Students gain real work experience during Summer Challenges course

A course born out of necessity, returns with an even more stimulating programme and exciting partners, such as Globe Hope, a pioneer in textile circular economy.

The Summer Challenges course was created by HUBS, formerly known as Y-kampus, as a response to the circumstances of summer 2020. After seeing the added value to the students’ summer, the course returns. During May and June 2021, TAMK students will have the chance to learn new things, network and contribute to the higher education community in Tampere.

What is Summer Challenges?

In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic really affected the landscape of summer jobs and internships. From our side, we wanted to find a way to help the students graduate and be productive during the summer. Consequently, we created the Summer Challenges. During this eight-week course, multidisciplinary student teams spend six-hour weekdays online, from Monday to Friday, and solve complex challenges with the help of HUBS coaches.

Approximately 50 students enrolled on the course. They worked in 10 diverse teams together with assistant coaches and the HUBS staff. The students’ feedback really stayed with us after the course.

“I think the atmosphere was good throughout the course, very supportive all the way through! I felt that the short team meetings on Mondays and Fridays were very important to maintain the momentum of the teams and just to wrap up everything together. Also, the workshops about pitching and presenting were very valuable, and I got useful tips from them for the future!”

The students’ feedback highlighted the value this course added to their studies. Their passion inspired us to bring the course back again in 2021. This year, HUBS and Globe Hope, a pioneer in the textile circular economy, team up to bring exciting challenges for the students.

Studying from home

Online office, does it work?

A week in the course consists of joint sessions, group work and individual tasks. At first, a six-hour online day might sound like a horror. Luckily, the “day at the office” is exactly what you make of it.

The students get the chance to learn from peers and share their ideas with a partner from the industry – if you are really keen on working on the project, you might even end up with Globe Hope for a longer internship after the course has ended. Who knows!

“Minttu, Joni and Raul were super nice coaches, helpful and have a lot of valuable information. We as students were treated as valuable assets rather than nuisances which I appreciate a lot. I liked the workshops the coaches held, especially the ones held by Raul. I loved the fact that the course was remote work since I would’ve not been able to take part if “real life” participation would’ve been required. Overall, the course was organized amazingly well, and I definitely will recommend HUBS in the future!”

What will the students learn?

What really surprised us last year, was the fact that over 80 % of the students felt that the course was a positive surprise or even better than the ones they have attended before. In addition to that 70 % of the students felt that they learned soft skills in this course. Even though everything was done remotely due to Covid-19 related restrictions!

“We had the freedom to work closely with the client and achieve everything they needed. The course was really nice and flexible. Overall, everything was really enjoyable.”

The bare truth is, that we really challenged the students to learn soft skills. Or would you call them meta-skills these days?

“I appreciated the freedom given to the teams to organize their own schedule and come up with their own goals.”

In Hubs, we believe that team learning is a great way to challenge yourself in listening to others, giving and receiving feedback, self-reflection and emotional skills, to name a few. In this way, students also learn to solve complex problems, on which they have no knowledge beforehand, with the help of the design thinking process.

Hard work and no rest?

“I felt very supported by my team members and by the coaches and assistant project managers. The atmosphere was very open and welcoming, and it was easy to say if something was bothering me or not going as I wanted things to go. Constant feedback has been very helpful, and it made it easier to make progress.”

We are committed to high-quality online communications. We want everyone to feel good in your online office and of course, want you to give back to us too. This is what we are committed to and promise to do our best! We aspire to empower students to do their best, be open-minded, brave and remember to have fun whilst doing so!

Click here for more information about the course and registration.

Text by: Minttu Ripatti, Coach at HUBS
Photograph: Dimitra Panopoulou-Huovila