by Sulaiman Dani
Our morning started with a morning departure out of Heathrow towards Helsinki on Sunday where we arrived late in the afternoon. After being picked up by the IHD team and taken to their student union, we were picked up by hosts who were Hanken students and spent the evening recovering from a long day of travelling.

Our first day in Helsinki consisted of us visiting the Hanken School of Economics for the first time and meeting other participants in the seminar. Participants came from as far as Canada and South Korea! We were also lucky enough to meet another participant from the UK who was also an IR student! Later on in the day, Stora Enso who are a leading international company in renewable materials gave us an introductory lecture into their company and presented to us casework they wanted us to work on in order to present to them at a later day. Following that, we split into groups and worked on our casework in the library of Hanken!

On our second day, Finnish investment company DevCo Partners gave us a lecture in private equity as well as their role as a company which was investing in local Finnish companies! After the lecture, the IHD team took us to a Finnish cottage around an hour away from Helsinki from which we were able to experience a Finnish lifestyle where we spent time in a sauna and then would jump straight into the snow!
On our third day after feeling worn after a night at the cottage, we returned to Hanken where we regrouped and tried to finish our casework in order to present it the following day to Stora Enso.
During our fourth day, we walked through Helsinki on our way to Stora Enso to present our casework. We were welcomed with our own name badges and presented our casework to both Timo Heikka and Maira Holopainen as well as the IHD team and the rest of the participants. After a successful day of presenting our work and watching people’s other ideas, we returned to Hanken to prepare for the food fare. Since Cameron and I had to make something British, we opted to make scones and tea as well as a chicken and leek pie with the help of our British counterpart!

On our last weekday, Kyro Distillery gave a lecture on how they were founded which was five friends in a sauna in which they came up with the idea to make rye whiskey! After only being in business since 2012 and having a turnover of £5 million, it’s fair to say they’ve been very successful. After that we were taken to Fazer which is Finland’s national chocolate brand just like Cadbury is here. We were given a tour around the factory and then returned to Hanken to attend a farewell party.

Day 1: Stora Enso introduction and casework preparation
Day 2: DevCo lecture and introduction, Finnish cottage experience in evening
Day 3: Finish off Stora Enso Casework
Day 4: Present casework to Stora Enso in head office, food fare in evening
Day 5: Kyro Distillery presentation, tour and visit Fazer
Day 6: Day of leisure (Swimming), valentine’s party in evening and farewell party with other Hanken students