Hanken offers intensive course in Finnish business culture to asylum seekers

In March, Hanken will offer an intensive two-day course in Finnish Business Culture to asylum seekers and exchange students

Course syllabus

The aim of the course is to provide non-Finnish citizens a general overview of factors influencing business operations in Finland (history, political, legal and economic systems, culture), in particular, the operations of companies. The focus of the course is on business legislation, Finnish consumer behavior, marketing to Finns, Finnish negotiation style and management styles, and hands-on guidelines how to establish a company in Finland.

- At this point, we are reaching out to asylum seekers who hold a high school diploma and have sufficient English skills. We see that both asylum seekers and exchange students at Hanken can greatly benefit from this course, as it will cover the most central areas of doing business in Finland and with Finns, says Dr Pia Polsa, the examiner for the course.

The themes of the course will be approached through various methods including seminars, cases, team work in form of term papers, and class discussions. 

- We will get together for two days in March at Hanken in Helsinki and after that the students will work on individual or group projects, says Polsa.

Apply for the course:

  • Write a Letter-of-Motivation in English that includes:
    • Your name, date of birth, current nationality, and your passport number
    • Your previous education; the degree, date graduation, and institution
    • Motivation to attend the course; explain briefly a) why it is important for you to take the course and b) what is your expectations of the course (topics you would like to be covered)
  • Submit application to Pia Polsa at pia.polsa@hanken.fi

Application deadline 22 March 2020

Please contact Pia Polsa if you have any questions regarding the course.


Course syllabus

Pia Polsa, Associate Professor , Department of Marketing subject of Marketing at Hanken School of Economics, Helsinki, tel. +358-(0)40-352 1 419, e-mail: pia.polsa@hanken.fi., homepage: http://www.hanken.fi/en/person/pia-polsa


The aim of the course is to provide opportunity for Hanken students to learn through voluntary work leadership, mentoring, marketing and logistics in connection with Finnish Business Culture course


The students will have an understanding of the Finnish business culture and Finnish society including the Finnish leadership and negotiation styles.

After completing the course, you will be able to 

  • Identify cultural characteristics that are typical for marketing and management in Finland –in international comparison
  • Critically examine the Finnish business environment and the society it is embedded in
  • Apply the above theoretical knowledge and understanding to practical case/report

Target group

This course is for non-degree students, especially refugees and incoming exchange students.

Degree students at Hanken: You cannot include this course in your major or minor subject studies.


A maximum of 40 participants, due to that there are no prerequisites for participation and the knowledge level will vary much more than usually, in order of enrolment.

Quota for non-degree students: 20
Quota for incoming exchange students: 20

Total hours of work: 

106 hours divided into 
Scheduled hours: 16 h seminars and 10 h presentations
Non-scheduled work: 80 h 

Learning methods:

Seminars, cases, team work in form of term papers and class discussions 


Class participation 25%, Business Plan Report OR Term Paper (team work) 75%


Pia Polsa, Other teachers for example Gyöngyi Kovacs, Mika Wartiovaara, Matti Kukkonen, Jasmine McBride


Period 4 22-24 April 2020