In fall 2015 we spent one week in Odense, Denmark. 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 Assistant Professor Christian Hammerich and Associate Professor Søren Jensen from the University of Southern Denmark, Faculty of Engineering, organized for us the programme. Altogether 31 students and 9 staff members from Estonia, Finland, Lithuania, Norway and Denmark joined the intensive course. From TAMK, Finland students Antti Härkönen, Joel Karhapää, Venla Kekäläinen, Veera Leppäniemi, Annika Seppänen, Otto Pietikäinen, Kaarle Putti and Tuukka Tuovinen took part in the Nordic & Baltic week.
Prior to the intensive course we had been divided into teams. On weekend we had some teambuilding activities and we could get acquainted with each other and spend some time together.
On Monday morning we had presentations of all the countries and study programmes taking part in the course. We also followed a presentation on “Presentation – communication” given by Vidar Alvarstein from UiT The Arctic University of Norway, School of Business and Economics.
On Monday we were given the assignment from VandCenter Syd, a water and wastewater management company. We also did some more teambuilding activities before starting to work in teams. In the afternoon we worked in teams discussing the challenges and business potentials.
On Tuesday we visited the waste water treatment facilities of VandCenter Syd. In the afternoon we worked in teams identifying business/innovation opportunities. On Wednesday we worked hard in our teams and finalized our ideas and solutions. We also delivered our reports by the deadline.
On Thursday our presentations took place. All teams did great work. 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 Odense with a lot of nice memories.
In the following some students share their experiences and thoughts of the intensive course and time in Denmark.
Students from Tallinn College of Tallinn University of Technology, Business, Estonia
Alice Mikk, Maret Niitla, Haldi Küla, Martin Ruuto:
“Nordic and Baltic Business Innovation intensive course 2015 in Denmark, Odense was a great opportunity for all four of us. We did not know exactly what we signed up for, but it sure did exceed our expectations!”
This year we tried to come up with different solutions for VandCenter Syd, a waste water management company, located in Odense. Working in international teams was a great experience because each one of us had different views, ideas and personalities. Everyone had a certain role in the team – who was the leader, erudite, deliberative critic, wordsmith etc. As a result, we presented our ideas in one report and presentation to fellow students and the company.
The week was not all about working and thinking, but also making new connections and having fun. On our first day in Dalum Landbrugsskole we first met students from Finland, Norway and Lithuania and thereafter Danish students joined us. During the whole week we spent time together, whether eating out, chatting or discovering surroundings.
Usually the intensive course encompasses excursions within the city you are situated, too, but this time we were given rental bicycles to explore Odense on our own whenever we felt like it. This gave everyone the opportunity to enjoy nightlife (city centre was only four kilometres from the accommodation), go sightseeing and of course ride to the university (three kilometres from the accommodation) for group work.
“All in all, we loved the bicycling culture, kind and happy people around us and stunning architecture. We experienced Denmark’s expensive prices, not to mention the water treatment plant with its fascinating smell. Having all those previous components in one week made it especially memorable. We are grateful for the opportunity and send our thanks to the organizers.”
Students from Vytautas Magnus University, Faculty of Economics and Management, Lithuania
“I would like to express only positive words about the intensive business course for Nordic and Baltic students. I can strongly say I got “bigger” after that week. I improved my English skills and met many brilliant people. Moreover, I got familiarized with environmental (water treatment) problems in Denmark, Odense and also I had a chance to bring an idea of solution to someone who will be able to use it for better future. I am happy that there are these kinds of events for students and I became a part of it. Thank you!”
“I am very happy that I had a chance to participate in a project like this. I had a best week full of the best experience, serious work, a chance to fall in love with Denmark and quality time while meeting new people and new friends.”
“I would say that those six days in Denmark were meaningful for everyone who has participated there. It gave us not only practical team working skills, but also it gave us awareness of other cultures and especially the taste of Danish culture. I would recommend the intensive course for everyone.”
Text: Estonian and Lithuanian students
Photos: Monika Didžgalvytė, Vytautas Magnus University, Faculty of Economics and Management, Lithuania
Anneliis Tomingas, Tallinn College of Tallinn University of Technology, Business, Estonia
Alice Mikk, 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