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20 May, Monday
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The library of essays of Proakatemia

Dear Proakatemia…



Kirjoittanut: Jemina Laitinen - tiimistä FLIP Solutions.

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…This is the last essay of the 3,5 years journey of my time at Proakatemia and this will be the summing up my Proakatemia journey. 

When I started at Proakatemia I didn’t have actual expectations regarding how studies would go here. I knew quite much about how things work at Proakatemia and how it is to study at a team academy from the aspect of team learning with a focus on entrepreneurship, thanks to my friends who were starting their Proaktemia journey before me and giving me sneak peeks about the place and concept. Concepts of team learning, reflective learning methods and entrepreneur focus through projects as a core of the studies were natural ways for me to study and I enjoyed the independence that Proakatemia gives (and requires) regarding studies. For me, it was easy to understand the concept and tried to help other people get into that. I believe that previous entrepreneurship was a valuable quality regarding getting into the concept and learning methods and therefore felt natural. 

Even though I did not have expectations regarding Proakatemia since my goal was just to come to learn as much as I could, the journey was still different than I thought. Maybe, I had that kind of romantic idea of a Proakatemia journey that includes all idyllic images regarding the studies. 

My darling FLIP

The first international team at Proakatemia, the one and only, FLIP Solutions Osk. As Veikko Airas, our BL of this year said, FLIP started with a mighty honeymoon period. After this super sweet period followed the storming season, which naturally comes during the journey of the process of team building. 

Because the honeymoon period was super strong at the beginning of the journey of our team, that could have caused the fact that we didn’t go through that much about how it is to study in an international team, not to mention about building a team company together and working there. We talked about goals, values and previous experiences that have been affecting team members but we didn’t get into what these things mean practically. 

Being in an international team brings up variables and aspects regarding many different things regarding working that might not be learned from the books and need to be faced in practice. One big thing for us, for example, was that we were operating in English, which is not the mother language to anyone but one of our team members. We faced communicational challenges in many different ways coming most of the time from the fact that we didn’t understand deeply to each other. Many mistakes and misunderstandings could be avoided and solved more efficiently if we had more courage and effort to ask more questions to try to deeply understand each other as well as challenge each other to think from another perspective. 

Internationality and cultural aspects are for me one of the most highlighted points of learning at Proakatemia, and I wouldn’t change that experience to anything even though it was challenging. Hence, a cultural aspect was not the only variability in our team since even though we were a quite small team already at the beginning of our journey, we had a notable variety of life situations, expectations of the studies, generation and interests. My team provided me with to wider perspective in many fields of life and business. Thank you my darling FLIP.

During our journey of FLIP went through multiple obstacles and faced a lot of challenges regarding multiple different things team- and company-wise. Sometimes, we too carry the heavy burden of belief on our shoulders, that are we team enough because we don’t have those big projects or revenue either. However, we ended up finding our unique way to be a team that is fitting to FLIP. 

My journey at Proakatemia

Language policy

As mentioned, I came to Proaktemia without specific expectations. One main goal of mine was to get used to using English as a working language and become fluent in using it. A fun fact is, that before Proakatemia, I wasn’t fluent to speak in English. I have been that person who always said that I am not going to use English in anything, I don’t need to speak it. I have been that person who is actually terrified to speak in English. During my previous experiences as an entrepreneur in my own company, I realized that I want to work internationally or at least, be capable of doing so language-wise. 

I remember how exhausted I was after the days when we started our journey at Akatemia and our team, because of the new things of course, but the fact that my brains were fully overloaded because of using English because I wasn’t used to it. Many things haven’t been said or have been said wrongly because of the language, but thanks to my team for helping me all those times when I didn’t know how to express correctly what to say.

After these years, I can proudly say that I feel that I achieved my goal of fluency in the language. Nowadays, it does not matter how much I need to operate in English or Finnish and I don’t hesitate to change a language suddenly if needed. 

Different experiences and try-outs

During the last 3,5 years, there have been a lot of happenings during the journey of Proakatemia but also life in general outside of akatemia. Different skills were learned and practised regarding marketing, social media, content creation, web coaching, website maintenance and team and personal coaching. I achieved one of my dreams in my group fitness instructor career and experienced many magnificent events, both at local and international levels. 

I had an opportunity to experience the Apuva/Assistant Coach role that gave me a big learnings of leading of big community as well as got me to deep dive into the Proakatemia. In our team, I was involved as a team leader in the very beginning, acting as a board member actively and also taking part in accounting staff with other people in our team. 

As we can see, there have been A LOT of different things, too much everything to be honest. Those all were inspiring and interesting and I wanted them all, need to be highlighted. They were my choice but also some of the actions were required because of the life situation. I don’t know even how I managed to work almost full time besides of studies for almost three years, but there were costs of that as well. I faced an extensive burnout in May 2023, which brought me back to my natural perfectionist and critic. The recovery process has been providing me with a very deep and valuable reflection of my whole life as well as realization of my actions for example, in my team. I definitely don’t recommend anyone burning themselves, but if you do, take your time to recover properly (it takes time more than you might expect), and you will be stronger afterwards. If you fall to the idea of being a superhuman, yes, I believe you are, but think twice is it necessary to try to do everything. 

My learnings in a nutshell

I understand now better how team and team dynamics work in general, and how different things can have a huge effect on a team and its individuals. Additionally, I understand how can act to bring positive impact in teams. I also understand the value of transparency of communication in any organization and team, and how lack of it can cause unnecessary fear. One big learning was the cultural aspect from the aspects of in general, team and business, as well as how generation affects working styles, beliefs and communication. Some skills and themes I learned and had an opportunity to dig into: marketing, content creation, leading, innovation, sustainability, strategic thinking and coaching. 

And something about my idyllic vision of the Proakatemia journey: It might not be as I imagined or wanted it to be, but it is not about me. It is about what is good and important to the team. That is also a valuable fact that when things are not going as you wanted or imagined, it brings bigger learnings and improves your resilience. 

Summary

I came to Proakatemia as a well-being coach to learn more about entrepreneurship and business, but also to check, do I get inspired by some other field of business than fitness. I have been doing my over a ten-year-long career in the fitness industry and to be honest, I have been in the fitness box very tightly. I opened my thinking, widened my perspective and pondered things from another point of view, thanks to all my team members and people I got an opportunity to work and be connected during my journey. During my journey the fact, that I love wellbeing, coaching and leadership, and those are my passions, was crystallized even more <3. 

 

 

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