Future working life skills considered at globalization lectures

5.1.2015 2014

This academic year we offer globalization lectures to upper secondary level schools, held by volunteers from SAP. In December a volunteer visited Helsinki Business College.

In the Global Enterprise Project (GEP) SAP volunteers engage with upper secondary level schools to hold interactive globalization lectures. Eero Hämäläinen of SAP has come to Helsinki Business College to tell about globalization and its effects on enterprises and employees.


First the students find out that SAP as a company was born in a garage by through the efforts of four people. At the moment the company has over 68,000 employees in over 130 countries.

– What is globalization? In what ways will it affect your lives? Eero asks the students.

The youths’ answers include immigration and increased linguistic skills.

– SAP is developing its products in China and South America, Eero gives an example from the perspective of a global enterprise.

Internationality affects companies in many ways both positive and negative. These effects can be seen in people’s skills, money, resources, and innovation. As an example of negative effects Eero cites the unequal distribution of wealth and work force, when products are produced in countries with cheap labor and the profits drain to wealthy countries.

Next projected slide provides examples of global enterprises, such as Siemens, Smurfit Kappa, and Total. The students get to think together about the reasons why these companies have become multinational. They suggest that the companies have worked hard and they have an interesting product, which means they have developed a solution to some need.

Ihanne maailma dia_GEP-luento
Is this an ideal world?

When talking about cultural differences the youths get to participate in a quiz, which tests their knowledge on such questions as in which country can you be 30 minutes late and still on time.

– In Finland informality is the norm when talking to clients, whereas in Germany not using the 3rd person plural when talking to a client is seen as very rude, Eero tells about his work experiences.

Students work in groups to list skills they need in the global future markets.

At the end of the lecture the students get to give feedback and say what stuck to their minds.

– I have long wondered about what SAP does, as I’ve seen their logo on Formula cars, says a boy sitting in the back of the class.

Cultural differences and skills needed in a multinational work life also stayed with the students. They were further interested in Eero’s background and work description.

Eero volunteered for the GEP, as he finds sharing his knowhow with youths pleasing. He also praises the group’s initiative.

– I find this a very fine group, they gave good feedback and this was a nice experience. I’d gladly give additional lectures, Eero says.

The teacher also found the volunteer visit positive.

– This brings more perspectives into the teaching, and when some else confirms the things said in class, the students believe them more readily, says the group’s teacher Teemu Vesalainen.

The globalization lectures are a part of the GEP, which aims to increase students’ knowledge of globalization, entrepreneurship, and working life skills.


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