My name is Tanja and I am a 23-year-old native Lappish woman from a small village not that far away from Rovaniemi, from the beautiful Tornio Valley beside the Swedish border. They say that the hospitality comes along with traditions of the region where I was born and raised during my childhood. My mom and grandmother have also worked in the same field, hospitality, so I guess it’s something important to me because of that as well. When we are thinking about it from these angles, it was a natural choice for me to apply for a school of Tourism and Hospitality Management.
We were the first group doing certain kinds of studies or we tested new study methods. It was both challenging of course for us and especially for teachers but also very rewarding. It also tells something about the practices of Lapland University of Applied Sciences. At least they do not stick with the old grey methods and dusty books lying in the corners of the library but they are always designing something new.
We had the pleasure to learn and practise our skills in the real life context. Probably SantaPark and Arctic Design Week have stayed in my mind best of all these projects where we had a commissioner involved in the study unit. Product development and experience design for SantaPark’s new Käpylehmä accommodation concept was really interesting and it was great to be able to be part of it. Arctic Design Week which gathers stakeholders from different levels – University of Lapland, City of Rovaniemi, Pilke House, Arktikum, Korundi and Rovaniemi Development Ltd for instance – was really a fascinating experience where we learnt networking and project managerial skills. We did our best for the development of it and it was a real learning situation.
I have been abroad during my studies all in all three times. During my Basic Training I was in Germany, in a small family-owned wellness hotel in a fairy tale kind of Alp village in the border of Austria and from there I flew almost straight to the other side of the world, the United States of America. In Missouri, there was a town called Cape Girardeau, where I spent four months in total doing business studies, making new friends from all over the world and getting valuable life experiences. I really got so much out of this journey and I warmly recommend everybody to go out there and see the world. Then there was a summer a year ago that I spent in London with a tour operator ScanAdventures and accomplished the Advanced Training. The real life experience with working in a tourism company like that widened my professional perspective more than ever during the studies.
All in all, I’m leaving behind me my studies with DPT13 with very nostalgic, warm and grateful feelings. I believe all of us have overcome ourselves, being excited about cool projects and events we have had the pleasure to be part of. I am closing the door of the school with bright mind and the pack bag filled with valuable skills and knowledge: so many nice experiences, new people in my life, I believe lifetime friendships, much of personal growth and career opportunities. In short, that was what my studies were about. I wish you all nice summer as well as good luck and bright mind if you are going for tourism studies!