Virtual International Project Week 2021 through the eyes of a student

Text and photos by Katja Ahopelto
Second year International Business & Logistics student at Metropolia

The first virtually organized International Project Week gave the second-year business students an effective and deep look into international business ethics, sustainable development and corporate social responsibility (CSR).

Metropolia’s International Project Week (IPW) provided an inspiring and intensive finish for the academic year 2020-2021. IPW was organized for the fifteenth time and was implemented for the first time in a completely virtual way now in 2021. I attended the event as a part of the curriculum as a second-year IBL student.

This year’s IPW themes were Business Ethics, Sustainability and Social Responsibility (CSR), which we explored in lectures from a variety of perspectives. There were 19 lecturers from 11 different countries and more than 300 students from both Metropolia and the partner schools.

The programme consisted of two intensive lecture days and our study of the topics continued later during the week in the form of independent assignments and a learning diary. During the two live days, I listened to a total of nine lectures via Zoom. Staring at the computer screen was also tiring, of course, but worth it.

Fresh implementation methods

Both days began with keynote speeches from visitor lecturers. We heard presentations of the responsibility strategies of Metropolia and Lidl. After that, the student group was divided into two groups according to the students ’own interests. I chose “path 1” myself.

The first day offered many new insights, being entirely inspiring and varied. The lectures also included interactive sections in the breakout rooms, chat, and quizzes. The most memorable was a lecture on ethical human resource management by Nicky Adams, a lecturer at the University of Wolverhampton. We also did a group assignment where we got to think about what kind of employees companies should hire. Also, the first lecture in my path, Christine Bacher’s introduction to CSR and stakeholder management, was an interesting and effectively implemented package of good information.

Among the lectures, on the second day, a lecture about EU law by Professor Holger Buck from German University HTW Saar was particularly memorable. The lecture was very thorough and the lecturer knowledgeable. Eun Sun Godwin’s lecture on globalization at the University of Wolverhampton was also memorable, as the presentation was energetic, factual, and interactive.

Fortunately, the students got the materials from the lectures and I took good notes, because I would like to return to, at least, legal issues in the future.

International mood is good!

As a student, it was fun to listen to lecturers from different universities and cultures. Everyone had their own style and way of teaching and sometimes cultural factors come to the fore very strongly. For example, Masato Mori’s presentation on corporate governance at Toya University in Japan was very knowledgeable, but also presented in an excitingly Asian style.

“We study an international degree program, so it’s always rewarding that the study experience makes it even more international,”

said one of my fellow students. I could not agree more.

In addition, IPW’s comprehensive and deep review to the topics will certainly be useful when planning on specializing studies and later in working life. Exactly these kinds of growing and inspiring events and opportunities are needed when studying on the International Bachelor of Business Administration programme.

In conclusion, it was nice to end my second semester in Metropolia with this intense but in every way rewarding week.