Finding one’s own field through project studies

When I started my studies at Laurea in the autumn of 2015, I was confused about the degree’s implementation method. I had thought that I was entering just a regular higher education institution and would be spending my time on lectures and in exams and that everything would be handed to me on a plate. That is why I was at first a bit surprised by the P2P format of the studies. Of course, I could have done my homework a bit better before choosing these studies, but by that time it was a bit too late.

Konsta Karppinen

However, the P2P projects turned out to be more rewarding than I had thought. As I had to commute to the studies from another town, the aspect that impressed me the most was the flexibility of the project work. We could set up the meeting schedules etc. completely by ourselves, but on the other hand, we needed to be very proactive in the projects. There wasn’t anyone to tell us exactly how something should be done but our creativity was allowed to flourish in the projects.

We also had the opportunity to influence the contents of our own studies in the P2P programme, and that is truly important for the future. That is how I got to participate in a project in which we conducted a scientific study and then travelled to our friendship university in Poland to present the study and its results to local students on lectures. I spent the following semester as an exchange student in Canada. Up until leaving for Canada, I participated in a project in which I learned about the theory and practice of HR management. I was surprised that I had not encountered that topic in my studies yet, since I found it both important and extremely interesting.

I had been studying for almost two years when I realised work placement was needed in order for me to complete my studies in the planned schedule. Work placement – a monster I had been horrified of for a long time. Earlier during my studies, I had been trying to figure out where I would like to complete my work placement. To be honest, I was not that interested in any field related to business management at the time. However, I had learned a bit more about HR management in the previous year and found it interesting. “Ok, that narrows it down a bit,” I thought.

During my studies I had also acquired some international experience and now wanted to put my new skills to the test. An international business environment had fascinated me for a long time and I knew that, some day, I absolutely wanted to work in that environment. But I still did not know where to apply for work placement. Finally, my dad suggested that I send e-mail to the HR department of KONE. It turned out that they needed extra help for the coming summer and that the work placement arrangement suited them perfectly, since they did not need to go through the entire recruitment process to make it happen.

In the end, my work placement period extended to five months, and after the placement period, I continued working as a part-time HR support person for four months. I enjoyed every minute of the time with the company. I completely forgot that I was an intern, since the assignments were fairly demanding and had real-life importance. I do not think I could have landed a better placement in terms of my career advancement. I am currently working on my thesis on recruitment, which is a topic I found extremely interesting during the placement.

When I first started my studies at Laurea in the autumn of 2015, I surely could not even imagine I could accomplish this much even before graduating. On the other hand, I was not quite sure what I wanted, so I was receptive to everything that I was taught and wanted to find my own passion from among the extensive offering. Everyone at Laurea is a professional in their own field and offers plenty of support and advice in terms of career advancement, in particular. At the beginning of the studies, few students know exactly what they want to do when they “grow up”. I want to encourage those who feel, like I did, that they are not quite sure yet which path to take, to read, do things in practice and gain experiences! It is probably a huge cliché to say that one should experience one’s time as a student to the fullest, but I know it is also very true.

Konsta Karppinen, student

Service business management

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