Student activator creating impact
This is the story of how I became a student activator and changed my perspective of what really means to create an impact in the community. Becoming a student activator means being part of a community bigger than yourself which has the capabilities of creating long lasting impact to improve the development of students.
It all started a year ago when the applications to be a student activator were launched. I had already spent long time taking part of events and courses at Y-kampus. However, during that time I felt quite frustrated that not many events and courses where done in English. Y-kampus was offering so much knowledge and it was not able to reach the whole diversity of students that are located in Tampere. At the time of my application, Y-kampus was looking to include international students in their team. I learned about this after talking with my friend Nora, who encouraged me to apply to be a student activator. I went through the application process and was accepted together with the new student activator team. My initial goal was to bring more events and promotion in English, however, I didn’t know that this goal would change into something with a bigger impact.
During this past year I have learned that being a student activator is not just about promoting and creating events. Being a student activator ultimately comes to trying to understand students’ needs and utilizing Y-kampus’ support platform to help students discover their potential. It is also about meeting people from different backgrounds, finding similarities between them and connecting them to create something bigger than themselves. These new ideas will generate more discussion and allow people to meet each other again. Creating a circle of innovation.
Some of the first events as a Student Activator were Learning From Failure and International Rekry. Learning from Failure came after hearing about Fucked Up Nights. A famous event around the world that invites startups that did not succeed to talk about their failure. The goal of this event is to make Failure something positive and stop the negative stigma that comes with it. In startup culture it is well known that few ideas gain track and are successful, that is why failure is needed to succeed. You will probably try many times before you succeed. This event was incredible, the speakers were Sami Pienimaki CEO of Jolla, Antti Savola an inspirational speaker and Jarmo Tanskanen entrepreneur and founder of Visuon.
International Rekry was organized by student activator Kagan and I, the goal of this event was to bring international students together to talk about their search and challenges while finding a job in Finland. We wanted to bring people together to discuss their challenges, get new ideas, be inspired and take action to change their lives. The feedback was positive and we were able to inspire students in their search for a life in Finland.
I can keep telling you about the events we organized but the important factor is the impact we had on students. We had 147 students interested and 65 people attending Learning from Failure. The feedback we got from students was positive saying “Thanks for organizing this event. It was really nice and I got lots of new input.” For International Rekry we had 100 people interested and 20 attending. In total we were able to impact directly 85 students. This just came from one student activator and two different events in a lapse of half a year. Think about the total impact made by all eight student activators.
8 student activators x 85 people = 680 students impacted in half a year
Just by introducing students to new ideas, people and concepts, we are able to help students question themselves. Our final goal is to inspire them to take action and shift their lives.
Part of something bigger – Startup and Entrepreneurship ecosystem in Tampere
As a Student Activator I learned that Y-kampus was part of something bigger in Tampere. A whole startup and entrepreneurship ecosystem in our city that keeps growing. Naturally, this excited me. Y-kampus is one of the first contacts students have to entrepreneurship, startups and innovation. Students are problem solvers and while they are learning about new topics it is one of the best times to build new ideas. Y-kampus should be able to create a funnel that detects ideas and moves students towards actionable plans. We still have a lot of work to build this ecosystem and be able to funnel all ideas into something tangible. However, I believe the city is on its way to create a bigger impact and change. At the end of the day a good idea always needs a support network around them, and Y-kampus is here to support students to accomplish their dreams.
Text: Mariana Perez Zamora, Y-kampus Student Activator 2018-2019
Btw check Mariana’s blog here