, Head of the International Services, had visited the annual conference already several times before. One of the main insights for her was that the top management of the university needs justifications why internationalisation is so important, and the International Services staff is responsible of providing enough useful information to them.

In terms of international co-operation, staff training is key for success, and we need enough individualised training for our staff. In addition, it became very clear to Kirsi during the week that the International Services is the bridge between partners and university community.

FIBES, the conference venue

Sanna Laiho, International Coordinator for Health Care, attended the conference for the first time and it was a memorable and worthwhile experience for her as well. The conference programme offered various opportunities with hundreds of different activities; to mention a few, lectures and sessions concerning internationalisation, online learning and intercultural competence. They offered a good insight into the current situation in European higher education.

The conference was an excellent opportunity for networking, arranging meetings with partners and gaining new collaboration opportunities. Sanna also had a great opportunity to have a poster session presenting the outcomes of an Erasmus+ project where TAMK had a role as one of the partners. The poster session was a unique chance to introduce not only the project, but also TAMK and its Health Care unit to new possible contacts and future cooperation possibilities.

Sanna giving a poster session

Last but not least, this visit to beautiful and sunny Seville was a great opportunity to share experiences and make future plans with your own colleagues from TAMK; going to an intensive conference trip together is a great way to get to know the people you work with.

Tarja Kalliomäki-Linnas, Head of Study Services, attended the conference for the first time, too. Her point of view was maybe slightly administrative, but it was interesting for her to take part in sessions concerning how smaller regional universities compete and how to prepare for international work and study experience. In addition, all the poster sessions were like spices in the conference soup – many interesting projects were presented.

Furthermore, both exhibition halls were really huge! Tarja also had the opportunity to take part in the discussions with TAMK’s partner university MUAS (Munich University of Applied Sciences) with Kirsi. The discussion topics ranged from the upcoming academic year to the double degree students’ studies. In Tarja’s view, it was really great to have a possibility to meet people and colleagues face-to-face.

Plaza de España

Tarja also visited Pablo de Olavide University (founded 1997) which is Seville’s second public university and one of the youngest state universities in Spain. With a student population of over 11,000, Pablo de Olavide University offers over 30 degrees in areas such as law, economics, business administration, social and natural sciences, nutrition, technology, the humanities, sports science and many others.

Mind full or mindful? Tarja attended plenty of interesting sessions concerning ideas to support staff and faculty in dealing with international students and mental health, the efficient, effective and culturally sensitive use of e-mail, managing stress, and being more productive among others.

The conference experience has definitely opened up new viewpoints for the participants. All the interesting discussions with the representatives of partner universities and other participants were thought-provoking and unforgettable. To sum it up: it was a most memorable and enjoyable lesson on internationalisation.

Text and photos: Peter Perttula, Project Assistant

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While I was studying in the second year of Proakatemia, the headmaster of the business school Universidad Catolica Boliviano visited us. I showed Tampere, TAMK and Proakatemia to Gonzalo Chavez and a few years later he invited me to visit his school in La Paz, Bolivia. Gonzalo was impressed with our team-learning model and the Y-kampus that we have in TAMK so the purpose of my visit was to introduce the team-learning model and coaching to 27 teachers from his university.

The second day of the internal workshop

I held a three-day internal workshop for teachers (and a few students) from the business school. In this workshop, we went through differences between teaching and coaching and looked into different kinds of tools for coaching.

It was fascinating to see how open minded Bolivian teachers were to a different way of teaching. As a personal note, it was interesting to work in a culture where working days are split into two sections because of a “siesta” break between 12 am and 4 pm. People use this “siesta” time to go home for a nap or sports and to have lunch with their families.

After the three-day internal workshop, I held a three-day business development course for teachers and students from other universities. In the workshop participants worked on real business cases for three days. It was interesting to see them working in teams and learning about our team-learning model through a practical assignment.

 

La Paz from a Teleferico (a ski lift that locals use as public transportation).

My plan was to provide some theoretical information and tools such as the Business Model Canvas and then let the teams split work between their team-members. I explained that as a coach I am not there to provide answers but to ask questions that might help figuring out the answers. After the initial shock and with the help of a very tight schedule the participants realized that in order to have a solution for their business case they must work efficiently as a team.

Bolivia was a very pleasant experience overall. It is a developing country with a bright future ahead based on the passion that I saw in the teachers I had the opportunity to work with.

TAMK and Hochschule Hannover students getting together during the international week.

TAMK and Hochschule Hannover in Germany share a long history in cooperation in the field of Mechanical Engineering. Study exchanges are supported and friendships are being built through annual visits.

