Visiting lectures from companies

Lectures are one of the basic pillars of university teaching and are organised usually in all courses. There are many types of lectures: from large mass lectures to smaller group lectures or entirely virtual and remote ones. At lectures, professors or teachers usually present theories related to a specific topic, which are often practised later in a real-life context, for example through a practical assignment.

In fact, visiting lectures provide an excellent way for companies to develop networks and include what has been learned in the corporate world into theoretical studies. Visiting lectures refer to lectures that are visited by a company representative to discuss the course topic. A single course may only include one lecture with a visit from a company. The visit can also be organised as a series of visiting lectures that involves a company representative coming over to talk to students on several lectures given in the course. Visiting lectures provide students with unique examples and learning content based on real situations in the business world. A lecture given by a company also makes the topic concrete in a new way to the students. Visiting lectures are also good for the company. They enable the company to reflect on its own operating models and possibly get a new perspective on the topics from students. In the optimal case, lecturing is a teaching process for both companies and students.

Industrial Engineering and Management offers a wide range of courses, which enables companies to provide lectures on very different topics. Key themes include cost management, supply chain management, digital service engineering and data analytics. The subject and content of the visiting lecture can be tailored together with the teacher in charge of the course to suit the course. In recent years, for example, Antti Sinkkonen from EY has been visiting the Strategic Planning and Management course to talk to the students about business acquisitions and their importance from the perspective of EY. Below is Antti’s thoughts about being a visiting lecturer and his cooperation with the course teachers:

“At the lectures, we have discussed corporate acquisitions as part of the implementation of a company strategy from the viewpoint of both the industrial owner as well as the venture capitalist. When it comes to the content, I have aimed to present the basic concepts, challenges and processes of corporate acquisitions to students, and particularly to provide real-life examples of the projects carried out by EY. Students are interested in authentic case examples, and these also serve as a basis for interesting discussions.”

“The cooperation with the university and the teacher in charge of the course has been excellent every year. Together with the teacher, we have agreed on a schedule well in advance, and the responsibilities and practical matters related to the lecture have also been clear to both parties. This is one of the reasons why organising the visiting lecture has been both easy and very pleasant for us at EY every year.”

Antti Sinkkonen

“When I was a student, I greatly enjoyed the lectures given by different companies, because I feel that they provide students with a lot of information that they cannot read in a book. The visiting lectures have also been a great way to network with company representatives and to get positive visibility to the company. Now that I have entered working life, I have wanted to continue this great tradition. Personally, I have always liked giving visiting lectures very much: it is an excellent counterweight to my normal day job and a great opportunity for me to have a conversation with students. Every time I have given a lecture, I have been surprised by the great questions that the students ask me. The challenging questions that students pose also make me think and learn new things!”

“The subject of the guest lectures has been clearly selected based on course content. Together with the course teacher, we reviewed the topics and objectives of the course, and used these as the basis for defining the structure of the lecture.”

Antti Sinkkonen
Manager – Strategy and Transactions, EY-Parthenon

Visiting lectures open doors for both students and the companies giving the lectures. A visiting lecture has good potential to turn into a tradition. In this case, the lecturer can gain access to the latest information from one course to another, and the students get to hear the most recent information about practical work.

Interested? Request further information:

  • Petra Pekkanen

  • D.Sc. (Tech.), Associate Professor
  • Head of Degree Programme in Industrial Engineering and Management
  • +358 (0)50 322 6301