Vanhan opiskelijablogimme arkisto löytyy alta. Saimaan ammattikorkeakoulun opiskelijoiden uusi blogi löytyy osoitteesta https://www.saimia.fi/blog/fi/

This is an archive of our old Students' blog entries. Check out the new blog here: https://www.saimia.fi/blog/en/

A pleasant pastime of "Maslenitsa" celebration

Good day to all reading this blog!

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Would you like to know what all these people gathered for? Read this blog to the end, and you will learn what made their evening!

Just imagine a fifteen thousand community of undergraduates. This much of students we roughly have here in Lappeenranta. What does it mean? Any guesses? Yes, a never-ending party going on here and there! Places vary, and the whole generations of students change, but party always stays, as it is the pillar of students’ life. Joking aside, Lappeenranta is very rich in events, and it very rarely happens that there is nothing interesting or fun going on. Do not get me wrong. Beer Pong tournaments, sitsits and parties are not the only entertainments students of Saimaa University of Applied Sciences and LUT get to enjoy. Besides these, there are various events and shows organized by students’ organizations such as AIESEC and LUTes. I will write in more detail about LUTes (Lappeenranta University of Technology entrepreneurship society) in one of the next articles, as it deserves a separate blog entry for contributing significantly to a student life. Global village (the biggest celebration of cultures from around the world. People showcase their nations through singing, dancing, food, customs, costumes, music and traditions!), interesting events with guest speakers, Mini Bootcamps, Hackathons, Business Challenges and Summer Launchpads – this is not yet a full list of events that will brighten up and enrich your student life in Lappeenranta. I have visited almost all of them, and they were absolutely worth the time devoted. For this I strongly advise you to attend them, if you have such an opportunity while studying at Saimaa University of Applied Sciences. You will not only have a pleasant past-time, but might spend it very productively by making new friends and connections, learning how to pitch, developing your business idea, finding future employment, meeting famous people and many more.

Aside from business-related events, there are cultural ones, which are not less interesting and fun to visit! In this blog today I would like to tell you about one event that I took part in organizing.

It was late March, and a group of Russian Saimaa students came up with an idea to organize an event, a cultural one, so as to add some colors to a student life. The decision on the theme was made quite fast, as a Russian celebration Maslenitsa was approaching. Whenever a foreigner asks of traditional Russian holidays, Maslenitsa is the one that turns up. This celebrations is so deep-rooted in our culture, that it may be the oldest Slavic holiday, dating back as far as to 2nd century A.D.

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It is probably one of the most cheerful holiday as it is always accompanied with tasty snacks, drinks, contests, songs and dances, and we very much tried to adhere to the tradition. It usually looks like this. We had an ambitious goal to cook hundreds of pancakes to stuck students to the full, so that no one will leave before the show ends. If talking about the show, it was a very nice one with traditional Russian songs and dances, mixed with a lively interaction and very tasty snacks.

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All the tickets were sold out in just a few hours.

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Russian “Matryoshka” as a present to our guest.

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Kvass, tea and Russian snacks called “sushki”.

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Hundreds of tasty pancakes with various jams, Russian “smetana” and “sgushchenka”. Yummy!

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Their singing and dancing were simply adorable. Beauties!

At the end of it all, adhering to the tradition, we burned a dummy of Winter season, marking the approaching start of Spring.

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It seemed that our guests had a very good time, as they told us so. They were joyful and happy to play the games, to sing and to dance with us. All in all, very good memories to keep about student life

This is all for today.

Have a nice day and see you soon!

BOSS - the project worth taking part in

Hello everyone J

In this blog today I would like to tell you about a project that I got to participate in 2015 when I was yet a first-year student at Saimaa UAS.

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My path in the BOSS project started on the day, when I saw a post in Moodle, saying that there is a great opportunity to take part in a tandem practical training in Saint Petersburg – the city that I so strongly adore. It took me just a few seconds to conclude, that it was something definitely worth taking part in, a chance that I could not miss.

In a nutshell, project BOSS is offering an opportunity to have a probe of internationalization in the company, hopefully leading to wider development of this process. The idea of the model is to organize joint encounters, interactions and receive multinational working experiences across the border area. You can read more about it here: http://borderspace.fi/eng/

I have defined several opportunities in this project for myself. First of all, this training would be a nice start of my working career – my first practical experience in a well-known language school in Saint Petersburg – this sounded promising and attractive to me. It was clear that I would definitely learn something new in this project. Secondly, I was hoping to get to know people, which are working on the interconnection of Finnish-Russian relationship. Thirdly, I was strongly willing to obtain a useful experience of working in a tandem-format. I truly believed that it would be nice to get to know the way Finnish people cooperate and work.

I didn’t have any doubts on whether to apply for this practical training or not. I immediately send an application to the project manager Minna Malankin. I was strongly motivated to take part in this project – so motivated, that I sent three applications in a row with a slight time intervalJ Some time had passed and I received an answer with additional questions. I tried to do my best in order to be chosen and I think I managed that well, as I have been eventually qualified for the project. What a joy that was!

As soon as the application process finished and the project participants have been chosen, practical issues needed to be solved out. I am grateful to Minna Malankin, a project manager, in this regard, because she organized accommodation and transportation in the best way possible - they were convenient and comfortable.

The training started on the day after the 23rd of February – the day when the national celebration of the Defenders of the Fatherland is held in Russia. Our project coordinator Liudmila Chugunova met us and showed the way to the office of the Nordic school. The office personnel warmly welcomed us. After the introduction, our training coordinator explained us our tasks. During the period of practical training, I had to undertake an analysis of the market of foreign language courses in Saint Petersburg, estimate the level of competition, defined the main competitors and evaluated their relative market share. Adding to this, I gave presentations to Russian students about studying at Saimaa University of Applied Sciences, which was a very valuable experience of public-speaking.

