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Fascinating world of foreign trade

Posted on 2016-04-14 10:13:48 EEST.

The course of Company Internationalization introduces Finnish Business Economics students of VAMK to the complicated but fascinating world of foreign trade. This year, the students took on some exciting challenges with a new project: helping a real Finnish company to enter a foreign market.

The company was Pe-Tec Engineering, a pioneer in environmental-friendly and cost-efficient drainage pipe. With the help of the CEO Peter Hästbacka and lecturer Rosmeriany Nahan-Suomela, the students discovered and evaluated business opportunities for Pe-Tec in the Swedish market. The project required a comprehensive analysis of Pe-Tec’s current situation, as well as a deep understanding of the business environment in Sweden.

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VAMK students had a real-life project with Pe-Tec Engineering.

- Company internationalization is way more complicated than I thought, and that is the first thing that comes to my mind about this course. It is not just about the PEST-analysis, economic and political factors and so on, but there are lots of more issues to think and overcome, said Timo Launonen, the second year student.

Nevertheless, as Timo soon found out, another challenge lies in working in group with other students.

- One group member quitted at the very beginning of the project. Plus, we all have different schedules, so working as a group in the same room was a challenge. Nevertheless, we had a clear plan and everyone knew what to do, so we could do this project. We also had meeting where we discussed, planned the work and clarified what to do next at home.

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At the seminar, nine groups presented their analysis on Pe-Tec Engineering and the Swedish market. While some students struggled presenting in English, many looked professional and confident on stage.

At final stage of the course, a seminar was organized where Business Economics students presented the result of their work. In the seminar, company representatives, guest professor Michael Rafn from our partner university (UCN, Aalborg Denmark) and second year students from the VAMK International Business programme were invited to the seminar. Students had a great opportunity to receive feedback from special guests.

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Familiar with presenting in English, International Business students gave a lot of constructive feedback to the speakers.

- Overall this project was a lot of work and at times very stressful. The fact that this was a real case gave a lot of pressure. This project has taught us to stick to the schedule and deliver on time, commented Katariina Mikkola.

- However in the end I am very happy with the work we did. We found a great solution how to bring the company back to the Swedish market and I believe that by using the contact information we found, the company will find new customers and succeed in the future.

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The mentor team (from left to right):Jari Ratilainen (Marketing and Development Manager, Pe-Tec Engineering), Rosmeriany Nahan-Suomela (VAMK), Peter Häsbacka (CEO of Pe-Tec Engineering) and Michael Rafn (Professor from UCN, Aalborg, Denmark)

Text and photo: Mai Nguyen (International Business student of VAMK)

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