The HILL concept proved out to be an effective way of hosting planning meetings in December-March when organising the Finnish-Russian Business Cooperation Practices Intensive Week taking place in St. Petersburg March 25 – 31. In-person meetings would have been impossible as the team members came from St.Petersburg and different regions of Finland. Using the HILL concept we could meet online face-to-face with integrated video and audio. Each group member could easily share his/her desktop when needed.
This intensive week has been organized already for four times, once a year. The FIRST network called West Finland FIRST 2011 – 2012 consists of four Finnish universities of applied sciences and two Finnish universities from Western Finland as well as 17 Russian universities. More information about FIRST (Finnish-Russian Student Exchange programme) and other international collaboration programs on www.cimo.fi -> programmes
19 Finnish and 19 Russian business and technology students of different universities learnt about Russian and Finnish cultural aspects related to cooperation; Russian and Finnish business practices in general, their similarities and differences as well as changes and current situation in business environment.
The week included lot of international networking in preparing the group assignments in Finnish-Russian multicultural teams, face-to-face and using eLearning tools (Moodle and Weebly.com). In addition, the Finnish students familiarized themselves with the Russian culture when making the pre-assignments and learning diaries afterwards to earn the 3 ects. Lectures, case studies, company excursions in St. Petersburg – an incredible amount of new experience and knowledge in only one week! See a group picture taken at a company visit and comments (in Finnish) of SAMK participants http://polyfonia.samk.fi/lehti/?p=969.
The week was hosted by St.Petersburg State Polytechnical University that has a status of a National Research University, and is a partner university of Satakunta University of Applied Sciences. http://www.spbstu-eng.ru/
The active members of the team were: Ms. Daria Kozlova, PhD, Dean Deputy of International Relations, International Graduate School of Management, SPbSPU; Ms. Taina Huhtinen, M.Sc., Senior Lecturer of Financial Management, Satakunta University of Applied Sciences; Mr. Mikel Garant, PhD, Docent of International Business, Tampere University of Applied Sciences; Ms. Marjo Arola, M.Sc., Coordinator of International Relations, Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences and Ms. Riina Luttinen, B.Sc., Planning Officer of International Relations, Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences.
Next year we hope to be able to organize an intensive week again, this time with focus on sustainable dimension in business cooperation. Got interested? Follow the electronic information boards in December – January!
More information e.g. (in Finnish):
P.S. During our stay in St.Petersburg I noticed e.g. the following topic in newspapers linked to Finland (free translation): “Angry Birds flying to the space (Kosmos) – The creator of Angry Birds, Peter Vesterbacka made the whole world exercise their brains.” (Metro News, March 29) and an article about “The Finnish way of walking with sticks” and its benefits. (Polezno dlja pensionera, A weekly newspaper for the pensioners of St.Petersburg, March 22-29)