Overall, I consider this as a useful experience. I have learned how to perform the marketing analysis on the Internet – the amount of the information to process was huge. As an outcome, I had a comprehensive report with a comparison of language schools in Saint Petersburg based on a wide range of criteria. Adding to this, I developed my presentation skills during the presentation sessions for Russian students. At my last meeting, I felt much more confident about giving a public speeches.

If talking about the tandem part, meaning the process of working together with my partner Pauliina, we did not really work together. She had different tasks at school, so we rarely met each other, unfortunately.

In my opinion, this practical training would have been more successful and useful, if:

1. Members of tandem were working together, supporting each other

2. Tandem was working under a close supervision or together with a marketing manager, or a person from this department, so that we could learn from him/her

3. Tandem practical training lasted longer than one week

Despite the fact that not everything about the practical training was excellent, I am sure that these kind of projects definitely have to be practiced in the future. I definitely learned new things during the project. I did receive a valuable experience of dealing with real tasks in a marketing department and also got to know new people working on the interconnection of Finnish-Russian relationships. All in all, it was a nice experience. I am glad that such opportunities arise while studying at Saimaa University of Applied Sciences.

This is all for today.

Have a nice day and see you soon:)

A pleasant reward from Saimaa UAS

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Good afternoon everyone!

As earlier, I am writing to you from Moscow, where I am having a truly wonderful time. It could not be better, as I manage to combine my professional practical training with a very enjoyable past-time, while still remaining active here in the blog of Saimaa UAS, which, I hope, you find at least a little bit informative, helpful or interesting.

Considering the situation generally, I come to the conclusion that practical trainings and study exchange are the great additions to a higher-education program: both in terms of valuable work experience and very pleasant moments of life. Little would I have explored and experienced by this time, if one day I chose some other place to study than Saimaa UAS. Being deprived  the numerous opportunities that I have, I would not have gained six months of valuable working experience, I would not have explored Seville and Moscow, I would not have got to know so many people, that I am now in friends with, and not only this! While obtaining a useful hands-on experience during basic/professional practical training, a student is granted financial support for the period of internship and student exchange. Depending on the place of destination, grants are financed either by Saimaa University of Applied Sciences or a European fund called Erasmus. Anyway, you would certainly consider it to be a pleasant addition. In my personal opinion, it is extremely generous of a university to support its students financially during their practical training and study exchange, for which I am very grateful to Saimaa UAS. These are, by the way, not all the occasions at which Saimaa UAS has proved to be a generous and rewarding university. Today I would like to tell you of one more of such occasions.

Being honest with you, my first study year at Saimaa UAS was on a very fast pace – as indeed was the second one. Motivation for study was on a high level, and it fortunately remains to be so, but this is not the thing. I have to mention first, that there are extra courses on offer at Saimaa UAS besides the obligatory ones, which every student has to finish. There are free language courses on German, Spanish, French, and Chinese, which are totally free for Saimaa UAS and LUT students. Besides these language course, there were business-related subjects. How could I miss these extra courses and not take at least the part of it? I was willing to take at least half of them, which I eventually did. Looking back at that times, I think that Hermione Granger’s Time-Turner would have been a very useful thing for me at that time – it would have allowed me to be at several places at one moment. As the end of the study year was coming, the number of ECTS credits was rapidly approaching a total amount of 100 with a weighted average grade being in a satisfactory level. By the start of the second study year, I had approximately 110 credits. For the sake of comparison, the whole study program equals to 210 credits, and I received half of it for the first year.

Already in April it was clear that I must have exceeded the plan, and somewhere in the middle of the month I received an email from Saimaa UAS’s officials which was as follows:

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I have been granted a scholarship of 300 euro! It was a very pleasant piece of news for me, which made the whole week ahead. I was so glad to have my efforts rewarded on their merits. Later on, the head of our degree program congratulated me on the study achievements and presented a certificate card.

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It was very pleasant to receive such a reward. I will keep it as a memory.

This is all for today.

Have a nice day and see you soon!

 

Third - super-professional practical training, or: How brilliantly I spend my last weekend

Good day to all reading this blog!

I am writing to you from my new place of residence in Moscow, as I have recently moved to a bigger flat so as not to disturb the peaceful regular life style of my relatives with the not so peaceful and regular one of mine. It is not that I am a party animal - not at all, but the coexistence with the youth does bring some inconvenience, and I feel myself responsible for making their life as worry-free as possible, so I have decided to move to a separate flat to live on my own so as not to depend on anyone: neither on the time that I come home, nor on the people I bring along, as I am nineteen and I want to live my life to the full :)

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Mine is the orange one. I live on the top floor. It is fine.

Ok, I have to admit that I have lied to you. Mine is next to the orange one - about one and a half kilometers away, and this is the view that I got to contemplate every evening that I come home from work. I haven't seen skyscrapers before last Monday, and now I can seen them every day - after work and late in the evening when I intentionally jog toward the towers that drive my imagination wild.

Now that I am in Moscow, being immersed into the practical training and the life of the city, it all gets perceived differently. I gradually become aware of other benefits that an internship brings, besides those that are initialy stated. It doesn't only provide with necessary skills, experience, networks, but also educates by teaching some life lessons like responsibility and decision-making. Besides this, it entertains, as my practical trainings, both basic and professional, never ceased to amaze me with how diverse life could be in different parts of the world. Reflecting on it, I feel that I am very glad that I suddenly find myself in where I be. I am almost sure I would not have learned and see what I have already done, if two years ago I chose a different place to study.

