Idea Com­pe­ti­tion brings uni­ver­si­ty stu­dents’ solu­tions to boost wor­king life con­nec­tions

Three woman standing at BusinessAsema

The Idea Com­pe­ti­tion cul­mi­na­ted in the com­pe­ti­tion final in late April. 12 par­tici­pants from various count­ries pitc­hed their solu­tions to fos­ter stu­dent’s wor­king life con­nec­tions in Oulu.

With pre­sen­ta­tions in English and Fin­nish, stu­dents and recent gra­dua­tes pre­sen­ted their ideas, both indi­vi­dual­ly and in a team, to the jury and audience at Busi­ness­A­se­ma. The event was hos­ted by Busi­ness Oulu, UNIC City Labs and Uni­ver­si­ty of Oulu.

Now, it is time to pre­sent the win­ners!

Vale­riia – Win­ner

Vale­riia Poki­di­na was the win­ner of Idea Com­pe­ti­tion. Her dream is to crea­te a com­mu­ni­ty for the crea­ti­ve area in the city.

“I belie­ve Oulu is a crea­ti­ve city. It is the 2026 Euro­pean Capi­tal of Cul­tu­re and I want to make a hub here.”

Her idea “Media Arts Lab” aims at fos­te­ring Oulu’s crea­ti­ve class and pro­mo­ting the city as a flou­ris­hing crea­ti­ve hub in Nort­hern Fin­land. She´s pur­suing a PhD at Oulu Busi­ness School and the pro­ject is a uni­ver­si­ty-based col­la­bo­ra­tion with com­pa­nies desig­ned to con­nect pro­fes­sio­nals from crea­ti­ve agencies with uni­ver­si­ty stu­dents.

Media Arts Lab is a simu­la­tion of a real-life crea­ti­ve agency that wants to unbox youth­ful crea­ti­vi­ty by fos­te­ring oppor­tu­ni­ties for stu­dents to be pros­pec­ti­ve emplo­yees or poten­tial busi­ness part­ners.

Check out all the prizes Vale­riia will get for her win­ning solu­tion:

Valeriia Pokidina
Vale­riia Poki­di­na

Tara – 1st run­ner-up

The 1st run­ner-up of Idea Com­pe­ti­tion was Tara Goodwin with her solu­tion OULUxL – Oulu Expe­rien­tial Lear­ning. She holds a bachelor´s in Mec­hat­ro­nic Sys­tems in Engi­nee­ring and is doing a master´s in Lan­gua­ge, Educa­tion and Tech­no­lo­gy at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Oulu.

Tara belie­ves that the work com­mu­ni­ty should be part of the class­room envi­ron­ment to make uni­ver­si­ty stu­dies more mea­ning­ful for futu­re job careers.

“One thing whi­le in Fin­land I lear­ned it takes a com­mu­ni­ty to make educa­tion impact­ful.”

Her solu­tion to strengt­hen stu­dent work life is to deve­lop pro­ject-based cour­ses insi­de the uni­ver­si­ty whe­re com­pa­nies and orga­niza­tions can pro­po­se problem-sol­ving cases to stu­dents. After deve­lo­ping their solu­tions, stu­dents would pre­sent them to the com­pa­nies as the final deli­ve­rable. Com­pa­nies would also have an acti­ve role by pro­vi­ding men­tors­hip throug­hout the deve­lop­ment of the idea.

Tara´s prizes for being a fina­list:

Daria – 2nd run­ner-up

Daria Zai­ko­vis­kaia, 2nd run­ner-up of Idea Com­pe­ti­tion, gra­dua­ted in Lin­guis­tics, wor­ked as ESL teac­her in Rus­sia and Chi­na and is doing her master´s in Lan­gua­ge, Educa­tion and Tech­no­lo­gy at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Oulu.

Daria had a bur­ning ques­tion: “What kind of skills do I need for the oppor­tu­ni­ties in the job mar­ket?”

That´s how she came up with her solu­tion “Lear­ning by doing” to fos­ter stu­dents wor­king life con­nec­tions during their stu­dies. Her idea pro­vi­des an oppor­tu­ni­ty for stu­dents to obser­ve pro­fes­sio­nals in action and see the real work envi­ron­ment, pro­mo­ting immer­si­ve know­led­ge trans­fers between both sides.

Daria will bene­fit from:

Idea Com­pe­ti­tion par­tici­pants com­pe­ted and pitc­hed their solu­tions for an expe­rienced jury from Oulu:

People sitting at BusinessAsema

Jury mem­bers:

The three fina­lists will have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to bene­fit from men­to­ring ses­sions on how to imple­ment their ideas. Meet the board of men­tors selec­ted to sha­re insight­ful advice:


We are loo­king forward to see­ing the ins­pi­ring ideas take form and help stu­dents thri­ve on their wor­king life jour­ney!