My previous post was just a quick introduction to the MF program (here), directed towards potential applicants. Now I’d like to highlight two changes to the program. If you have applied to the program, don’t worry, I’m sure you will be happy with the changes. Actually, the changes have started already, and early indications are of success.
First, Oulu Business School is offering funding for internships to international students this year (see here). As the application for funding just ended, I can’t tell you how many students will receive grants. The grants are intended to support a student’s work at an organization that otherwise would not be able to hire an intern. The internship must be related to studies, and students will get credit for doing an internship.
This is a win-win-win situation. Students get practical training in the field and credits towards their studies. Local businesses get talented interns from all over the globe, providing the businesses with an international perspective. Oulu Business School gets increased ties with the local community, and the school also gets to send career-ready graduates into the job market. I’m very happy that we can offer funding like this, and I hope we can offer even more grants in the future.
The other change involves one course in the program. In the past, MF students had to take a 10 ECTS “Seminar” course. The course was an introduction to doing independent research. Students chose their own research question, did their own work, presented their findings to their classmates, and of course they received feedback along the way. Students got to explore the literature and make a research plan (empirical work was not mandatory), with most students continuing the work as their master’s thesis.
When it comes to developing research and writing skills, usually “the more, the better” holds. What we’re doing though, is changing the course into more effective preparation for master’s thesis work. While students get the overall knowledge, introduction to models and modeling techniques, and analysis skills from coursework, it can often be challenging to put all of those things together effectively to complete the thesis. The new “Seminar” course will bridge that gap. Students will work on identifying the research question. Students will get practice working with and efficiently handling extremely large data sets. They’ll also get practice with effective presentation of empirical work. For some of our students, the old seminar format was like doing a second bachelor’s thesis. The new format will be great preparation for master’s thesis work.
These are not earth-shattering changes. But they are meaningful changes that will improve the quality of program. And it’s these types of changes that we are always looking to make.
MF Program Coordinator
Last updated: 25.2.2013