We all know the concept of P2P-teams but what we don’t know is how a cooperation within two universities and many different companies from different continents can work. But today is the day you will learn about it!
First of all, this semester our Finnish project group works together with students and lecturers of the Universidad del Desarollo from Chile. Integrated in this project are two exchange students from Germany and Spain. We do assignments for three different companies from Chile and two companies from Finland about Business Development. Most of us must figure out how each company can expand to the other continent.
But how do the groups work together if there are 14 students for two different universities and five different companies?
The Finnish group works together regarding to theory base and presenting the project in Finland. We all help each other understanding what each of us must do in his own project and develop a good theory base for the practical work. For the company work we have different smaller teams with Chilean students. Each company has two or three students to work with. In these groups we also have roles to divide responsibilities and tasks.
What is inspiring by working in these teams?
It is very interesting to see from which point each of the group members starts working. The different universities, different learning levels and different skill sets make each student more individual in his working specialities. For example, my team consists of one Chilean student who lives in Vancouver right now, one Finnish student and me, a German student living in Hyvinkää at the moment. We all experienced a lot during our studies, but different knowledge is coming together. Our company BerrySur, a company which sells juices and smoothies, expect us to do market research to expand to Finland and internationalize the brand. Finland would only be one step for entering the European market. The Chilean student is our communicator with the company and can educate us over market advantages of the brand because of his home background. The Finnish student knows the Finnish market well and can tell us about the supermarket system and product development in the last few years. I come up with ideas how the European market works and if an expansion to Germany for example could be profitable. It is inspiring to see people working together from all over the world who can channel their knowledge to use it together – that can lead to big success for everyone.
Are there any difficulties by working intercultural?
Of course, there are differences in the working mentality in every country. But for now, we all work good together. If there are language barriers from company sides either the Chilean students or the Finnish students can translate it into English so that everyone understands. The time difference between Finland and Chile (6 hours) is also to mention here. We schedule meetings for Finnish people in the afternoon and for the Chileans in the morning. It is new to pay attention to something like this, but it will be the same in the working world. We must find our way, but until today, it works very well and we are prepared for more intercultural work.
What do we expect from this extraordinary project?
In our age we are focused on meeting as many new people as possible. We do it in our free time, we do it at the university, but we can also do it by working in an intercultural group in our projects. Networking is very important for a successful start into the working life and what could be better than having contacts all over the world? Besides that, we can also develop our communication skills regarding language and cultures. We learn about another country; we learn about their companies and business life. So, we see how teams can be combined to accomplish objectives. This is a completely different experience to learn about another country and its culture than by travelling.