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Learning by doing – Demola Tampere

 

“Our professor told us once, ”Trust your talent!” If you are eager to learn something or to be a professional in some field, go for it! Even though it is hard, go for it! You don’t have experience, you are at the very beginning of your journey and you are not sure if it’s your thing, go for it!”

– Volha Furs, student at the University of Tampere.

Do you have passion to learn and gain new skills? Do you want to solve real-life challenges? Are you interested in working at an international team?  Well congratulations, you just found out the motherload of learning by doing – Demola. We interviewed two students – Sanna Riihimäki (Tampere University of Technology) and Volha Furs – who have participated in Demola projects, to give you some insight about Demola, their projects and why you should apply for one of them.

Passion to learn? Learn by doing

Students are the stars at Demola – New Factory. Each year New Factory carries out about 100 projects with 450 students. Projects vary with providing organizations, theme and skills needed. Therefore, there are suitable projects no matter where you interest lies in.

I think one of the greatest things was to get to work on a project like this with focus on user experience which I am passionate about.”

Sanna Riihimäki.

Sanna Riihimäki studied user experience as a major in the TUT and got to work in a Demola project in which she could use her expertise in practice. All the participating organisations have real-life challenges which they want students to solve. It’s like being a consultant. Everyone has something to give to the project and together you’ll come up with some kind of solution you’ll introduce to the organisation.

You don’t need to be an expert in any particular field to participate. It’s enough if you have the will and interest in learning.

All of us had different experience and had no idea how we are going to get to the final results but we were excited, motivated, and eager to do our best.”

– Volha Furs.

Volha didn’t have previous experience in project management, but she was eager to get the experience. As she knew herself to be an active person who prefers to learn things by doing, she applied to a project in which she took the role of project manager. Her team members were responsible and independent but shy, and therefore Volha’s main tasks were to ensure good communication within the team and with the stakeholders and to ensure that everyone was engaged in the project.

 “The main thing that I can carry with me to my professional life is the importance of doing what you love and the time management. The lack of experience and skills can be compensated by the willpower to learn and develop myself, the courage to go for opportunities and keep up with the responsibilities. Patience and persistence helped me to become more confident and cheerful person. It is ok to make mistakes. It’s wonderful to make mistakes! That’s how we grow and get experience and enrich our knowledge.”

– Volha Furs.

Students will get ECTS credits from the projects and can write to CV about the work experience they get. Also, one’s passion to learn can provide other interesting opportunities. Sanna participated at a project in Demola Spring 2017, graduated in June, and now works at the project partner Provad. In the matter of fact, according to the Demola’s website, their partner companies have licensed 80 % of the project outputs and recruited 15 % of the students participating in the projects.

International teamwork

Demola projects are for everyone! The only requirement is that you are a student in Tampere. It is preferable that each project would have students from different universities (University of Tampere, Tampere University of Technology and Tampere University of Applied Sciences) and the students would have different background what comes to the major and nationality.

These projects enable breaking artificial walls between the separate universities, finding international friends and learning English. In the matter of fact most of the projects are in English as 40% of the participating students are international.

“Demola was actually, somewhat mandatory for my major. Between the option of a project course in pervasive computing and Demola, I obviously chose Demola. I wanted to work in an interdisciplinary team instead of having team members only from information technology.”

– Sanna Riihimäki.

“We were a truly international team: Spain, the UK, Germany, Belarus, the Netherlands. I learn a lot from my team members and I am grateful for everything that we went through together with them!”

– Volha Furs.

One gets to learn from and together with the other team members new things. Also, both girls remind that not a one person or a team will be left alone with the projects. Demola’s facilitators are there to support the teams.

“Another wonderful thing about Demola is the facilitators. They are always there to help to figure out how to proceed, to listen to you, to support and to cheer you up. Demola developed quite convenient and effective framework to push the teams to the final pitch. The atmosphere is very friendly and even if my facilitator wasn’t there, other facilitators were open to talk and help!”

– Volha Furs.

The Demola team works hard on making the Demola project an inspiring and fun experience while also being professional and educational. And they do that job really well!”

– Sanna Riihimäki.

How to apply

Demola’s projects make it possible to learn new things and to meet inspiring people. Also, don’t forget those ECTS credits you can earn (ask from Demola) and the possibility of finding a job as Sanna did. You can read about the previous projects in https://tampere.demola.net/projects.

Seek interesting projects at www.tampere.demola.net/apply. Update your CV and apply before 17th of September.

If Fall is already too full of things to do, there will be new project in Spring.

“Demola is an amazing project to develop your social and professional skills and to diverse your experience.”

Volha Furs.