End of the Odyssey

It just fees like yesterday I was being greeted by a cold and rainy Helsinki afternoon! To say this trip has been a pleasant surprise would be an understatement. Over the past 2 weeks, I had the honor of being exposed to four unique ethnic cultures. Estonia’s plight to modernize was tangible the moment I gained my bearings in Tallinn. The educational system has left much to be desired amidst the country’s political shortcomings, and the academia isn’t as respected as its neighbors. Hopefully the future will yield some small gains.

My personal highlights were the visits to Ericsson HQ and Northvolt. The visits touched upon the main theme I wanted to analyze over the duration of the class: sustainability. Ericsson utilized a mixture of image and substance in its presentation, finding the appropriate balance of being engaging while yielding sufficient knowledge that was fitting of an MBA class. The technology featured during the visit varied from growing plants to VR demos. Northvolt’s presentation was powerful with the gravity of its message and the measures the company has taken to rectify damage done to the ecosystem. Stockholm was my favorite city, the transitions between urban and medieval architecture seamless, featuring a proud history. The visits to the Vasa museum and Abba Museum highlighted Sweden’s historic and modern influences on the world.

UFC Stockholm! Unreal experience near the cage

On a personal note, I attended a sporting event that featured Sweden’s best MMA fighters at UFC Fight Night: Gustafson vs. Smith. Despite losing and subsequently retiring, the Swedish people’s love for Alexander Gustafson was palpable. Fitting enough, the fights took place at the Ericsson Globe, a venue that served as a suitable medium for enjoying the fights. I got pretty decent seats that were very close to the cage which helps! Towards the tail end of the trip, I witnessed Sweden’s natural and artificial marvels. On the cruise to Stockholm, I woke up extremely early (maybe not entirely by choice!) and saw the beauty of the Swedish archipelago. The dearth of islands shining with the morning sun gleaming was a unique sight that I wont forget. On the other end, the bridge to Malmo from Copenhagen was magnificent. The progression of industrial engineering was on full display en route to Malmo. While getting lunch, we witnessed high school students celebrating with unrestrained revelry. It was a tradition I wish we had in the United States, and I especially loved the white hats that clearly symbolized a sacred rite of passage. Hopefully I’ll have more time to see Malmö the next time I trek to Sweden.

Afternoon in Malmö, where Clas has a secret Chateau

The final leg of our trip was spent in Copenhagen, and the sprawling streets flanked by calm waters highlighted the eccentricity that is synonymous with the city. The visits to Maersk and Mikkeler offered divergent approaches that characterize an old and new company. We ended our time together at Tivoli Gardens, where I received best dance moves. I’ll take it! While my odyssey comes to an end, I will cherish the memories I made on this four country run. Each experience was incredibly different and made lasting impressions that I will use in my future endeavors, be it personal or business. And, just like that, I dance my way back home.