Laurea is a cool university. I have pretty many attachments with it besides the ordinary student role: joined in the class as guest lecturer, blogger, excessive facility borrower (I borrowed half of the avail facilities from the building superintendents for one of my events before). It’s a fact that I was born an exploiter, but the reason why I’ve always loved working with staff from Laurea is because they do trust and care about students.
My first internship was with Connect project, in-charge by Ms. Birgit Aurela. Birgit is a lady not to be forgotten: she always brought her passion, liveliness around and made people around her feel very comfortable. Though she was really busy, she still cared about people around her in very special ways. I still remember the chocolate egg she bought for me on Easter last year. In fact, I only started to like Finnish after working with Birgit.
After the internship at Laurea, I’ve moved on to other interesting stuff. Entrepreneurship is interesting so I’ve learned about it for a while. I’ve struggled to learn most of the thing on my own and contacted the Innovation Department from Laurea. Perhaps there’re many students like me so a while ago, they started a project called SOCCES, which stands for SOCial Competences, Entrepreneurship and Sense of Initiative to help students who had difficulty like me. SOCCES will develop an assessment framework and related tools as well as methods for measuring entrepreneurial competences in different educational environments. Coincidentally, my classmate Connor is working for the project as an assistant so I had a nice chat with him to understand more of the project:
Phoebe: Can you tell me more about the SOCCES project?
Connor: I help Auli (project manager) with most of project, administrative things like arranging meetings, coordination of different schools within the project.
Phoebe: So it’s a project about teaching entrepreneurship skills for students in Laurea?
Connor: Not really. We’re developing an assessment framework to evaluate the mentioned skills and hopefully a course will be followed afterwards.
Phoebe: I quite like that idea since we do not have such courses in Laurea yet. Do you think you will get entrepreneurial skills from SOCCES?
Connor: I’m learning about all the theoretical knowledge about entrepreneurship through this project so I think it would be helpful to me later on when I decide to be an entrepreneur.
Phoebe: What do you wish to achieve after this internship?
Connor: I think it’s great to be working in a big project like this so I hope to learn more of project management skills. I also want to see how an academic project goes and decide if I want to be in this field or not. But most importantly, I want to improve on the professional business competences such as emailing, meeting arrangements.
Phoebe: Working in Laurea can be complementary for our school works, I had applied a fair bit of what I did during the internship into my study and I think you can too. Have you seen yourself changed after some time working here?
Connor: I can say that I have improved since I’ve reading a book about business etiquette and it gave me more confidence in my work. I’ve also been thinking about the works critically, which also helped in brushing up my project management competences.
Phoebe: Tell me one most intersting thing you like the most in this project
Connor: I can say it’s the level of freedom. My manager doesn’t boss me around and I have a lot of room to be creative and time to think of what I should do to contribute to the project without having to worry about my manager’s control.
Phoebe: I can always relate to that! Thank you for such a nice conversation.