The 4th session of the international project BRIDGE in Petrozavodsk

Translated from:

As part of the development of the flagship university of PetrSU and the International project ENI KO1013 “BRIGDE – Barents Region initiative for the Development of Economic Growth and Promotion of Employment” the 4th online session of internships for students in solving business cases, organized by Petrozavodsk State University, is taking place from 5 to 9 of October.

From 5 to 9 October, the 4th session of the international educational project BRIDGE: Barents Region Initiative for Developing Growth and Employability, in which more than 80 people take part: 56 students, 25 of them are Russian, 20 are foreign; 13 coaches, 5 of them are Russian, 8 Finnish and Norwegian, 7 people of administrative staff; 15 commissioners, as well as 4 invited experts of the Kolarctic CBC Program.

The three-years BRIDGE project is included in the CBC Kolarctic cross-border cooperation program 2014-2020. In addition to PetrSu, the BRIDGE project involves 4 partner universities: The Arctic University of Norway (lead partner), Lapland UAS (Finland), Murmansk Arctic State University and ITMO University (Saint-Petersburg). The objective of the 4th session of the BRIDGE project is to develop students’ skills in international communication and increase their competitiveness by solving business cases from Karelian companies in international interdisciplinary teams.

Features of the 4th round of the BRIDGE project in Petrozavodsk

Firstly, the 4th round of the BRIDGE project in Petrozavodks is being held completely online for the first time, which made possible to keep the BRIDGE on schedule.

Secondly, at the BRIDGE session in Petrozavodsk from September 14 to October 5, 2020, the longest training session in the history of BRIDGE was implemented amounting to 12 academic hours, compared to 2-3 mini-lectures earlier. The training was prepared and conducted by our Finnish colleagues Anitra Arkko-Saukkonen and Anzelika Krastina, based on their methodological manual, “Creative Steps”. The training is aimed at uniting teams and helping them to start working together on cases.

Thirdly, during the online session in Petrozavodsk, MS Teams was the official platform for groups interaction. This platform was first used at the Murmansk session this spring. According to statistics, at the moment, the activity and involvement of using MS Teams in the Petrozavodsk session has already increased more than 3 times.

Fourthly, the online BRIDGE session, organized by PetrSU, was marked by increased interest from Kolarctic experts from regional branches in Murmansk, Arkhangelsk, Norway, as well as the Regional Consul of Lapland Laura Mäki, who were invited to all session events on the General Channel in MS Teams.

”Тhank you for inviting me to follow your training and the presentations! Great job from organisers, teachers, experts, students, everyone. I am impressed by how you have been able to take up the work in variety of business spheres, operational environments, international teams… and online!

This kind of skills we need now and in the future! Enjoy the process, make friends and learn from each other! Thank you on behalf of the Programme Best wishes, Laura from Kolarctic CBC Managing Authority.”

Laura Mäki

Fifthly, one of the main features of the 4th session in Petrozavodsk is commissioners or management of 10 Karelian companies, the cases of which are being solved by international teams of students: Pro:motion SMM agency, Lokki project, Holod Slavmo CJSC, Piten Inn hotel,  “Mama-Karelia” LLC, marketing agency Loyal, digital-agency Contextra, TD “Yarmarka”, “Clean World” LLC, “Interior Design Center” LLC and the interior showroom Karelian Design. These are the youngest company representatives in BRIDGE history. Their average age is 30 years. Moreover, more than 60% of them are under 25 years old. In the 4th round of BRIDGE, 10 cases from existing small and medium enterprises in various fields of activity are presented: digital marketing, production companies, hotel business, cleaning, design, international film production.

Another unusual fact concerning Karelian commissioners is that three of them: Daria Feshkina (Pro:motion), Maxim Tkachenko (Clean World LLC) and Mikhail Glushanok (Contextra), are at the same time 4th year undergraduate students of Economics of the Institute of Economics and Law of PetrSU, and participants of the previous BRIDGE session in Murmansk and commissioners of three cases of the Petrozavodsk session.

Eleven 3rd and 4th -year bachelor students of faculties of “Economics” and “Management” of the Institute of Economics and Law of PetrSu are recruited to solve the cases: Elizaveta Martynova, Elena Zaytseva, Thomas Shayter, Ivan Zharinov, Karina Astakhova, Anastasia Pozdnyakova, Taras Tikhy, Arman Bagratyan, Daria Kuzmina, Ekaterina Grigorieva, Rafael Mulenga. Students successfully passed two rounds of casting in English in order to be able freely communicate in international interdisciplinary groups while working on cases under the mentorship of Oksana Prokhorova, Associate Professor of the Department of Economic Theory and Management of the Institute of Economics and Economics of PetrSU.

During the week, the session participants have been meeting with companies’ representatives in order to develop a team solution. Based on the results of the session, the teams will submit interim presentation by 9th October with an action plan for the next five weeks of online work. The final presentations will take place on 16th November 2020 via videoconference.