Back in the mid-1990s, a group of teachers and students from Tampere University of Applied Sciences hired a bus and drove all the way to Hannover. Moreover, TAMK’s President, Markku Lahtinen, Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at that time, went on one of the study exchange trips with the aim of strengthening relations with the German university. As a result, bilateral visits became an annual tradition.

Earlier this year, a group of twelve students and two professors from Hochschule Hannover came to TAMK. Half of the group studying Mechanical or Industrial Engineering visited departments within their fields, whilst the other half studying Process Energy and Environmental Technology visited the Environmental Engineering department for lectures, workshops and excursions.

The diverse schedule kicked off with a cultural exchange on studying and living in Finland and Germany, continued with lectures, and ended with social activities like sauna and ice hockey events, and a visit to Pyynikin Craft Brewery.

Hosting each other makes the visits special

TAMK students went further with the workshops and organised an ice rink driving session, which really impressed the guests. Next day, they generated a weather data breakdown and an elk test to work on. What made this call very special though was German students being hosted by Finnish students in their own homes. The favour was returned during the time of the Hannover Messe, the world’s leading Trade Fair for Industrial Technology.

From left to right: Wolfgang Strache, Anne Nadolny (Hoschule Hannover) and Harri Laaksonen (TAMK) know that excitement and openness are important in a succesful cooperation.

This custom turns out to be a very good international practice for students, and not only. Teachers are very keen on the study exchange and getting involved in activities. They have a positive attitude towards meeting new faces, engaging in projects together and practising their language skills.

“The secret to this successful cooperation between the universities is teachers and students showing excitement and openness”, believes Harri Laaksonen, Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at TAMK.

And as for the German side, Prof. Dr Anne Nadolny at Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Bioprocess Engineering shares similar thoughts.

“Study exchanges are supported and friendships are being built. We enjoyed the very warm welcome from TAMK and the visit of Finnish students in April. We look forward to seeing you at TAMK in 2018!”

Text: Andruta Ilie
Photos: Essi Kannelkoski

“I started very young; I was in my 30s. It was a freezing water I had to jump in. But I enjoyed it because I always loved the concept of leading. Since I was a child, leadership was a big part of me.”

Persistent and insightful, Director of Business Operations at TAMK EDU, Carita Prokki has spent almost two decades of her life serving Tampere University of Applied Sciences in different roles. Although she started as a teacher in the early 90s, her leadership vision manifested in her actions, beliefs and goals opened doors to new opportunities and career advancements. Carita was soon appointed the dean of School of Business, a role she stayed in for many years and allowed her to practice side teaching.

“When you’re working as a manager or leader, you start missing the teaching. I was then teaching adults, mostly during evenings and Saturdays. I was in heaven those times. And I think the students loved it too because we all had a great time. I used different teaching methods such as group discussions, rather than lectures”, she recalls.

Carita surprised many people when she decided to step out of the dean role and the institution she regards highly. But she reached a turning point in her professional life and felt it was time to do something different. Therefore, she focused her attention on trying something new and completed a PhD in Organizational Leadership.

“If you are not satisfied with your job or life, it also affects people around you. You have to step out and try something new. It’s not always safe, you might fail, but actually, you’re growing all the time. You become stronger. Too many adults feel pushed in the corner and stay there afraid.

Have you ever paid attention to what they say during a pre-flight safety demonstration? If there is a loss of cabin pressure, the panels above your seat will open, and oxygen masks will drop down. If this happens, place the mask over your nose and mouth, and adjust it as necessary. Be sure to adjust your own mask before helping others. Think about it metaphorically. You cannot be good to others if you are not good to yourself. First, help yourself and then somebody else.”

Far from being over, her journey with TAMK took a new direction in the area of global education. TAMK has started this fresh concept in 2011 and Carita came into the picture two years later. In the beginning, there was only the 21st Century Educators programme, but Carita’s huge advantage was her comprehensive knowledge of TAMK.

“I know very well what this institution does and is capable of. You cannot sell Finnish education or tell other people about TAMK without a substantial in-house knowledge. The beginning was very fast, smooth and fruitful. But now, with other universities of applied sciences selling their expertise worldwide, the competition is getting harder, and we think it’s smart to cooperate and unite our forces. While the global trend is more present nowadays, the business ideology is not very developed in Finnish universities.”

So where does TAMK stand out compared to other universities of applied sciences? Carita’s reply is on point: “The vocational teacher education which TAMK takes very seriously. We want to do our best and deliver high-quality results. You need passion to do international business. When you’re passionate about something, it will separate you from the rest.”

