I was asked by our Senior Lecturer for Supply Chain Management and Logistics, Kaija Haapasalo, in December if I wanted to volunteer for the LOGY conference 9.-10 February 2017. The conference is organised by the LOGY association, a Finnish not-for-profit association of Purchasing and Logistics. I was offered free tickets to the seminar for both seminar days in exchange for the volunteer work. The tickets for the 2 day LOGY conference usually cost € 795, including accommodation and meals. The first part of the conference was held in Finlandia Hall, Helsinki and the second part was a cruise to Tallinn, Estonia. Yes! You read right. I had the possibility to go on a cruise to Tallinn, Estonia. But more on that later in this blog. The offered deal was all together a pretty great opportunity for me as a first year student to gain a better insight into my field of interest, Logistics and Supply Chain Management. That is why I volunteered for the LOGY conference.
I started my volunteer work, together with some other Metropolia students early in the morning on the first day of the conference. All volunteers got a tour through Finlandia Hall, since our main task was to direct the seminar participants in the Finlandia Hall to the right location. My first task was at the student registration, where I handed out name tags to the seminar participants. Other tasks were to hand out headphones to those seminar participants who needed translation, to hand out the cruise tickets for the second part of the conference and give guidance to the seminar participants.
But it was not all work and I had plenty of time in between my tasks to listen to the speakers. I was very impressed by the speeches and especially Jochen Thewes (CEO, DB Schenker) whose speech was a very interesting take on virtual forwarding and the necessity for steady development. Also Markus Kückelhaus’ (Vice President Innovation & Trend Research, DHL) speech, after a delicious free lunch, about delivering trends and their drone project was very innovative. I even had the possibility to chit-chat shortly with him during a break.
Time went by really quickly on day one of the conference and at 5pm all speeches at Finlandia Hall were over. We volunteers guided the seminar participants who joined the second day of the conference to the shuttle buses to the harbour.
The cruise ship left Helsinki 6:30pm and so our cruise began. The official part of the first day ended with a meeting forum, where I had the chance to network with different participants and a dinner afterwards. A lot of the participants continued a little longer socialising, networking and dancing to bring an interesting seminar day to an end.
Next morning came of course way too early and I started the day after a nice breakfast by helping the different exhibiting companies set up the contact forum for later that day. I had the chance to visit Tallinn, but rather listened to the different speeches, from which I learnt a lot from Johannes Stemmer’s (Head of Corporate Strategy, Beumer Group) presentation about the impact of supply chains on globalisation strategy. I was also very intrigued by the passion, Jack Ampuja (President, Supply Chain Optimizers, Niagara University) showed in his speech for his work in Supply Chain. Networking was the main aspect at the contact forum, where I got more insight into Supply Chain risk management. The conference ended with a nice lunch before we arrived back in Helsinki.
It was all together a great experience and I can really recommend this kind of volunteer work to any student, regardless if you have an interest in Logistics or not. It was a lot of fun to work with the other students at the LOGY conference and I got a great opportunity for networking.
Sylvie Schümann, IBL16