Willing to obtain as many valuable skills as possible, I headed to my relatives who live in the village. My good intention was to help them to the best of my effort. The experiment turned into a super-professional practical training. I bet none of your practical trainings would give you the skills that I recently learned. They are: collecting hay and forming a stack of it, driving a tractor, milking a cow, feeding farm animals. It was an extraordinary experience that I truly enjoyed! Check it out!

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After the long day of work, I was rewarded with a rich dinner preceded with a steaming hot "banya" - all in Russian best traditions.

On the next day, I set back from the village for the city. One more eventful day awaited me, as I agreed to go to a 'high ropes course'. The heights and the route itself were absolutely breathtaking. I strongly advice you to try it! The last time I had nearly so much adrenaline was the Catapult attraction in Saint Petersburg : )

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One of the route's stages was to ride a bike on a tightrope over an eight meter height. As simple as this. This was just one of the numerous stages that the creative route creators managed to come up with. I absolutely loved it!

The past weekend was so eventful and nice, that I got the energy for the whole working week ahead.

This is all for today.

Have a nice day and see you soon!

Three years ago I would not believe it

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Life, as we all know, is not so rich in life opportunities and lucky chances, that we could thoughtlessly neglect or disregard any of such gifts. Not only shall we be attentive to the opportunities arising, but also well prepared. With this firm conviction in my mind, I remain open-minded for the life-enhancing experiences.

Applying to and finally entering Saimaa University of Applied Sciences was one of those first important milestones, that I would personally regard as an event bringing fundamental positive changes along to my life. I considered that opportunity seriously and worked hard on achieveing it. Finally, it gave in under the pressure.

While the years are passing by, life is bringing new - not least great  opportunities to take an advantage of. And so it happened in my life too. I believe that exchange at Nanyang Polytechnic in Singapore is a brilliant chance that I can make an outstanding and useful experience of. Singapore in itself is a spectacular island country that I strongly desire to get acquainted with. The unbeliavable mix of diverse cultures and communities, fantastic cuisines and colourful nightlife makes me feel excited and intrigued. But exchange, of course, is not only about getting to know to a country. Not least important and interesting to me is Nanyang Polytechnic, which I heard and read a lot about. The high level of education combined with comfortable and well-equipped campus form a perfect place for studying. Still, what attracts me most – is that Singapore is one of the world’s most progressive and advanced places, with its economy being one of the most dynamically developing. Understandably, the knowledge of these innovative and progressive business practices could be of great use for those studying international business.

As for the second option in my exchange application, I chose Fachhochschule Augsburg. First of all, education at Fachhochschule Augsburg is on a high level and of remarkable standards, allowing to broaden the knowledge in business studies and improve German language proficiency. Secondly, German culture, mentality and delicious cuisine are close to me and are of big interest, as some of my ancestors come from Germany. Adding to all of these, Germany is considered to be one of the leading countries of the European economy with its business practices and advancement of industrial potential being a role model for many countries in the world. Last, but not least, Augsburg is a charming Bavarian city with nice architecture and warm ambiance.

For obvious reasons, the attractiveness of the places of exchange brings a tougher competition. Luckily, strong desire is not everything what I posses. One of my strong sides is high motivation for studies, which I have demostrated with my current academic achievements. I am sure that this studying proficiency will facilitate me to take the most out of the studies at an exchange institution. Adding to the studying motivation, I have proved myself as a person with an active attitude to social life, events, entertainments and various other activities – this has become possible with my active membership in AIESEC and LUTes, of which I will tell you more in one of the coming articles. Last, but not least important is my considerable working experience – I have so far recommended myself as a hard-working, active and reliable employee. My working experience includes a total of one year of working experience in four diifferent companies as well as active participation in several projects.

I am pretty sure that exchange is going to be of immense use to me. I feel that I can learn and experience a lot things, which I can later apply to studies and working in Finland. For instance, enhanced language proficiency for writing Thesis, useful academic skills, and knowledge of advanced working practices applied in future career.

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Now that my exchange application is already considered and my first-priority choice is approved, I remain in the state of pleasant anticipation for the exciting period of my life. As the date of my departure approaches, I would only have some pleasant cares to do, such as choosing study modules for the exchange period and packing my stuff.

If three years ago I was told that I would study at Saimaa University of Applied Sciences and would be going for an exchange to Singapore, I would hardly believe it. It would have sound simply improbable to me. Now that I am studying at Saimaa UAS, it has all become possible. There are so many roads open now with the European diploma and the opportunities that Saimaa generously gives to its students, that my head is spinning at times.

This is all for today.

Have a nice week and see you soon!

Study exchange.

Good day to all!

No major changes has happened in life and, as earlier, I am writing to you from Moscow, where my current professional practical training takes place. Being honest with you, I really love it here, despite the fact that life is totally different compared to any place I got to live so far. The pace is faster, distances are longer - it takes me one and a half hour to get to work, so daily commuting takes approximately fifteen hours of my life every week. Unwilling to tolerate it, I try to spend these precious hours with at least some use to me – for this I have uploaded several books to my smartphone. It is much better with books – I no longer feel so light-headedly wasting the time of my lifewhile on my way. Nevertheless, I am so glad that I chose this city to be the place of the second internship, as most probably I wouldn’t decideto come here, and my acquaintance with Moscow would have postponed to an uncertain point in future.

The other day I was checking my student e-mail. There was only one new e-mail, but it made my whole day. It was from Nanyang Polytechnic in Singapore, to where I go for an exchange in the coming October. What a truly amazing time period awaits me! My exchange is nearing, and I can’t wait to set off. This e-mail that I got was a pleasant reminder with all the exchange-supporting information like study calendar, NYP apartment fact sheet, study modules and several forms to fill in. I would soon start to prepare for the exchange, but it is not in any way tiring – it is more of pleasant cares that you truly enjoy, as anticipation is enjoyable in itself.

