Four students of the Master of Science in International Business (MScIB) share their opinions on the Nordic Week, the virtual event organized jointly by ESCI-UPF, UPF-BSM and ACCIÓ that replaced the Business Trip given the COVID-19 situation.
Each year, the Master of Science in International Business (MScIB) finishes its academic program with a Business Trip organized in collaboration with ACCIÓ. The trip is a one-week international experience where the students learn how to do business in a foreign country by performing an important number of visits to a wide array of organizations.
Due to the COVID-19 situation and the travel restrictions, this year –like last year– it was not possible to visit any international destination. For this reason, the trip was changed into a virtual visit. However, the online alternative allowed the students to “travel” to more than a single country. The chosen countries were: Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.
During the Nordic Week, the MScIB students had the opportunity to attend meetings and presentations with a large number of companies –both large and small– and governmental organizations from the Nordic countries. The students attended the conference of the Director of Catalonia Trade and Investment Office in Copenhagen, the Norwegian Consul General of Barcelona, the UN Global Compact of Denmark, and the Former General Manager of Dynamics 365 – Business Central Microsoft. The companies that participated in the MScIB Nordic Week were Speedrecruiters (DK), State of Green (DK), TDC Group (DK), Business Finland (FI), Enter Espoo (FI), Widex (DK), and Synerleap (SE).
The main topics of the talks regarding the way of doing business in the Nordics were: source of competitiveness, international business expansion, digital transformation, sustainability, the impact of COVID-19, and job opportunities for young talent.
At the end of the week, the MScIB students, in pairs, had to elaborate a report about the experience. Four of them –Georgina Coloma, Rita Pastor, Victoria Urban, and Lena Wimmer– have shared their opinions on the Nordic Week, the aspects they enjoyed the most and the meetings that they found more interesting.
They admitted the experience would have been better if the Business Trip would have taken place in a face-to-face environment. Although, all of them agreed that the virtual week was very well organized and structured. Also, they explained that the talks were very useful to understand the way of doing business in the Nordics and relate this knowledge to some of the aspects seen during the MScIB courses.
Victoria Urban and Lena Wimmer underlined some of the main ideas acquired at the talks. First of all, Nordic companies have a very responsible approach based on a strong culture of cooperation. Besides, they show an extremely good performance towards collaboration with start-ups and public institutions as well as high expenditures into R&D.
On the other hand, Georgina Coloma and Rita Pastor highlighted that the talks were an excellent opportunity to get to know Nordic companies from the inside. But it was also a great networking opportunity to connect with top managers, recruiters and headhunters. In their opinion, the Nordic Week has given them a good insight to learn how to communicate and negotiate with all the different cultures in the Nordic countries.
Lena Wimmer pointed out that the talks were very interactive and involved the participation of the students. For Rita Pastor, the conference with Marko Perisic, the Former General Manager of Dynamics 365 – Microsoft, which was about innovation and self-development, was one of the most interesting, useful and motivating from the Nordic Week.
Furthermore, Victoria Urban considered that being able to deal well with an online international environment will be very helpful for her future career. For this reason, the fact that Nordic Week was online was a good way to get used to it.
To conclude, Lena Wimmer also thinks that the knowledge acquired during the Nordic Week could be handy in her future professional career when interacting with Nordic companies. In addition, Georgina Coloma stated that the Nordic Week has been worthwhile not only for the learnings gained but also for the job opportunities given. Moreover, she said she is rethinking her future career path and added: «I am currently considering moving to some of these countries in the future».
As soon as the pandemic situation allows it –hopefully, next year– the commitment of the Master of Science in International Business is to get back with the original format of the Business Trip and provide an unforgettable experience to its students.