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Project manager studies offer training in teamwork skills and leadership

The opening day of project manager studies, organised in the Maapirtti festivities venue in Kytäjä, Southern Finland, was attended by 12 Business Management students.

During the day, the teams of students toured a number of checkpoints where they worked on various tasks focused on teamwork skills and leadership.

The objective of project manager studies, which are now offered for the first time, is to support students who are interested in leadership and project manager work to act as project managers in student teams. During the spring term, project managers will guide teams of 5–7 students in carrying out diverse projects for companies and organisations. Project manager studies are part of the complementary project management studies in the Business Management programme. The studies also include visits to companies in the field and lectures by professionals.

- Among other things, project managers lead teams and individuals. In these studies, the goal is to support and assist project managers in their duties, explains Tero Uusitalo, Senior Lecturer in Business Management.

During the opening day, the students went round checkpoints in the natural surroundings of Kytäjä, using their leadership skills to test and evaluate their teamwork skills in the form of various assignments. The students were also expected to take care of cooking and dishwashing as teams. The training was organised in the atmospheric Maapirtti venue in Kytäjä. Students of Business Management have earlier created a website and social media channels for Maapirtti to increase its public visibility.

Seen here are students Esa Aalto, Essi Vallenius, Heli Vanha-aho and Heli Hirvonen.

- The landscape and silence here offer an authentic break from everyday life, and it’s great to be able to fully focus on the task at hand, says Esa Aalto, a second-year Business Management student from the Hyvinkää campus, who is taking part in the project management studies.

The students are of different ages and from different backgrounds. Some of them have several years of work experience under their belt and now want to, for example, deepen their competence or educate themselves in a different field.

- I am taking part in these studies because I would like to work as a project manager in the future. I’m hoping to get tips for project manager duties, says Heli Hirvonen, a second-year Business Management student from the Hyvinkää campus.

- I’ve worked in a managerial position in commerce for some 10 years, but now I’m looking for more information about how to do it even better, explains Heli Vanha-aho, a first-year Business Management student.

Most of the participants study Business Management at the Hyvinkää campus according to the P2P project model, which means that they complete their studies primarily in various workplace projects.

- The P2P model is definitely the high point of my studies. It allows you to use your prior work experience, complete studies at your own pace and participate in projects for real companies, where you learn by doing, as if by accident, says Heli Hirvonen, cheerfully.

Essi Vallenius, who is completing her Bachelor of Business Administration degree online, also took part in the event. What she has liked best about her studies is the opportunity to identify her own strengths and learn how to motivate and lead herself.

The opening day was led by Hannele Pulkamo, Senior Lecturer in Social Services, who has a great deal of experience in providing training and education for different types of companies. Hannele had divided the students into teams based on the Belbin team roles test. Each team then selected a leader and, for example, a security supervisor and secretary from among their members. The organisation of the project manager studies is supervised by Katriina Knuuti, Taru Tallgren and Tero Uusitalo, who work as senior lecturers of Business Management at the Hyvinkää campus.