When I was still at high school in Russia - at the times when I started to consider studying at Saimaa UAS - some things about higher education in Finland really impressed me, as I gradually got to know more about it. The more I learned, the more astonished I got. To me, an eighteen year old guy from the periphery of Russia, the thought of receiving high-quality education abroad in Finland was alone a tremendous opportunity. Little did I know. Not only do I get a diploma, which is recognized in the whole EU, but I am also granted an opportunity to go for a study exchange to one of one hundred partner universities all over the world. When I first heard it, I was speechless, as such a perspective was difficult to comprehend. Saimaa UAS has almost one hundred partner universities all over the world. Besides that, it has several double degree agreements, which means that you get a second degree in one of the partner universities.

Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Chile, China, Malaysia, Russia, Singapore, USA, Lithuania – quite a wide selection, right? It seems that everyone could find a place he would love to go for a study exchange. A student can go for one semester, or the whole study year – it depends on the agreement and the type of program arranged between the universities. Shortly speaking, everyone would find the right place to her/himself, and not only that – besides the wide selection of destinations, students receive a monthly financial support during their study exchange and practical training, the size of which varies depending on the country of destination, but it is rarely less than Euro 150 per month.

Note! This is a valid information for the moment that I am writing this blog. I cannot, however, guarantee, that the information would be still reliable at the time you, my friend, are reading it, so, please, refer to Saimaa UAS’s official sources for the more up-to-date information.

This is all for today. In one of the coming articles I will tell you more about my study exchange destination – Singapore, and the reasons I have chosen it over others.

Have a nice week and see you soon!

AIESEC Saimaa calls!

Hello everyone!

It is boiling hot here in Moscow, and thunderstorms happen occasionally… I very much hope you neither broil, nor face the force of the nature which does this to the trees, as it did recently here in the capital.

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Shortly speaking, have a pleasant summer time!

In today’s blog I would like to tell you about one of the numerous pastimes you can have while being Saimaa UAS’s student. If one would ask me of where she/he could make friends and learn something new, the first thing that would come to my mind is AIESEC.

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Have you ever heard of AIESEC? If not, let me tell you shortly about it:

AIESEC is a global platform for young people to explore and develop their leadership potential. It is a non-political, independent, not-for-profit organization run by students and recent graduates of institutions of higher education. Its members are interested in world issues, leadership and management. You would ask: so what does it actually do?

Let me put it in a more clear way. The world that we live in is full of complex challenges. In order to address this problems, better leadership is needed. Responsible and entrepreneurial leaders are the ones who can help solve many of today’s issues. Who, if not us, would solve it? By facilitating tens of thousands of life-changing experiences for students and recent graduates, AIESEC offers young people a chance to discover their leadership potential: from professional internships and volunteering experiences to being a full member of AIESEC. Through extensive partnerships ranging from multinationals to social enterprises, AIESEC offers young people skills, networks and competencies for future success.

There is a local AIESEC branch in Lappeenranta. It is called AIESEC Saimaa. I applied there twice, and the second try was successful. Now I am a current member of AIESEC working in the ICX department, where ICX stands for Incoming Exchange. ICX seeks for recent professional graduates who would be willing to work in Finnish companies. As such, working in the ICX department is building skills in marketing, sales and communications. The core process of the ICX department is marketing and selling AIESEC’s service. The purpose of this department is to find a working place in Finland for professional graduates from all around the world. The duties are to contact companies which can potentially be interested in professional interns, arrange meeting, search for candidates, and interview them. If there is a match, all the documents, transportation and accommodation are arranged. Might sound boring, but it really isn’t, as you would be in a group of like-minded, active and cheerful youth.

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AIESEC Saimaa on its holiday trip. There was a great lot of fun!

ICX is just one of several structural departments that you can be working in, and each of them offers hands-on experience and valuable skills for the future. If you are active, hard-working and ambitious, you could climb the AIESEC’s career ladder and find yourself in a local or even national AIESEC border, which would definitely be a very notable record in your CV and a very valuable experience. Though AIESEC is not only about learning and pursuing your ambitious goals. To a large extent, AIESEC is about making new friends and having fun! Besides arranging incoming and outgoing exchanges, AIESEC organizes various events at the university campus. If you are student at Saimaa UAS, these events are a must-see.

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Global Village is the biggest celebration of cultures from around the world. People showcase their nations through singing, dancing, food, customs, costumes, music and traditions!

If you feel like it is interesting to you, do not hesitate to apply for the membership. Selection of candidates takes place two times a year. I am sure you will enjoy your time there, make new friends and will learn a lot! : )

This is all for today!

Have a nice day and see you soonJ

 

Guess the place!

Hello everyone!

What a lovely weather we have here in Moscow for the last two weeks! It is nearly boiling hot here. So hot, that the only thing you are lacking in a public transport for a proper sauna, is a birch broom, or vihta, in case some of my Finnish friends get to read this blog ;)

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Guess the place where I took this picture.

My professional practical training at “Rigla” pharmacy chain lasts till the end of August. From then on, I will be having a one-and-a-half month period of free time, as I have already finished all the compulsory courses at Saimaa University of Applied Sciences, and there would not be any need to come to Lappeenranta, unless nostalgia for the place intensifies.

The two major things that await me now are an exchange to a spectacular Singapore and not so exciting Thesis writing J I am kidding about the latter one, as it very much depends on whether you are interested in your topic or not. With the freedom of topic choice that Saimaa UAS provides, Thesis writing can be made a very interesting and useful process, but this is not the topic of today’s blog – I will shed a light on this closer to my own Thesis writing.

