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MBA Participants attend Learning Trip to Finland

MBA Participants attend Learning Trip to Finland

Participants of the International MBA from EMLYON Business School attend a Learning Trip each year with the objective of developing their global business mindset, intercultural awareness and cross-cultural communication skills. MBA participants are also introduced to the management, business systems, innovation, design thinking and culture of another country.

This year’s cohort visited Oulu and Helsinki in Finland to understand business the Nordic way as well as the Scandinavian business model and management style. The aim of the experience was to give participants an insight and understanding of the Nordic mindset, reasons for Nordic companies’ success from a managerial and cultural perspective and experience Nordic management styles from an academic and practical perspective.

The agenda for the Learning Trip included courses with host institutions Oulu University Business School and Aalto University, as well as company visits with Nokia Siemens Network, VTT Technology and the US Embassy Innovation Centre. Participants also had the opportunity to interact and network with their Nordic counterparts from the host institutions and take part in some Finnish cultural activities.


Image Saariselkä, Finland by ninara

Study of Nordic management at Oulu University Business School

The focus of the courses at Oulu University Business School was to gain a deeper understanding of Nordic business models and management approaches. Classes at the host institution included:

  • The Nordic countries common history; underlying cultural factors for behaviour and social differences and mindsets
  • Special characteristics of management styles in the Nordic countries
  • Observations and discussions about Scandinavian management styles

Discovery of Nordic culture

  • International MBA participants were given several opportunities to network and socialise with MBA students from Oulu Business School and Aalto University to develop their international network.
  • A major learning objective of the trip is to understand how to make diversity a worthy element of group work and not an obstacle, as well as being able to quickly integrate into new cultures, enhancing the ability of MBA participants to work internationally.

The cohort also took part in a special excursion to the Winter Village in Nallikari, offering some of Finland’s finest winter activities such as snow shoe safari, “human curling” and ice fishing.

Company visits to Nokia Siemens Network and VTT Technology

During their time in Oulu, participants visited Nokia Siemens Network, the birthplace of the multi-national organisation and home to a world-class mobile technology centre with its dynamic, multifaceted research and development facilities

The Learning Trip also included a visit to VTT – Technology for Business, the biggest multi-technological applied research organisation in Northern Europe, providing high-end technology solutions and innovation services.

Design thinking at Aalto University Design Factory

Image by Anna Berg, Aalto University Media Factory

Participants of the International MBA attended several courses at the host institution Aalto University at their pioneering Design Factory; an open environment for the research and education on product development. The Design Factory reflects Aalto University’s culture of teaching by supporting interdisciplinary and problem-based learning and research. Courses at Aalto University focused specifically on design and product development, with classes including:

  • Design Thinking and Modelling Workshop
  •  Systems Thinking in Management / Development
  • Sustainable Product / Service Development

What MBA graduates said of previous Learning Trips

International MBA graduate 2010 Dmitry Eliseev:

« We got a huge portion of knowledge about country history, politics and interaction between business, government and society that is important for understanding the relations between different kinds of stakeholders in real life. »

Nothern Lights

Image Northern Lights by Timo Newton-Syms

International MBA 2011 graduate Xiao Lin:

« Finland is an exciting and somewhat mysterious country for me. Eastern and western cultures have blended together to produce a unique Finnish culture. Our class received a warm welcome and learned interesting lessons in Oulu Business School. The visit to the Nokia headquarter in Helsinki enlarged our vision of Finnish corporate culture. This learning trip was a truly memorable experience. »

International MBA; the right MBA for entrepreneurial leaders

The International MBA from EMLYON Business School offers a unique mix of project based learning with the 9 month full-time Entrepreneurial Leadership Project, programme gateways to specialise your knowledge, small cohort size with large diversity, as well as learning trips and international exchange opportunities. Voted #10 worldwide for entrepreneurship by the Financial Times 2014.

Discover the International MBA

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