Joonas Valkonen – the relentless pitchman of the SHIFT project team and student of Entrepreneurship at Business Academy (TUAS) – writes about his experiences at the SHIFT as part of his studies.

For two days, Turku castle served as the venue for the first ever business festival SHIFT 2016 and I had the privilege to be a part of the team behind it. An amazing bunch of people who all shared a vision for a different type of event, where you could connect business and culture. Creative Director Erika Halonen visited us in the beginning of semester and pitched us what The SHIFT was all about.

Me and three of my fellow students got excited and contacted her in hopes of joining this team. After a quick interview, we were welcomed to the sales team and so we started, together with the project team, making SHIFT 2016 happen.

Use your strengths and get out of the comfort zone

As students of Business Academy at Turku University of Applied Sciences, where you complete your studies via different projects using your strengths and interests as you feel useful, this type of fresh new event was right up our alley. We felt that Turku needs something special to show the rest of Finland what we are capable of achieving here. Now, when the actual event is over, I can proudly say that we succeed in that.

As a student of entrepreneurship, I enjoyed every bit of this journey. Sure, there were times when I didn’t have all that much energy. That was the time when my fellow students and the rest of the team cheered me on. That, if anything, shows that we have chosen the right path of education. After all, entrepreneurship is all about working inside your discomfort zone and pushing yourself to the limits in the process of making something happen. And boy, did we make something happen.

Get involved

I hope this story will encourage more students to join different projects where they get to work with a wide scope of people while also doing something they get a kick out of. I think projects like these are the key in developing your skillset and CV for the future.

SHIFT is also a great example on how you can make things happen if you believe in it, are ready to work hard and able to find the right, motivated people for the job. Our team was amazing, and for that, I thank them. Hope we get to work together soon in the future!

Photo: Emmi Kiesvaara