On a global scale, TAMK has a unique product found nowhere else: Proakatemia. And Carita knows very well how to make good use of it:  “It happened to me sometimes to go to universities above TAMK’s level. In 30 seconds I realised I have nothing to sell to them, apart from Proakatemia. Nobody in this world has Proakatemia. That’s the ace of spades in my pocket. And I can always use that card to sell our advanced entrepreneurial studies.

She continues: “Almost every day, I think how we can praise our country and education more. Finns are modest; they are not so used with words like excellent or amazing to describe their best assets. But when you go abroad, you have to start using these words. Almost the first question I get no matter where in this world I go is: “What is your ranking in Finland?” There are no rankings in Finland. We never aimed at, we never had any competition or ranked ourselves. I hope we will never do that because it will ruin the basics of our educational system. Let’s leave our references and results speak for themselves.”

TAMK EDU makes Finnish education available worldwide. The most important aspect is adapting to different realities, Carita believes:  “Whether I go to an Arabic, Asian or Latin American country, I have to be very fast and clever with adapting to their cultures. I can’t go there with Finland tattooed on my forehead and say: “Hey! We come from Finland, and we do things like this.” Although everyone admires and knows so much about Finnish education already. To give you an example, China is such a big market that you can have all the Finnish amks (universities of applied sciences) to offer their services there, and it would still cover only a small part of it.

Chinese customers have a different understanding of a group size. We sent them a letter saying we can host a workshop for 30 people and their reply was that their minimum is 300. Last year in August, we flew there for one big training. We had 340 teachers and rectors in the auditorium waiting for us and wanting an interactive training. I was there with Mark Curcher (Program Director of 21st Century Educators and Senior Lecturer), and we had to split all those people into groups to make it interactive. It was a huge learning opportunity for us and an enjoyable experience.”

The Global Education department does not only provide learning experiences for the team that puts its soul into it, but also for TAMK’s teachers. Carita recalls one particular occasion that cracked open a strong taboo: teachers don’t work during their summer holidays.

“In 2013, I was facing a difficult situation. A group from Oman sent me a short notice message that they’d like to visit TAMK during July. Their arrival date was scheduled right after Juhannus, which in Finland is a popular public holiday. Most Finns celebrate it at their summer cottages with family and friends. I emailed the teachers in the morning with no expectations. Anyone who wants to come to work this July? A few hours later, all the teachers were at TAMK. I was amazed by the positive response, and everything went smoothly with the visit. Teachers confessed to me how grateful they were for this opportunity. I believe that the international context is the fastest highway to develop TAMK thanks to the possibilities it provides. International students are very active, they want to make the most out of their studies, and this makes it very pleasant to the teachers as well. There are an extra gratefulness and love you can feel during international courses.”

Carita travels abroad in connection with her work approximately one week each month. When everyone else is at home sleeping, she has to put up with long and often, uncomfortable flights. An alluring smile graced her lips when she detailed about showing up at a workplace: “Sometimes I feel I could be a gardener and grow flowers. But I think we all have moments in our work when we are not happy. Balancing those moments is important. I have to be patient with the global business; to build the trust and develop the relationship with our customers. In a way, I’m like an entrepreneur; I take care of sales, keep the things rolling all the time and motivate my people to sell. But I don’t put the money ahead. That’s not my style. I believe that when you show good results, the money follows.

She adds: “The Global Education department doesn’t receive a budget from TAMK. We rely entirely on the deals we make. “

Despite the high factor of uncertainty associated with her work, Carita collects distinctive rewards: “It’s challenging and the most difficult job I’ve ever done in my whole life so far. At the very moment, you can be challenged until the limits of your skills. But at the very another moment, you are in heaven with people, and you get your second salary from their sentences.”

An effective leader knows that storytelling is an essential part of leadership. And maybe another beautiful thing about Carita is that she is not afraid to pass along brave sentences on feminism and inspire other women to live an authentic life: “Many women have been under a lot of pressure for so long that they have forgotten about themselves. There are so many things women are capable of achieving in their lives. And I think that media is very cautious and not writing about all these things because they are afraid of empowered women. Women are multi-talented and multi-energized.”

Read more about TAMK Global Education

Text: Andruta Ilie
Photo: Tiina Suvanto

 

International networking in the Tampere3 spirit

The 2008-started tradition of international weeks in TAMK got a new twist when at the beginning of the summer, all three higher education institutions in Tampere – the University of Tampere (UTA), Tampere University of Technology (TUT) and Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK) – organised an International Staff Week for non-teaching staff together for the first time. The week hosted about 50 administrative staff members from higher learning institutes from around Europe, and the week and its activities took place on the premises of all three main campuses during June 12-15, 2017.

