I was very excited when I learned that we have a study trip to Berlin, Germany in the spring 2017 as a part of the Innovation and Renewal class at MBA Degree program in Metropolia. The study trip had two days of a scheduled program with a workshop about Change Management and Innovation together with MBA students of HTW University on a very fresh and innovative topic, a lecture from a Senior Change Advisor at Futurice, a visit to Innovation Labs Berlin, a Finnish startup Finnchat, etc. Each visit had its own theme and we had discussions about relevant and mind-opening topics: how Change Management is possible in organizations, how to see and implement the innovation, how other organizations took the advantage of the technology development, and so on. For me, and I think for my classmates as well, the most memorable was a visit to Finnchat. The friendly staff of Finnchat not only showed us how they operate, but gave us also an opportunity to use our entrepreneurial skills and help them to solve a real business problem. And since our Master Degree program consists of the smart and experienced persons from various areas, we were more than happy to collaborate and bring new ideas from different prospectives.
Between the lecturers and organizations’ visits, we got time to stop by some sightseeings in Berlin and spend more time together. During the study trip, I’ve got to know more about my classmates, what they do at work and how their organizations deal with challenges my company has. It was funny how our discussions at lunches or dinners transferred from personal topics to Innovation-related and back; the topics we went through at the visits sat in our minds for long. I learnt a lot from my classmates, and we all try to share our experiences with each other. This trip brought us closer together and I really enjoyed the time I spent with my classmates.
Metropolia has provided us with a grant, so we had some of our expenses covered. For example, for me the grant covered flights and one night at a hotel, because I handled everything ahead. The schedule of the study trip was organized well, the speakers were very interesting and we had enough time to transfer from one place to another in the big city. Metropolia arranged a very nice dinner for us at the end, where we could reflect the outcome of the trip and what we learned all together. I really appreciate the effort of Metpopolia’s staff, who organized the study trip, and the opportunity to participate in it, because international experience strengthens the leadership, problem-solving, and communication skills, all of which are important at the workplace.