Study Coordinator Morgan Konnestad thinks Bachelor’s and Master’s theses related to work life benefit both students and regional work life.
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Of this spring’s 15 Bachelor’s theses in multimedia technology and design at the Department of ICT, 11 are external projects connected directly to businesses in Agder. This is not a coincidence.
“I always encourage the students to take on external projects. It is valuable for them to meet other people than university employees and get realism into the project work,” says Morgan Konnestad, Study Coordinator at the Department of ICT at Campus Grimstad.
The Bachelor’s students are connected to local businesses such as the electronics company Kitron in Arendal, travel operator Pearl Journeys in Grimstad and the newly started Fly-By in Kristiansand.
“What does this contact to the work market mean to students and to UiA?”
“For the students it is valuable to work for real employers with actual problems, and who usually benefit from what the students create. For some students it may result in a job, says Konnestad.
Half of this spring’s 8 Master’s thesis’ in Multimedia and Educational Technology at the Department of ICT, are directly related to work life and businesses such as Posten, Stiftelsen Arkivet and Benteler.
“The collaboration with the students can be valuable to the region and the businesses. They receive free work estimated to 500 hours from each Bachelor’s student, half a year per Master’s student.
The Department of ICT has gone for a close connection between the students and the work life since the start in 2003.
“It is mostly a pleasure. Now we are contacted by companies every year, who want to work with our students,” says Konnestad.
Every year he sends a letter to every business association in Grimstad, Arendal and Kristiansand and informs about what the candidates can contribute with to the region.
“We encourage them to let their members know about this and we take time to meet companies that we could potentially work with.”
“What is the biggest challenge of this work?”
“It demands manual effort and one has to spend some time on it. But mainly, this is a collaboration all parties appreciate!” says Konnestad.
“This is entirely in accordance with the strategic goal in SN2; Student Practice, on increased contact with the work life for our students” says Project Manager Dag Nordbø.