Returning to the subject of the article, I will leave for Singapore somewhere in the middle of October, and will settle there for approximately four-five months. I will have one and a half month time gap before my departure, and I am thinking of filling it with some different practical experience than I have now. I am firmly convinced, as I have already said, that it is never too early to start to search for a practical training. Following this belief, I started to explore the huge labor market of Moscow – mainly via the internet-recruiting services such as Headhunter and Career.ru. I have been very interested recently in financial trading, and it pretty much determined the direction of my search.

It didn’t take much of my effort to update my profiles on the services mentioned. All I had to do is to remain active, search for the relevant vacancies starting in September, and to apply for those interesting to me. It was only several days since the start of my search campaign that I received an invitation for an interview. The company is called “Taurus”. It provides stock brokerage services for individual and corporate clients. The position, that I was going to be interviewed for, is that of a Junior Financial Consultant. As I learned from the interview, the duties in the position are advising individual clients on investment instruments provided by the company, creating customer portfolio, negotiating agreements, keeping records, performing cold-calling and several others. By the way, the picture is taken there before the interview, as I was waiting for the interviewer to arrive.

As to my opinion, I passed the interview successfully. It wouldn’t have been so, if didn’t devote several nights to the preparation for the interview. One would ask: why do you think you passed it well? It is because I was later announced that my candidacy is approved, and that I have two more weeks to make my mind J what a joy that was! The position is relatively well-paid, plus I get from 3-6% from each signed contract. Nevertheless, I haven’t made my mind yet, and would most probably continue the search for something else. Who knows what I might find?

This is all for today!

Have a nice day and see you soon!

Professional practical training. Part 1: Two choices

Hello everybody!

Hope your summer is as pleasant and smooth as mine. I am so glad that I got an opportunity to enjoy the beautiful capital of Russia. This is due to the fact that the place of my professional practical training is “Rigla” pharmacy chain. It was established in 2001. Since that time its growth has been so remarkably dynamic, that is now considered one of the leaders in the Russian retail pharmaceutical market.

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*all you need for health!

If talking about my practical training search path, it would be good to mention that I was short of time badly, when the time has come. As you might remember from one of the previous articles, last year I spend approximately four months until I eventually found a good internship place for myself, which will not only be paid, but will also bring some valuable work and cultural experience.

Finnish and Russian university exams were appearing on the horizon, which didn’t bode well for me. As a wise Russian proverb puts it: “If you run after two hares, you will catch neither”. Considered that the two exam sessions were the first hare, the search for a practical training abroad would have been the second one, and I would most probably find myself receiving poor exam grades and failing to find an internship place. Furthermore, what is the point of going for a practical training abroad if you are burned out and don’t feel like you can stand people around you J Taken into account some personal considerations, I decided to give up the overseas aspirations in favor of the more important average grade, which is a very weighty argument and a major criterion for master degree applicants selection.

Then that the geography of my search was narrowed down to Russia, I had my task pretty much simplified. As in any other place in the world, a job seeker has two major options: he/she either uses common instruments like HeadHunter, Career.ru et al. and achieve it on their own, or he/she falls back on his/her connections. Have I said something that I should not? No, it is a well-known fact for all of us. As for me, I also had the two options and I used both of them heavily. Who am I on the world to neglect the connections? Nevertheless, the internship place that I found was not the fruit of one particular options (meaning own forces and connections) but rather a derivative of the two.

I created accounts on the job search services quite long ago – they are two years old now. All the information there was updated, and all I had to do is to visit it more or less frequently, maintain activity and to reply to requests if any such appeared. For the one and a half months that I remained active there I received three interview invitations, which were of at least some interest to me. Those positions were real estate agent, IT solutions sales manager and a regional representative in trade marketing. Not so attractive, but already something worth considering. After a thorough examination of the positions in question, I came to the conclusion that the game is not worth the candle. The two first positions involved a limited range of tasks, which I didn’t really like, as it would have turned my summer into a daily office routine. As for the third option, the location was so inconvenient, that my summer would have turned into one long public transport ride J I didn’t rest satisfied with such options, so I continued the search.

One day when I decided to share with my father the not so fruitful results of my search, he didn’t listen to the end of my prose of existence, and was right to do so.

“They have a hell of a lot of work to do in the “Rigla” headquarter in Moscow. Why don’t you help them out?” – he said. “I can arrange you the interview, and we will see what you are worth.” – he added challengingly. “They will be teaching you everything, you will be helping them” – he finalized.

It fitted me well. The main thing that I expected from the professional internship was to learn the business, as the experience is definitely the most important treasure now. In this regard, I could hardly find anything better than what “Rigla” promised to give.

“Rigla” is a no-nonsense company, where boosting someone’s career is unacceptable. If you want to get there, you need to deserve it. They don’t need somebody to walk around the office at a loose end, so I had to go through the interview process.

Two weeks later I was interviewed by the HR specialist and the head of the department of development, to which I was assigned. The interview went smoothly. It wouldn’t have, if didn’t devote the week before to the preparation for the interview. To list a few, I reviewed numerous model contracts, went through main legal aspects, procedures and feasibility study, studied different business registration documents, and viewed several corporate programs’ video tutorials, refreshed knowledge of financial and other indicators. It turned out very often, that most of it had already been studied at Saimaa, and it took only a little of my efforts to refresh everything.

Several days later I received a call from “Rigla”. My candidacy was approved for the position of development manager! Lovely! In one of the coming blog articles I will tell you more detailed about the professional practical training itself.

This is all for today!

Have a nice day and see you soon!

Hello from Moscow!

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Good day to all!

I am writing to you from Moscow! My little prayers were answered, and the weather here is mostly warm and sunny. So warm at times, that I already regret for being so persistent in my wishes for the warm weather.