 

Understanding each other as the theme of the week

The theme of the week was Intercultural Communication and issues relating to the area. Hence, the programme included five hours of Intercultural Communication workshops by TAMK Lecturer Mari Rytisalo. During the workshops, the participants increased their knowledge and awareness of different cultures and their influence on communication.

The guests had an opportunity to benchmark different services and practices of the three universities and share views on topics related to their own work. In addition to the common workshops around intercultural communication, everyone chose a thematic track they wanted to attend. The tracks evolved around international cooperation, library services, student services & administration, and industry cooperation & career services.

The week started at the UTA premises, where the guests had a chance to get to know the main campus, the Demola concept and the concept of Y-campuses in the higher education scene in Tampere. Both concepts seemed to raise a lot of discussion and interest as strategically combining the higher education scheme with entrepreneurial studies and practice seems to be a topical issue all over Europe. As it was the first day of the week, the participants got a bath of Finnish language, too, when participating the crash course into Finnish by the university Lecturer Jenni Hakanen from TUT. Since everyone was a bit novice in the area and not at their core competencies when trying to speak Finnish, this was a fun way to break the ice within the group and everyone became a big family after this. And if the language lesson did not get everyone at ease, the Monttu get-together with its delicious buffet, fire show and international dancing (performers from within the group 😉 ) certainly did.

 

Y-kampus

The group at the Y-kampus at UTA.

 

dinner buffet

Dinner buffet in Monttu at UTA on the first night.

 

On the second night everyone got to experience the truly Finnish “hot sauna – cold lake experience” at Varala, and then on the third day, the week transferred to TUT and the Hervanta campus with the impressive Kampusareena building and recently renovated other premises. The guests discussed international security, got to experience some virtual reality gadgets and the group was able to examine the study services available on each campus a bit more. The Intercultural Communications workshop took the active group to the “heart” of Kampusareena by gathering the people to work at the Kampusklubi area. One of the staff members at Kampusklubi unknowingly defined the spirit of the week in one simple sentence: “It is mindblowing and great to hear such vivid discussions in so many languages at the same time with so much laughter in here.”

 

campus tour TUT

Getting ready for the campus tour at TUT.

 

the group_TUT

The whole group at TUT.

 

sauna and Varala

Fantastic premises for sauna evening at Varala.

 

The final day of the week took the group to the TAMK Kuntokatu campus and the final lecture of the week; the subject was social media and the presenter Essi Kannelkoski, the Community Manager of TAMK. This very topical theme aroused a lot of discussion and interesting analysis. After the campus tour and the lecture, the engaging week was coming to an end: all but the certificates, farewell hugs and closing toasting with lunch was done.

 

group TAMK

The group during the final presentation at TAMK.

 

some_essi_tamk

Essi Kannelkoski and a some-moment: the group selfie.

 

Once-in-a-lifetime week and a new way of doing things together

In addition to the official discussions, workshops, benchmarking, et cetera, the week offered the guests an opportunity to gain once-in-a-lifetime experiences of Finnish culture, society and the Nordic White Nights at a sauna by a lake, naturally! As for the organisers, I think, it is safe to say that although a lot of work, the week offered us memorable events and a chance to be at the forefront of creating a new culture of “doing together” within the Tampere3 framework.

To finalise, a big thank you for all the international guests, the presenters, track organisers, logistic helpers and naturally UTA & TUT is in place! Hope to do this soon again!

 

Text: Tiina Nilsson
Photos: Essi Sirén, Annukka Hämäläinen, Saara Lehtonen, Tiina Nilsson

 

 

The new digital channels and social media platforms offer for SMEs (small and mediumsized enterprises) in tourism and travel businesses a lot of opportunities to target and access markets at low cost, and to achieve business and sustainability goals.

It is important to create marketing strategies and select appropriate integrated online and traditional marketing and marketing communications activities, tools and channels, including websites, digital, mobile and social media channels, for various customers/customer groups, target markets and businesses, taking into consideration the size and type of the business.

Virrat in Finland

Virrat in Finland

Marketing environment, tourism as a service product and offerings, value proposition and brand, marketing plan, strategy and management, enlarged marketing mix

Marketing is a concept that relates to forward looking strategies to understand customer needs, influence customer perceptions, and identify how a company can capitalize on that. Initial steps for a novice entrepreneur to successfully do marketing include; establishing and increasing the customer base, increasing the product sales per customer and encouraging repeat business, and increasing the sales of more expensive, higher margin products per customer.

The micro-environment includes the actors, such as customers, competitors, suppliers and other stakeholders, whilst the macro-environment consists of political, economic, socio-cultural, technological and the legal environment (PESTEL). New technologies have made it easier for us to find out about the markets around the world, to travel, to buy and sell anywhere. In analysing the current situation it is important to conduct market situation, customer, competition situation and competitor analyses.  Customers are vital to our business, so know your customers well.

