On my Part-time MBA Study Plans

04.07.2013 in EnglishNewsWeiterbildung  von Katrin Mathis
Service Innovation and Design at Laurea University of Applied Sciences

As some of you will already know I will start a MBA program in Service Innovation and Design from September at Laurea University of Applied Sciences in Finland. Reason enough to tell you a bit more about my plans. It's a part-time program which means that I will keep doing freelance work much like it has been for the past year only reduced to around 80% of my current workload. 

From September to May I will be in Finland for three days a month from Thursday to Saturday for contact sessions. In between I will have to finish assignments that I plan to split between office hours and evenings or weekends in order not to sacrifice my complete free time but still find time to relax and clear my mind. Depending on how quick I will start and finish my master thesis the program will last a total of 1,5 to 2,5 years with the following compulsory study modules:

  • Business and Management Competences in Service Innovations
  • Value Creating Competences
  • User-centric Service Design Competences
  • Thesis: a service development project


Campus Leppävaara is located in Espoo, the second largest city of Finland and part of Helsinki metropolitan area at around 30 minutes from Helsinki central station by train. In May I have already been to Helsinki for the entrance exams. Each year between 70 and 200 people apply for the 27 places. The entance exam consists of a 3 hour written exam based on reading the first six chapters of the book "Services Marketing: Integrating Customer Focus Across the Firm" plus a group discussion of one hour. Applicants are from a variety of fields and countries. During my entrance exam I have met applicants from Spain, India and Ghana among them a logistician, a software tester and a former teacher. 


My motivation behind committing myself to this program is mainly an exchange of knowledge with other service designers. Hopefully, this will provide me with an experimental environment in which I can deepen my experience with service design tools. I feel that Service Design is much more advanced in Scandinavian countries and Laurea was one of the first universities to offer a pure service design program. 

From a leisure point of view Helsinki is a rather small capital with only around 400.000 inhabitants that count up to over 1.000.000 if you include the metropolitan area - around one fifth of the total Finnish population. At my first visit, I felt quite at ease in Finland. People were friendly and seemed quite sporty. Prices are certainly a bit higher but not that exorbitantly as one might expect. In the homeland of Nokia and Angry Birds there is wifi at every corner and Foursquare is highly popular. I'll have to see how I will cope with the cold dark winter but I hope that nordic skiing and sauna (which by the way is quite different from sauna in Germany) will outweigh the lack of light. I also hope to be able to visit Tallin, the Estonian capital only around 80km from Helsinki that ferries connect in around two hours. Minä en vielä puhu suomea - I don't speak Finish yet but I do want to learn at least some of the basics.


Marta, 10.04.2016 19:52


I do enjoy your blog post :)

I am preparing myself for the entrance exam in Laurea (Service Innovation and Design) right now. I would like to find out a little bit more about this part. Could you email me in a private message about what did the entrance exam contain? They don't say too much on their page except information about written part and group discussion. :P


Thank You in advance!






Katrin Mathis, UX Konzepterin und Service Designerin aus Freiburg

Katrin Mathis
MBA in Service Innovation & Design und BSc in OnlineMedien berät seit über 10 Jahren Unternehmen, die digitale Transformation zum Nutzen ihrer Kunden einzusetzen.


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