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This is because my professional practical training company sets formal wear as a prerequisite, or, better say, smart casual, so no shorts and t-shirts L But who knows how high the temperature raises this summer. They might give in, and we will eventually see my colleagues wearing not the Aloha shirt, but a rather free clothing style.

I will tell you about my professional practical training in a more detailed manner, but it is going to be the subject of one of the coming articles. What I would like to share today is the reasoning of why this year I chose for Russia as a country of my second practical training, and not Seville, whereto I was warmly welcomed by my Xtraice team. (You can read more about my basic practical training at Xtraice in Seville in several articles named correspondingly)

The second year of studies at Saimaa UAS was not a resort vacation. Neither it was a hard labor, but not in my case. I have once again rejected a peaceful life and made it somewhat more exciting and thrilling with next year courses, extramural studies and a part-time job to crown it all. Believe it or not, I really loved it J

So when the first two study periods passed and the time has come – the time of practical training arrangements, I took a thought. I recalled everything at once: the time-consuming search for an interesting internship place, and not least painful and tiring arrangement process associated with it, about which you can read in one of the previous articles to avoid my mistakes, as it was a headache, to put it mildly. Having learned my mistakes, I would have made all the arrangements way faster and worry-free this year, but it would have been still more consuming in all regards. One thing that I strongly advice is to start well in advance.

So I took everything into account – the time shortage, the practicalities, the coming exchange and the parting associated. Having weighted the pros and cons, I was very much inclined to choose for a practical training in Russia. Xtraice is a lovely place to work at, of which you can make sure if you read previous blog articles, but I wanted to try something new, to diversify my working experience, and diving into a Russian business reality was a perfect fit. Besides this, I wanted to spend more time with the dearest before I leave for an exchange to Singapore. In this regard, Moscow is a much more convenient place. I will be rarely leaving Moscow for my home town, but I can nevertheless be the host for all my family!!! Adding to this, since I have explored Saint Petersburg, I have started to dream of visiting Moscow and exploring it too, as it is yet “the road not taken” for me.  All in all, I chose for Russia, and it seems to me now that it was the right decision to make.

With my geographic criteria significantly narrowed down to Russia, I proceeded to the internship search process. I will tell more about it in one of the coming articles.

This is all for today.

Have a nice weekend and see you soon!

Acquaintace with the capital

Good evening!

What amazes me most about big cities – is that their scales are so large, that a separately taken individual is simply unsubstantial, weightless, and imperceptible. One human less, or one more – the change in a twelve million population is barely noticeable.

Several weeks ago I arrived to Moscow. By doing so, I added myself to the big mass of people, who have the fortune (or the misfortune – I have not yet determined for myself, but I lean more toward the first option) to live in the biggest city of Russia. Has anything changed about the city that I joined the mass – no, but Moscow definitely changes those who come here – with me being one of them. I feel that Moscow changes the way you think, the way you see and perceive the world, the way you behave. Besides this, it educates.

I have been strongly anticipating my trip to Moscow, as I have never lived in cities this big before, never so long. I am going to settle here for three months, as my professional practical training so prescribes. Good that I have so much time to explore the city, its sights, its spectacular views, to experience the life that flows here and to get to know people around me.

I adopted the Moscow life-pace (style is a too beautiful word for waking up so early) right from the day of my arrival. My train from Saint Petersburg arrived to Moscow at around 4 AM – I am not sure if I should call it late night or early morning, but this is the time that some citizens of Moscow wake up! to go to work. So did I. I would lie badly, if I said that it was easy. I would have missed my station, if the train conductor wasn’t so kind to wake me up.

The train stopped and the passengers spilled out from the train onto the station platform. I lingered on the platform, as only few minutes have passed since I woke up, and I haven’t yet rubbed the sleep out of my eyes. Few minutes later I found myself standing completely alone. I headed toward the railway station terminals, as my journey was not yet finished.

Having made the long way to the station through numerous deserted underpasses and stairs, I finally entered the main building and found what I needed.

moscow map

Good that I planned my journey in advance. I would have hardly made the route with my eyes being half closed J I bought the ticket and hurried to the platform, as my train was departing very soon. Yes, the trains that bring people to work from the suburbs. I was going the opposite way, so the train was empty – completely empty. If in Spain I had a private bus to my place of residence, in Moscow I had my private train.

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In approximately one and a half hours I arrived to the place of destination. I was very warmly welcomed by my “second cousin once removed” by a phrase: “Why haven’t you called on arrival? I thought that you have been slaughtered and traded in organs.” The phrase that so accurately describes Russian humor and the harsh reality.

I took a shower and headed to a bed. Moscow life pace is not for me J

Case Work in Local Business

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No, this is not a group of people going to the swimming pool. This is actually us doing a project at a local South-Karelian company called Suomen Kerta Oy. We are wearing this funny caps as production conditions so prescribe.

The project, that I am going to tell you about, was conducted by our team in the frames of the Case Work in Local Business course, which was taught to us during the first year of studies at Saimaa UAS.

First of all, our IB14 group was divided into several teams. Every team was then assigned with a local case company. There were some companies which are quite well-known to Russians – especially in the bordering territories. Among them were H&M, Marimekko, Iittala Outlet, Tackla, The Switch, Visma Services and several others. It was really great, that the case companies were those of successful ones, and not some outsiders, as a leading company exhibits advanced solutions, which you can learn a lot from.

The idea of the project was to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the case company assigned to your group: background, history, organization structure, focus markets, vision/mission, risks of the particular company, market conditions, supply chain management and logistics, marketing, production and services, financial accounting (accounting processes and the corresponding accounting software), as well as conduct an analysis of various financial indicators: Turnover, Operating Profit, Assets, Cash Flow Statement, Investments.

