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Get out of your... COMFORT ZONE!

We are the Northern Stars, representing Lapland University of Applied Sciences who participated in the 11th EMCup competition held in Maastricht, the Netherlands. Our team consisted of four tourism students: Aino, Jamie, Johanna and Philipp.

EMCup is an annual competition among the best hospitality management schools around Europe. This year’s theme was “Get Real...Education - Old School vs. New School”, which encouraged the participants to renew the curriculum of the hospitality management education with the help of high-end technology. There were 40 schools from 17 countries with 180 students participating this year, which broke the record.

Our team’s journey to the competition started in October 2018. Even though we were very different individuals at different stages of our studies, we were connected through our common goal, winning the EMCup. Why did our team work out so well? Each one of us contributed to the team with our unique qualities. Jamie, the most creative one of our team, constantly came up with innovative ideas. Aino was the Momma of the team! She made sure that everything was going according to the plan and that everyone was well. Johanna in turn was the most active member, creating an enjoyable atmosphere, bringing the team together and always uplifting the team’s spirit. Philipp was the critical thinker of the team, who made sure that the quality was high and that our ideas made sense and were according to the theme.

The journey to the EMCup helped us learn a lot about ourselves and the others. During the pre-assignment phase, we mainly focused on the academic paper, social media campaign and preparing our introduction video (which made it to the top three!). We acquired team working, branding, time management and networking skills which were necessary during the process when planning our social media campaign as well as when meeting and collaborating with local companies to promote our brand. After the first phase, we developed our pitching and debating skills to prepare ourselves for the actual competition.

After a fun day in Amsterdam, we were ready to rock ‘n’ roll in Maastricht. First night, we were offered the opportunity to get to know our fellow competitors. The official EMCup programme took off next day, including workshops such as pitching and MapsTell. The highlight of the day was without a doubt the keynote speaker Ruud Veltenaar! After that, the organization offered a networking dinner with 42 companies and 75 business jury members.
On the actual competition day, we were excited because it was finally time to show what we had worked on during all those months. We did a great job presenting our pitch! Unfortunately we didn’t get through to the debate rounds, but while the top nine teams were preparing their final pitches after the debates, we networked at a more personal level with the business jury in Talent talks. The day was closed with an amazing gala dinner at the Rebell restaurant. It was nice to enjoy the company of all participants without any stress that had followed us throughout the competition.

It is absolutely right to say that winning isn’t important. The EMCup is all about networking, learning, dancing and having fun! We got out of our comfort zones billion times and therefore we would like to challenge you: are you ready to join the EMCup next year and get out of YOUR COMFORT ZONE?

See a videoclip of the EMCup here.

Photo 1. Teamphoto Northern Stars

Photo 1. TeamPhoto Northern Start.jpg


Photo 2. Team Northern Stars with coaches. Heidi Kaihua, Jamie Le, Philipp Gossmann, Aino Takkula, Johanna Wiens and Petra Paloniemi


Photo 2. Northern Stars and coaches.jpg