The company should identify the target markets and distinct segments, select the target markets and customers to approach, develop a market offering,  do positioning, and do targeted marketing for them.  This applies to consumer, business-to-business and other markets.

Nowadays, people use more and more TripAdvisor, Trivago, Instagram and other similar platforms, the Internet, Facebook and other social media as information sources when planning their trips and finding out information on the destinations etc. The amount of bookings done online via the website of the companies and via the online travel agents, such as Booking.com etc. has increased rapidly. However, the use of traditional booking methods and also the influence of family members, friends, travel agents etc. as information sources vary between various markets and cultures, and companies should take this into consideration when making decisions on marketing.

Tampere in Finland

Tampere in Finland

Tourism can be thought of as producing a total tourist experience that will include everything from the pre-planning, the purchase, the journey, the visit and stay, the return journey and overall reflection on the activity. Tourism, hospitality and leisure products/services are a service product having specific characteristics: intangibility, perishability, inseparability and variability. The value of a tourism product is based upon: perceived quality, service and image associated with the brand/product, the price asked and the relativity to prices for similar products, the convenience of purchase and the amount by which the purchase fits the needs and aspirations of the customer.

The intangible value proposition is made physical by an offering, which can be a combination of products, services, information, and experiences.  A brand is an offering from a known source but you can achieve this known source position fairly quickly if you have a valued proposition that you market with care and originality.

We have to start with a marketing plan. Marketing strategy is the overall guideline for the company to manage and allocate its resources the best possible way. Marketing strategy has a focus on actions, such    as promotion. It has been suggested that every successful marketing strategy should have the following attributes: customer at the centre of everything, networking, different forms of partnering, having a corporate culture and effective use of technology.

The marketing management process includes the coordination of four elements called the 4 P’s of marketing that are:

  1. Identification, selection and development of the product.
  2. Determination of its price.
  3. Selection of a distribution channel to reach the prospective customer.
  4. The development and implementation of a promotional strategy.

Enlarged marketing mix in tourism consists of products/services/destinations, price, place (location, logistics, distribution channels), marketing communications, people, processes, programs, and performance.   

Virrat in Finland

Virrat in Finland

 

Virrat in Finland

Virrat in Finland

 

Determine integrated marketing communications activities, tools and channels

Integrated marketing communications mix includes personal selling (also sales events and workshops to meet b-to-b customers, e.g. travel agents, tour operators and travel organisations), advertising, sales promotion (including exhibitions and trade fairs), publicity and public relations, events and experiences, direct and database marketing, online, mobile and social media marketing, word of mouth, marketing through networks etc.

One of the key aspects of marketing strategies is building a brand identity.  Sales is the ‘push’ to buy the product once the customer is there, marketing is the ‘pull’ that gets the customer to you in the first place. The important thing for any business owner is to focus on both the ‘pull’ and the ‘push’ effectively, and this will ensure that your business is positioned to succeed.

Online, mobile and social media marketing

There is a multitude of low cost channels and platforms for online, mobile and social media marketing, such as websites, emails, search ads, display ads, company blogs, third-party chat rooms, forums and blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Flickr, YouTube etc.

Marketers distinguish paid and owned media from earned media.  For tourism, hospitality and leisure businesses the value of earned media is significant.

Generally the advice is to include moving pictures – videos – and include as many pictures and videos whether provided by you or your customers. 

You can find in the SMARTOUR Marketing and social media module some advice for building and using pages on Facebook but the advice would easily fit with other platforms. You can also find some information about blogs.

Setting up a simple website

In the SMARTOUR Marketing and social media module you find essentials that every small business website should have for it to effectively help you to do business. Remember also that you should make your website mobile-friendly.

For everyone developing a travel website and venturing into social media VisitBritain is very useful with an online marketing toolkit on its website https://www.visitbritain.com/gb/en

You find the Online marketing toolkit and other toolkits as follows: after entering the website, click Corporate, click Developing England’s tourism, and click under Business advice hub Engaging customers through social media etc.

For further information, visit also VisitFinland website http://www.visitfinland.com/

To find out more about marketing and social media and related case studies from UK, Finland and Italy, visit www.smartourproject.eu

 

References

Cheverton, P. 2004. Key Marketing Skills: strategies, tools and techniques for marketing success. 2nd edition. London, UK: Kogan Page Ltd.

Cooper, C., Fletcher, J., Fyall, A., Gilbert, D., Wanhill, S. 2008. Tourism. Principles and Practice. Fourth edition. Harlow, Essex: Pearson Education Limited.