The company that our group had – Suomen Kerta Oy – produces and distributes high quality tabletop products to Nordic and Baltic customer – at least it claims so in its vision J

As a first thing to do, we had to collect all the relevant company information which could be found on the web. Fortunately, there was plenty of it on the company’s web-site, from which we could get a basic understanding of the main operations, markets, product range, logistics and other aspects relevant to the project. Anyway, a substantial part of the crucial company information was either unknown to us, or unclear, so we needed some additional information from a more reliable source.

Who is the person that you can get the richest and most reliable information about the company? - a company representative, of course, and we did get the opportunity to interview him! The course teacher made it possible with each every case company IB 14 group had, so we only had to agree on the interview time and place.

We didn’t only get all the necessary information from the company representative, but also got the opportunity to see the production process and company’s warehouses. It was very interesting for me to get to know how it all operates in a production company, and there could not be a possibility better than we had then.

As soon as we conducted web research and the interview, we had to structure our information and present it in the form of a report and a presentation, which formed a complete picture of various company operational units and indicators. To my mind, the given course was very effective in a way that it allowed to apply theory on practice. Besides this, it was very interesting to get to know real production and storing process.

This is all for today. In the coming articles, I will be telling periodically about different interesting study course that we had :)

Have a nice day and see you soon!

Miun koti / My place

Welcome!

Kuten olen aiemmin kertonutkin, olen kotoisin Lappeenrannasta ja näin ollen kaupunki on minulle erittäin tuttu. Muutin pois lapsuudenkodistani juuri ennen kun saavutin täysi-ikäisyyden maagisen rajan. Nyt, yli seitsemän vuotta myöhemmin olen asunut kymmenessä eri osoitteessa, joista vain kaksi on ollut muualla kuin Lappeenrannassa. Muuttotahti on siis ollut melkoinen ja kokemusta erilaisista asumismuodoista on kertynyt runsaasti. Olen asunut niin soluissa, yksiöissä kuin kasioissakin, niin Lappeenrannan seudun opiskelija-asuntosäätiöltä (LOAS) kuin yksityisiltä vuokranantajilta vuokraamissani asunnoissa. Jokaiseen elämäntilanteeseen on löytynyt sopiva kämppä, enkä ole elämän yllättävistäkään käänteistä huolimatta koskaan jäänyt asunnotta. Aina on löytynyt katto pään päälle.

Like I have told earlier, I have lived almost all my life in Lappeenranta so I know the city really well. I moved away from my childhood home just before I reached the magical age of 18. Now, over seven years later I have lived in ten different addresses. I have lived in shared apartments, studios and two-room apartments. Many of my flats have been rented from LOAS (housing foundation for students studying in South Karelia) and I have liked every one of them.

 

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My current home in Rakuunamäki

  

Lappeenrannassa iso osa opiskelijoista asuu Loasin vuokra-asunnoissa. Ensimmäinen asuntoni olikin luonnollisesti Loasin solu, josta siirryin myöhemmin yksiöön ja sittemmin kaksioon. Tällä hetkellä asun ihan keskustan kupeessa, vanhalla kasarmialueella aivan ihanassa yksiössä. Loasilla on paljon erilaisia asuntokohteita ja olen pitänyt kaikista joissa olen asunut, mutta koen olevani erittäin onnekas päästessäni asumaan näin mielettömään miljööseen.  

I must say that  of all the places I have lived in I’m enjoying my current place the most. The neighbourhood is really beautiful and it is hard to believe that you can live in a place like this just next to the city centre in an old military area.

 

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My neighbourhood and the view from my window

 

Loasin etu on mielestäni ehdottomasti se, ettei kuukausittain tarvitse säätää useiden eri laskujen kanssa, vaan vuokra ja muut asumiskulut maksetaan könttänä. Pidän myös siitä, että talo on täynnä samanhenkistä porukkaa. Olen saanut joistakin naapureistani jopa ystäviä. 

What I like about living in LOAS apartments is that you only have to pay one bill in month, including your rent, electricity, water and the internet. I also like the fact that all your neighbours have similar situation in life so you can easily make new friends if you feel so.

  

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Loving this

  

Tykkään asua keskustassa, koska suurin osa ystävistäni asuu lähellä ja harrastuksenikin ovat täällä. Luonto on läsnä ja kesäpäivästä voi mennä nauttimaan lähipuistoon tai Saimaan rannalle. Itseasiassa kirjoitan tätä tarinaa juuri nyt puistossa, jota voisin sanoa takapihakseni. Keskustasta Skinnarilan kampukselle on kuutisen kilometriä matkaa, jonka taitan pääsääntöisesti pyörällä. Huonon sään, laiskuuden tai talven tullen bussiyhteydet pelaavat kuitenkin loistavasti. 

 I like to live next to the city centre because my hobbies are there and most of my friends live nearby. It takes me about half an hour by bicycle or by bus (in winter and when I’m feeling lazy) to get to the campus.

 

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I wrote this post in a park from where I can see my home

 

Make the most of this summer, enjoy!

 

-Riina

Glad to present Saimaa University of Applied Sciences

Good day to all!

I have recently heard a word that the weather in Lappeenranta leaves much to be desired. It seems that the sun and the warmth have settled in North-West part of Russia, and the forecast says they have serious intentions to stay there. May the Force be with those, who are deprived of the real summer-like weather these days.

As you might remember, in one of the previous blog articles I “placed” several pieces of advice - the pieces of advice I wish I could give myself at the times when I was a first-year student. It is not that I consider myself to be a man of wisdom, or that I am so mature to advice you, sons. No, not at all. When leaving here some pieces of advice, I have a hope that they would be of at least some use to you. One of the advice was as follows: Keep your eyes wide open for arising opportunities. In other words, stay tuned to what is happening around you. These words have proved themselves to be true on practice. How exactly? – I will tell you about one of the cases in this blog entry today.

