As a part of the Pirssi project, we created a study module which helps students understand the numerous possibilities of self-employment, along with the requirements and ground rules, and supports them in building their professional identity. In addition to informational content, the study module aims to highlight synergies between different fields and promote the students’ networking with people outside their own field.
The module is comprised of two parts: first, there is a joint section for students from all fields of study. Titled Self-employment in the fragmented labour market, this course offers a diverse information package on different modes of working. Later, there will be degree programme-specific project studies where the students can apply the information in practice.
Diverse online teaching
A pilot implementation of the first, joint part of the module took place in September–December 2020. The pilot proved to be extremely popular, as over 100 students attended it. This includes students from various programmes from both the Tampere University of Applied Sciences and Tampere University.
Due to the Covid19-related restrictions, the course was imiplemented entirely online, unlike originally planned. This was obviously a bit of a setback to our plans of bringing together different students and their ideas, but course contents didn’t need to be changed significantly.
The course contains six central topics:
– What will work look like in the future?
– Entrepreneurship and light entrepreneurship
– Taxes, insurances and social security
– Marketing, selling and pricing
– Branding and networking
– Mental well-being
The students acquainted themselves with these topics with the help of diverse materials and by doing applicative and comparative exercises. In practice, this entailed watching lecture recordings and other video materials, reading articles and doing independent research. The pilot began with a webinar, and mental well-being was explored in an online workshop featuring playback theatre.
Strength in diversity
Planning the study module has made it very clear that students graduating from quite different fields have many shared needs and face similar challenges. On the other hand, differences between fields also became evident while planning the project studies.
For the Pirssi project team, planning the study module has shown that cooperation with even the most unexpected partners can be extremely fruitful. This cooperation offers not only the synergy to work towards shared goals but also great opportunities to learn from each other. We hope that these realisations occurred to the course participants as well!
Original text: Miia Santalahti
This blog article has been translated into English by Tampere University students of multilingual communication and translation studies.