Visiting lecturers – new faces bring fresh ideas

Cover Story, Editorial, Features

Vol. 26, Issue 11, 01 December 2023

During the course of the academic year, we have many visits to company premises and of course many visits from company representatives and part of normal studies and business cooperation. Added to this we also have visiting lecturers from other universities both from Finland and abroad. Last week, our Post-graduate Diploma and Digital International Business students were treated to two such visiting lecturers – Peter Zashev, PhD and Programme Director at Hanken@SSE Executive Education, and a Professor (adjunct) at Stockholm School of Economics in Riga, and Anna Klemi, Guidance and Career Counsellor, Solution- and resource-focused work supervisor STOry & Organisational Consultant at Resilio Oy.

For students, a new face with fresh ideas always brings more interest than with lecturers that they meet on a daily basis. Visitors will most often be introducing topics that are either not covered in normal lectures or that bring deeper insights. Also, the personal stories of the visitors are often of interest to students.

Dr Peter Zashev works in executive & corporate education and specialises in three topics: leadership, strategic and operational change, and building high-performing teams. For our post-graduate diploma programme, students were treated to two days of lectures with topics centred around “leadership and teams” as risk factors in startups. Peter explain that “The logic is simple: investors look more into the team and not the concept. But the team is built and moulded by the team leader.” Peter further emphasises that “In the absence of a great team, the idea won’t fly and the investment will be lost.” Wise words that our future business leaders would be well to take note of.

In addition to our post-grad student group, Peter also popped in to give a few pieces of advice to our second-year students in DIB that were discussing “Global trends” in International Business Practices with Senior Lecturer Sara Czabai. After some words of wisdom, Peter mentioned that the students looked a bit shocked, but maybe it was the fact that it was 9am and their first lesson of the day. Whatever it was, I’m sure they recovered and had plenty to discuss after he left.

As part of first-year DIB studies, Anna Klemi held a workshop in creating CVs and making contact with companies for both training places and future careers. One of the biggest challenges for our international students, especially those coming from outside Europe, is finding employment, whether that is for a training place, part-time work during studies, or a career when graduating.

Anna’s topics included effective CVs, how to make applications, and how to secure a job position when meeting with a company for the first time. Anna also explained the importance of having a story to relate your skills and experience to the company you are applying to. Tailoring CVs to a company’s requirements is also important – mould your CV fit to what the company is looking for, keep it accurate but emphasise those points that would be of interest to the company.

When meeting with a company representative for example when you are invited to an interview, it is of course important to make a good first impression. It is also important to establish a connection and have a good rapport with the interviewer. Making your CV more personal by adding some interesting story during an interview can help show your communication skills and when telling a brief story of part of your life that is linked to the CV, can also help the interviewer understand some of your life choices. It also adds that personal dimension which can remain in the interviewer’s mind when evaluations of candidates are made – you need to stand out from the others and be remembered.

Both visitors brought new and fresh ideas for students and had topics that were interesting, and of course a different approach to delivering those topics. One of the important things that students are always told during their studies is that networking is extremely important for future cooperation and especially when looking to establish your career. Students should take more advantage of whenever there are visits to or from companies or other visitors – make connections and expand your professional network, you never know where it might lead.