Kotler, P. & Keller, K. L. 2016. Marketing Management. 15th edition. Harlow, Essex: Pearson Education Limited.

Paley, N. 2007. Marketing Strategy Desktop Guide. Second edition. London, UK: Thorogood Publishing Ltd.

Wood, M.B. 2014. The Marketing Plan Handbook. 5th Edition. Harlow, England: Pearson Education Limited.

 

Emmiina Lindfors and Ella Laakso assisting in registration

Emmiina Lindfors and Ella Laakso assisting in registration

 

SMARTOUR Event in Tampere 2 - participants waiting for training

SMARTOUR Event in Tampere – participants waiting for training

 

Event on “Social media in marketing” in Tampere, Finland

 

Hanna Takala training

Hanna Takala training

Free event on “Social media in marketing” was organised by TAMK in April 2017 in Tampere, Finland. In the event for tourism and travel businesses and accommodation providers, SMARTOUR project, course and online tool were presented and training in Finnish on online marketing and social media was organised. Over 50 participants were very satisfied with the event and training on online marketing and social media.  For more information about this and other events, visit http://www.smartourproject.eu  and  https://www.facebook.com/smartourproject/

Waiting for the certificates

Waiting for the certificates

 

Iris Mäkinen, Katriina Hyvölä, Teija Lindell & Tiina Aaltonen and the certificates with Pirkko Varis, Hanna Takala and Irja Pietilä

Iris Mäkinen, Katriina Hyvölä, Teija Lindell and Tiina Aaltonen and the certificates with Pirkko Varis, Hanna Takala and Irja Pietilä

 

Text: Pirkko Varis, Senior Lecturer in Marketing, Tampere University of Applied Sciences

Photos: Anneliis Tomingas & Mika Mäkiaho

 

 

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“The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.”

Logo IP Valencia

 

 

Valencia – City of Arts and Sciences

 

Altogether 34 students and 10 staff members from Belgium, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and UK participated in March 2017 in an advertising and marketing communications project. The assignment to promote Valencia as a travel destination was given to student teams by Turismo Valencia.

 

Students from Finland - Emmiina, Ilona, Ella, Kristiina and Essi at CEU Campus Moncada

Students from Finland – Emmiina, Ilona, Ella, Kristiina and Essi at CEU Campus Moncada

 

Students Ilona Hoppula, Ella Laakso, Emmiina Lindfors, Kristiina Pieti and Essi Sirén from Tampere University of Applied Sciences, School of Business and Services participated in March in an advertising and marketing communications project, organized by CEU Universidad Cardenal Herrera from Valencia, Spain.  The coordinator of the team from Finland was Senior Lecturer in Marketing Pirkko Varis.

 

Pirkko Varis and other staff members having lunch break

 

The brief of VLC Turismo was presented by Vicente Haba, Product Manager, VLC Turismo. The objectives were to increase the awareness of Valencia in the rest of Spain and in European markets, to position Valencia as a smart destination of short and medium getaways, to increase visits from these countries and to increase word-of-mouth.

 

Situation analysis and customer insight by Laura Campbell

 

Prior to travelling to Valencia market surveys including focus group discussions were conducted in the mentioned countries, the results were presented in the beginning of the week and the findings were used in the planning process.

Laura Campbell from Southampton Solent University, UK gave a presentation on Situation Analysis and Customer Insight, David Rodriguez, Senior Strategic Planner from JWT Madrid on Communication Strategy and Pepe Martínez-Sáez, from CEU Universidad Cardenal Herrera, Spain on Media Strategies in a Digital Landscape.

 

Strategy by David Rodriguez from JWT Madrid and Pepe Martinez from CEU

 

All staff members of the universities worked as coaches for the teams. Dr Nik Mahon from the University of Southampton, Winchester School of Art and Ken Burtenshaw, Advertising Art Director/Graphic Designer worked as special experts for creative brief and creative ideas sessions. Nik Mahon also delivered lecture on the Creative Brief. Ann Gemoets from Artesis Plantijn Hogeschool Antwerpen, Belgium gave a presentation on Pitching the Ideas.

 

The Creative Brief by Nik Mahon

 

Students from six universities planned in multicultural teams integrated advertising and marketing communications campaigns. All teams gave presentations on their proposals in the end of the intensive course. The teams emphasized online marketing and digital, mobile and social media in their marketing communications proposals, and also traditional marketing tools were proposed by some of the teams.

 

A team enjoying the nice weather

 

One team working in the sunshine

 

Coaches in discussion outside CEU in the city centre

 

Many creative solutions were developed by all student teams and VLC Turismo is able to use some of the ideas of all teams immediately and some in the near future. The representatives of VLC Turismo gave feedback to all student teams and announced the winning team. They liked in the winning team proposal among others the complete concept and the ways to spread the message.

