One of the most challenging questions for students is how to gain real-life experiences while still sitting in school. To some majors such as information technology engineering or multimedia design, it is not so hard since students can seek for freelance projects, but the same thing does not happen for business students. How can you find a place to practice making business plan or running a marketing campaign without knowledge of who, what and where? If you have asked yourself that question, then pay your attention to Demola.
I participated in the first year when Demola was operating in Oulu. It is an innovation hub where students and real-world businesses can corporate to solve real-life issues. The problems can come from various domains including IT, media design, marketing, architecture, etc. My project was to redesign and provide innovative solutions for website of Vähälä Oy – one of the largest logistics companies in Finland. The requirements for our team were to present the leading image of Vähälä, its cutting-edge technologies, and to improve visitors’ experiences when they are visiting the site.
Our team included Aarne, the team leader and designer, Anu, the copy-writer and communicator and me, the web developer. We decided to rebuild the whole site from ground up and tried to make a modern, intuitive and professional layout for new Vähälä’s website. There were a lot of things to do, and we distributed work efficiently to make everything run smoothly. During the project, Aarne and Anu, together with Ms. Noora, the facilitator of Demola, communicated with Vähälä’s staff to understand their requirements. Meanwhile, I built the new version of website and showed to other project’s members to get feedbacks. By using this working approach, we finally made a stunning work for Vähälä and it seemed they are very pleased with the result.
After the project, I think I had learn a lot of new things. It opened my eyes about how students and businesses can work together to produce something useful, which is, to be honest, I did not think it is possible at the beginning. Additionally, I had chances to work with Finnish people, to understand the working culture, and to have more Finnish friends. Those were very unforgeable experiences which I personally think would take me too much time to get if I have not joined Demola. One more thing, you could ask me, are experiences all I get for working in Demola’s project? Well, along with some credits that you will have by your working hours, there is a chance to sell license of your final work to the corporation. If they agree to buy, you can get an extra amount of money. This is one point that makes Demola different from other student project work.
That are all my experiences while participating in Demola’s project. I have also asked my friends who joined Demola later about their feelings, and unsurprisingly they felt the same. For that reason, I really encourage you to have a look at Demola website and start to find a project that suits you (FYI, the application period for Spring 2014 has started). Do not worry, there are always rooms for you despite your major, and do not hesitate to ask the facilitators, because they are very nice and friendly. So what are you waiting for? Come, join, and innovate.
An Cao, BIT-student