Building with mural on the wall. Photo: Cursor StarttiSatama.

Integrating studies into work provides new possibilities to learn and experience


At the South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences, students are offered three learning tracks: a working week-based learning path, a learning path that speeds up studies, and a learning path integrated into work. The work-integrated learning path can provide different learning opportunities and ways to experience entrepreneurship and familiarise oneself with working life.

In this article, we will tell you how French exchange student Florian Mollet, from the Kotka campus, got to learn more about how rewarding the experience of blended studies can be. He learnt about the operations of Normogames, a game industry startup, and completed a course about new venture creation and marketing in collaboration with the company.

In France, Florian studies business and specialises in marketing. In the autumn of 2023, he arrived in Kotka for a student exchange in Logistics and Marine Technology. The selection of courses in English for the spring of 2024 caused some challenges for Florian’s exchange programme, and the Logistics and Marine Technology Department contacted Xamk’s *ship Academy to help find more studying possibilities for Florian. In cooperation with *ship Akatemia and other education departments, Florian was offered the opportunity to work with Normogames, a local game industry student startup from Kotka.

Experience entrepreneurship in Finland

This pilot went well from Normogames perspective. “Xamk gave us the opportunity to recruit a trainee to assist in our company’s marketing. This was a great opportunity for us since our skills in social media marketing were limited, and our Instagram was ‘all over the place’. When Florian started at Normogames, he studied different indie game studios’ social media strategies before overhauling their Instagram account. Florian made a structured posting schedule and a planning tool to ensure consistent updates and organised content,” said Jaakko Mela from Normogames.

Florian Mollet with Jaakko Mela and Samuli Kosonen from Normogames.

During his time at Normogames, Florian also helped them learn about the importance of colour harmonisation and the layout structure of their Instagram posts. With cooperative efforts with their graphic designer Ilmari Salmi, Florian completely transformed the Normogames Instagram page into its current professional and visually appealing form. For Florian, the pilot offered a great opportunity to experience entrepreneurship and the gaming industry as part of his exchange year. 

Florian explains, “As a student in the field of marketing, I had the privilege of collaborating with Normogames, an exciting video game company. Together, we developed their digital marketing strategy, focusing on their social media platforms. By benchmarking their competitors, we were able to revamp their Instagram account. The process was quite straightforward: I would develop my ideas for posts, stories, and reels and then present them to Ilmari so that he could create them using the appropriate graphic design guidelines. This work was very interesting. I got to explore digital marketing in the world of video games, understand how their competitors work, and reach as many players as possible to introduce them to their game The Riflemen.”

*ship Akatemia – Xamk’s Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Startup Academy offers innovation and entrepreneurship studies for students from different degree programmes. Students can also find other helpful tools, e.g., Startup Hotline services and Startup Fund via *ship Akatemia.

Read more!

Writer Maarit Vahvanen

Writer works as Senior Lecturer at Xamk.