 

Kristiina and other winning team members with the representatives of VLC Turismo

 

Certificates – students from Finland with Turismo Valencia representatives and Maria Lopez from CEU

 

Happy participants at CE Campus Moncada

 

The programme included also a welcome party, icebreakers with funny country presentations and international food brought by the participants, a guided tour to the historic centre of Valencia, a visit to IVAM (Valencia Institute of Modern Art) with a presentation on the influence of music on emotions and a jazz concert, mascletàs de Las Fallas, visits to museums, paella and other culinary experiences, and a goodbye party.

 

Mascletas de las Fallas

 

The intensive course was also visited by the Dean of Faculty of Humanities and Communication Sciences, Dr. Elias Durán. Maria Lopez, Sandra Femenia Almerich, Pepe Martinez, Chari García and as assistants Vera Copello and other team members worked for all participants throughout the intensive course. Thank you very much for your warm hospitality!

 

Students in goodbye party

 

In the following students from Finland share their experiences and thoughts of the intensive course and time in Valencia.

“Valencia was a great location and the facilities of CEU Cardenal Herrera were very good. The presentations given by the staff members were amazing, they were really informative and nicely structured, and they gave so much new information and inspiration for future projects. It was really useful to actually work with a real client from the tourism industry. Timing was great, Las Fallas with a lot of activities. Master and bachelor students from different professional backgrounds and countries worked well together.”

 

Las Fallas – Falles de Valencia 2017

 

Emmiina Lindfors:

“I was part of the team which consisted of six people from the Netherlands, Belgium, UK, Germany and myself from Finland. I felt that our group was really good in terms of team dynamics and getting the project up and running. Each team member had their speciality or expertise in certain areas of such as marketing, advertising and tourism. Our idea “Valencia – everything is just one step away” seemed to please the judges and at least our team was very pleased with the outcome.

I really appreciated the new knowledge I gained during the week from my teammates. As a whole the whole week and the course gave a glance of how it is to work in an international team and for a real life client from the tourism industry, which is something I as a tourism major student will always remember.”

Ella Laakso:

“In my opinion, our team worked rather well and we were able to produce a good product to the customer. I believe I did my best work for the team and I noticed my strengths being in keeping the team focused on the subject, helping the team to brainstorm and writing the reports. I learned a lot from an advertising campaign in practise and getting to execute one in real life. You learn to compromise and collaborate with others when working in an international team.”

 

Visit to the Science Museum

 

Ilona Hoppula:

“Our team consisted of Finnish, Dutch, Belgian, Spanish and German students. Throughout the week, our team worked well and hard together.  I learned how to work efficiently in a multicultural team. The tasks for each day were divided well, and at times short amount of time given for the work made us work productively as a team. We knew how to keep the mood relaxed and everybody was supporting each other throughout the tasks, which kept the atmosphere pleasant. I also learned about marketing, and especially the lectures provided a lot of good and useful information about the different phases that are important in the process of promoting a destination. Lots of new information was gained in the level of education and human relationships.”

 

Enjoying life in front of the Science Museum

 

Essi Sirén:

“Our team had a good idea, but we would have needed more time to work on it. I tried to push all the members to come up with new ideas and actually to concentrate on the project. I learned a lot from team working in an international environment. It is for sure not as easy as it might sound. All countries have their own way of working, time concept, values etc. I also really liked the presentations we had from the staff members. They were really informative and nicely structured. Also we got understanding of making the project for an actual client who could in the best case implement the plan, and how many small things there are to consider when making a marketing strategy for a new campaign. Overall I think it was a great experience and I am happy that I got to be a part of it. “

 

Jazz concert with a presentation at IVAM

 

Kristiina Pieti:

“My team consisted of students from Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Finland. The team worked together rather well, and discussion was progressive. I like working and playing with words, and came up with different kinds of slogans and catchphrases. The two Spanish students were truly talented and creative, and made great visuals in a short time. The Spanish culture with a flexible time concept was something new to me. The presentations gave very interesting information about marketing, consumer insights and reaching an emotional level in today’s world where everyone experiences a flood of information daily. I especially found the experiences of the lecturers in advertising companies interesting. Working in an international team outside of Finland was eye-opening. The project was finished successfully, and the quick changes in timetable made the situation feel more authentic.”

