Nordic Business Forum’s Collaboration With Students

The mission of Nordic Business Forum is to empower leaders to change the world. Through our yearly business conferences and other content solutions, we are driven to equip and inspire business leaders to lead themselves, their teams, and their businesses better. We believe that this is the best and most efficient way for our company to make a positive impact on the world.

Since the early years of Nordic Business Forum (founded in 2008), we’ve also engaged with students who are at the beginning of their studies and careers. We’ve worked closely with universities of applied sciences to offer an opportunity for their students to be a part of the Nordic Business Forum events’ customer service team to learn, gain real-life work experience, and progress with their studies at the same time.

In the early years of Nordic Business Forum, we collaborated with students of Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences (JAMK), and after the event moved from Jyväskylä to Helsinki in 2014, with Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences (Haaga-Helia). In 2023, we also piloted a collaboration with 3AMK, which is an alliance between three universities of applied sciences Haaga-Helia, Laurea, and Metropolia, expanding this opportunity to even more students.

This NBF opportunity is only available for students from the chosen collaboration universities who can use this experience for advancing their studies as a part of their degree. The content and learning outcomes of this work-based project module have been planned with and approved by the education professionals responsible for the study offering at Haaga-Helia, our official partner university of applied sciences.

Nordic Business Forum as a Work-Based Project at Haaga-Helia

Nordic Business Forum organizes annual, large-scale business conferences in Helsinki with world-renowned keynote speakers and with up to 7 600 business leaders attending the 2-day event in person. In recent years, around 20 000 people have additionally been participating in the event through a live stream.

Visit the 2024 event page

Participating in a Nordic Business Forum event production provides an opportunity for students to learn skills in a real-life working environment instead of a classroom. The recruitment process, training sessions, preparations ahead of the event, and contributing to the event days in customer service roles are all part of the learning experience. NBF organizes three 4-hour trainings for the students during the weeks preceding the event, where the participating students will learn about the event, its customer experience approach, and how to perform their respective customer service roles.

NBF will pay students a salary for the hours they participate in preparing and executing the event at Messukeskus (for more details, see the Q&A document below). In addition, students working at the event will receive academic credits according to the relevant University of Applied Sciences course. The content of this work-based project has been reviewed with Haaga-Helia. It prepares students not only for the NBF event but also for principles and best practices in creating customer experiences in event environments in general. All students who complete the required parts of this module (including participation in the NBF event team, see Haaga-Helia’s course description) will receive 3 academic credits (3 ECTS) for this achievement. Warm meals and snacks will be provided on event days, and students will have the opportunity to deepen their learning experience by watching the presentations of NBF event speakers via video stream and/or recordings.

NBF Leadership Program for Team Leaders

For students who have previously been involved in the event, NBF offers an opportunity to apply for a tailored leadership program, where selected students are trained to work as customer service team leaders at NBF events. In this work-based project module, the students will learn important leadership skills and gain 15 ECTS credits towards their degree qualification. During the two months preceding the event, when the students work as team leaders (recruitment, training, leading their teams at the event), these team leaders are employed by NBF and are paid a salary.

Feedback From the Students

Every year we ask for feedback from the students and other parties involved and keep developing and improving the collaboration. Here are some results from the 2023 student survey (84% response rate, on a scale from 1-weak to 6-excellent):

0 /6
Working at NBF 2023 was a valuable learning experience for me
0 /6
My overall experience of NBF 2023 as a member of the customer service team
0 /6
I gained skills and connections I can benefit from in the future
0 %
I would recommend getting involved in future NBF events to my fellow students

Watch the 2023 Students Aftermovie

References and Recommended Reads

Nordic Business Forum enables learning in a real working environment

At Haaga-Helia, studies are conducted in a variety of learning environments. One example of this is the Nordic Business Forum, where Haaga-Helia students have the opportunity to work – and learn – in different roles within the event’s customer service teams.

Learning has left the classroom (a long time ago)

The recent debate around learning has shown that the mission of universities of applied sciences, studying and learning in universities of applied sciences and the related pedagogy are not known very well.

Contact for Enquiries

Salla Seppä

Chief Customer Experience Officer - Nordic Business Forum
+358 50 480 1055

Teemu Kokko Haaga Helia

Teemu Kokko

CEO, President - Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences
+358 294471900