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Students developed Kesko’s online store during the Design Sprint week

"If it were up to me, there would be nothing but workshops at Laurea."

Online stores in Finland and around the world are developing rapidly – stores are already offering two-hour express deliveries and artificial intelligence is commonly used in content development.

Using the Design Sprint method, Laurea’s Business Administration students developed solutions for Kesko’s future services, namely for creating a more memorable, inspirational and responsible online store. Design Sprint week is a five-day workshop in which students test their ideas in practice and produce prototypes of their plans. 

Sofia Carpén from the digital services of Kesko’s grocery trade says that students have a lot of great ideas.

- They don’t have similar restrictions in thinking as we may have internally. It’s good to shake things up from time to time, Carpén says.

However, the week’s finale and pitches at Kesko’s head office were not carried out due to the Covid-19 virus. Students, teachers and Carpén were sad about this, but they were pleased with the project’s results.

- We were really impressed that all teams managed to outline their plans so quickly.
- I was surprised that so much could be accomplished on such a tight schedule. It was fun to see how rough ideas were refined into something very specific in such a short time.

Getting things done, not just planning them out

Janne Wuorenheimo, a Business Management student who has completed the Design Sprint study unit, says:

- If it were up to me, there would be nothing but workshops at Laurea. I enjoyed the sprint a lot. You get to see your own handiwork and, since learning is continuous during the sprint, you will never forget what you have learned. The best part of it was the sense of community and solving problems together.

Wuorenheimo says that the Design Sprint week was one of the best courses during his studies.

- It was one of the most fruitful and interesting courses I have attended in the last couple of years. The goal was clear, and if you had a problem, you got help immediately. The teachers, tutor students and Kesko’s sparrers were there to help.

Annika Leander also completed the course and, like Wuorenheimo, found Kesko’s sparring useful.

- I enjoyed meeting people from Kesko and receiving their feedback every day.

Annika was interested in the collaboration with Kesko in terms of her future career. She says that a lot was accomplished in the given time and that they were “getting things done, not just planning them out.”

Senior lecturer Juha Uutela, one of the course’s two teachers, says:

- It’s great to lead the sprint, as students get very inspired and really throw themselves into it. They don’t find it too demanding although the scheduled and phased sprint week actually demands a lot of competence from them.

The course’s other teacher, Tomas Illman, comments:

- Whenever we do projects with actual businesses, students want to exceed themselves and prove their skills. The company for which the project is carried out may well be their next workplace.

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