Scandinavian LINC Trip

June 06, 2018
• by
Noah Hellum

The USC Marshall School of Business is very unique in that it offers freshman students the chance to partake in an educational trip abroad called Learning International Commerce. From the moment I heard about this program at orientation the previous June, I knew I wanted to be a part of it. In September, I applied and was fortunate enough to get my favorite choice, Helsinki/Stockholm.

This LINC trip was unique since it was the first ever to visit two countries. After a semester of preparing for the trip through lectures on corporate social responsibility, Finnish and Swedish culture, and global business, we flew out to Scandinavia in mid-May.

In Helsinki, where it was light out 20 hours of the day, we visited companies of diverse industries and sizes. One highlight was Rovio, the maker of Angry Birds, where we got a chance to switch roles and present to a company. At Rovio, we participated in a case competition presenting competitor analyses. With the valuable feedback from their employees, we were able to strengthen our public speaking and strategy skills.

After visiting Rovio and other Finnish organizations such as the elevator corporation Kone and the education accelerator xEdu, we got on a ferry to Sweden! 

After getting off the boat on Thursday, we went to Spotify, where after receiving a tour of their lovely new office and a presentation on their "freemium funnel" strategy, my team of five and I got to give a presentation to them. We were tasked to find new ways to convert more users to premium. Our conclusion was that they should start their own record label to develop exclusive content which would decrease their dependency on labels and draw more subscribers in. 

We concluded our trip with visits to the burger chain Max Burgers and the recycling company Ragn-Sells. Overall, I loved learning more about the Scandinavian business model, especially its emphasis on education, innovation, and corporate social responsibility. Additionally, I cherished the new friendships and connections I made on the trip. Can't wait to visit again soon!

Now that I'm back, I am working this summer at a film production company in New York City. As a producing intern, I help out with preparation and logistics for shoots.

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