I would say that the first year of studies at Saimaa University of Applied Sciences was very rich in various opportunities and events, and one just had to be alert and to be prepared, so that you could take an advantage of them when the right moment comes.

The month of April was quite rich in events. First of all, my basic practical training arrangements become somewhat more definite. Secondly, I got a great opportunity to present Saimaa University of Applied Sciences in Russia.

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One of the hotel’s halls, where higher-education fair took place. Beautiful place, isn’t it?

Moodle platform (Moodle: forum digest – I strongly advise you to read it carefully and to the end) and Saimaa UAS’s official page in VK are two good friends of those who are searching for opportunities. As always, I stayed tuned to what is new from these two sources. One day in April I saw a post in VK, saying that Saimaa UAS is searching for a Russian student to participate in presentations of the university to Russian applicants. It seemed that I met major requirements:

1. I would have had my basic practical training finished by the start of the presentation sessions, so that I would have real working experience to share with the applicants

2. I had good academic achievements

3. I already had some university presentation experience by that time – the one I have written about in the blog entry on BOSS project

I qualified for the position with the major requirements, so I could proceed to the selection process. Understandably, I was not the one so willing to present my University - there were four or even five of us, I guess! I had an interview, and was eventually chosen! I was so happy when I got to know it – it was a pure joy! J

Presentations started on the second year of my studies. Most of them took place in Saint Petersburg, but we once went to Moscow to present Saimaa at a Finnish Embassy! Lovely place!

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Saimaa University of Applied Sciences is very caring of its students. All my journeys and overnight stays were made comfortable and convenient, so presentations were not work, but a very pleasant past-time. Thank you, Saimaa!

Parents and grandparents were so grateful at times, that they would wish me good health and all the best in life! How pleasant it was to hear such kind words from the people you know just a few minutes. Why do you think they were so emotional and kind? I think it is because they saw their dream becoming closer, somehow materializing, as they talked to me – current Saimaa UAS student. They dreamt of giving their children a high-quality education at a well-known Finnish university in Europe. People really love to talk about their dreams – they anticipate, they await, and I very well understand them. It is familiar to me, as three years ago my parents and I were feeling exactly the same when applying to Saimaa.

By the way, Saimaa UAS’s stands were in the highest demand at all the higher education fairs that I participated. There was always a circle of people surrounding us, whereas other universities’ representatives were sitting alone and bored at times. You can see it on the picture below. Two pairs on the left are alone J

presenting Saimaa UAS

I was really glad to present our university and to share my experience there. I had very much to tell about it: studies, sports, student life, events, practicalities etc. So much that I could speak hours without a stop. All in all, it was not only a useful experience of giving presentations and communicating with people, but journeys to remember, as Saimaa UAS made them very enjoyable.

This is all for today.

Have a nice day and see you soon :)

Greetings to the newcomers - good times await you!

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Good day to all reading this blog!

What a lovely weather we got to enjoy these days. Summer has now officially came into its force, as the first day of June has already passed. As the introductory summer month proceeds, tens of letters will depart from Lappeenranta to inform Saimaa UAS’s applicants of selection decisions. According to the information on University’s Official Website, the results of the entrance examinations will be announced by 10 June 2016. In case you are selected and are willing to accept the study place, make sure that you confirm the study place by 15 July 2016 at the latest. You will otherwise lose the study place offered to you!

Some of the applicants, however, will not receive a study place in the joint application. In this case, students will receive a letter after the 1st of July 2016, informing of entrance examination points and the possible reserve places for the options to which you have applied.

For those of you who, unfortunately, did not get the study place, do not be discouraged, as it is in any way a useful experience. You can try your hand next year. Adding to this, do not disregard an opportunity to study in open UAS, as it is an option worth considering. It offers everyone the chance to study at the UAS, and to complete courses in ECTS credits. Though these courses are parts of the degrees, studying at the Open Studies does not automatically lead to a degree. The idea is that if you later apply to study on a UAS study programme in the same field, the credits completed will be transferred. One more advantage is that people who studied at an open university of applied sciences can apply for degree programmes through a separate application process. The information that I provide here is reliable as of 01.06.2016. It can, however, change by the time you read this blog. For more up-to-date information, please, refer to Saimaa UAS’s Official Website at http://www.saimia.fi/en-FI/ More detailed and up-to-date information regarding Open Studies could be found at http://www.saimia.fi/en-FI/studies/study-information/open-studies

Based on my experience, Open Studies is a good option for those who did not get the study place. Some of my friends (classmates and older students) were not accepted at their first try, but they applied for Open Studies and were later enrolled with completed credits, as they applied for degree programmes through a separate application at a next selection. So why don’t you try?

For those of you, who receive the letter of happiness – My sincere congratulations! Your life takes an important turn, bringing you the wonderful years of student’s life! Many agree that it is the best period of life! Very true in my case! The whole world is in front of you. With the great opportunities that you have at Saimaa University of Applied Sciences, you can create an unbelievable experience. All the necessary equipment for studies is at your disposal: extensive library, numerous computer classes with all the needed software and equipment, and many more. There approximately 15000 students in Lappeenranta, so you are destined to make new friends and have a very exciting life J

If I could now give an advice to an eighteen year old me (first-year student at that time), I would have advised myself to keep an eye wide open for different opportunities (projects, practical trainings etc.), to socialize as much as possible, to make friends and connections, to travel a lot, and to set to business well in advance, as it makes you chances in any pursuit much higher. I would have also advised to be a diligent student, but do not devote the whole time to studying.

This is all for today.

Have a nice study year and see you soon!

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