 

Text: Pirkko Varis

Photos:

Laura Campbell, Southampton Solent University

Nik Mahon, University of Southampton, Winchester School of Art

Finland student team & Pirkko Varis, Tampere University of Applied Sciences

Maria Lopez, Sandra Femenia Almerich & other staff, CEU Universidad Cardenal Herrera

 

The following institutions participated in the intensive course:

Artesis Plantijn Hogeschool Antwerpen, Belgium

CEU Universidad Cardenal Herrera, Spain

Hochschule Darmstadt, University of Applied Sciences, Germany
Inholland University of Applied Sciences, the Netherlands

Southampton Solent University, UK

Tampere University of Applied Sciences, School of Business and Services, Finland

 

On the way to Mars

TAMK participated in the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration NASA’s Epic Challenge project, which studied challenges of colonising Mars. One of the project’s top moments took place in the Finnish Science Centre Heureka on 10 May when the project participants had the chance to meet NASA’s astronaut Timothy Kopra.

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Project participants in Heureka. Back row from left Juha Hyytiäinen, LAMK’s Epic Challenge coordinator; TAMK’s coordinator Antti Perttula (second from left); Timothy Kopra (fifth from left); Dawn Kopra (sixth from left), and TAMK’s teacher Tomi Salo (back row, first from right)

Astronaut Kopra lectured on his work in the International Space Station ISS to a full auditorium. Kopra told about his latest six-month space journey and related research on the planned journey to Mars. Timothy Kopra, who is of Finnish descent, thinks it is possible that the journey to Mars will take place in the 2030s.

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Timothy Kopra told about his space journeys in Heureka with his wife Dawn Kopra.

Students and teachers from the higher education institutions participating in the Epic Challenge programme attended the event in Heureka. The atmosphere of the event was warm. The students had the chance to present their one-year project results.

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TAMK’s students Jessica Mattila (left) and Polina Petrova presented their project to Kopra.

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TAMK’s student Catherine Fait presented their project to Kopra.

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TAMK’s student Svetlana Rybina was part of a student group that developed a test chamber suitable to Mars.

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Astronaut Charles Camarda wants to continue the Finnish cooperation. In the photo from left teacher Tomi Salo from TAMK, Charles Camarda, and student Polina Petrova from TAMK.

Mars colonisation was also a topic at the SciFest 2017 event in Joensuu on 12 May 2017. In the learning environment symposium the Epic Challenge teams of Joensuu and TAMK introduced themselves and met the father of the Epic Challenge programme, astronaut Charles Camarda and Timothy Kopra. This year’s Epic Challenge programme ended but NASA’s astronauts are interested in continuing the Finnish cooperation.

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Coordinator of the Epic Challenge programme, Principal Lecturer Heikki Immonen from Karelia University of Applied Sciences received a Finnish flag which has been in space twice from Timothy Kopra.

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Continuation of the Epic Challenge programme was planned in the amazing scenery of Koli. From left Charles Camarda, Timothy Kopra, Dawn Kopra, and Antti Perttula.

In addition to TAMK, the University of Eastern Finland, Karelia University of Applied Sciences, North Karelia College, Lahti University of Applied Sciences, Town of Joensuu, and Savo Consortium for Education participate in the Epic Challenge programme.

Text and photos: Antti Perttula, Principal Lecturer, Degree Programme in Mechanical Engineering, Leader of TAMK’s NASA Challenge project

Amanda Toler Woodward and Kimberly Steed-Page from MSU together with Aura and Kirsi from TAMK

Text and photos: Kirsi Jokipakka

___________________________

A small delegation from TAMK, Kirsi Jokipakka and Aura Loikkanen, had a chance to visit Michigan State University at the end of May. Two-day program included visits to MSU support services and learning environments. MSU is among the world’s top 100 universities and it has over 200 programs in undergraduate and graduate level but it also offers various pre-professional study opportunities. MSU is also one of the world’s top research universities and students are linked to research and development activities although their studies. TAMK has co-operation with MSU in the field of social work.

One of the focus areas of MSU is to support the regional development but also global responsibility is an important matter. At MSU students have great study abroad opportunities and in addition to this the services for international students and scholars are well organized. MSU’s 25 international institutes, centers and units collaborate with academic colleges across campus to help the students to develop their global competencies.

The student services of MSU are broad and divided into four parts. Services include Student Affairs and Service Operations, Health, Wellness & Safety, Identity & Affinity, Transition, Leadership and Experiential Learning. Staff members’ role is to support students throughout their studies. At MSU the student life is active and students are well-integrated into university community. Support services are visible and easily accessible. The tuition fees are the most important income for MSU and therefore degree-seeking students are vital for the university.

During the visit it became clear that MSU is committed to take good care of its students. It is important that the university offers good-quality education and research but also the student life should meet the needs of the present and future students.

Office of Cultural & Academic Transitions

Entrance hall of the Student Affairs and Services building