Interview with Conrad Lauruu

     Conrad Lauruu, Laurea / SIDLab

International specialist on an international field

Conrad Lauruu has worked in the Laurea University of Applied Sciences forfive years, at first as a research assistant and then as an international coordinator. Conrad plans to complete his master's degree in economics
soon as well.

Conrad was employed in SIDLab to bring new ideas to the organization; the institution was looking for new ways to manage SIDLab. SIDLab Balance is a LivingLab that profiles in economic control. Aiming at innovation, its operation consists of thesis works, projects and the students' working life projects.

The Laurea University of Applied Sciences wanted to enlarge the development environment of LivingLab to make it more worthwhile for students.

- We offer students a friendly environment for meeting project managers. We can offer them projects that connect their studies and working life.

SIDLab is the inspiring results of many years of work. The project has operated on an international level since 2008. SIDLab consists of eight research labs, with projects in every field of study.

- The goal is to give students tasks and involve them in various projects, Conrad says.

Conrad was in the right place at the right time, and enjoys his achievements. He started as an international student himself and therefore knows how important the first projects are for students. Projects are crucial in integrating international students into working life.

- Finnish companies tend to overlook international students in internship placements. In Finland, references are important, and SIDLab can recommend these skilled international students.All international students working in SIDLab have found the project helpful. One graduated student was just recently employed, and he told us he was confident now that everything would work out, Conrad continues.

Projects assigned to SIDlab are challenging. They have to be interesting enough to engage students, and even the most difficult problems have been solved in Laurea. Conrad hopes for more coordination and more permanent cooperation with companies.

- The idea is to help companies and students find each other. At the moment, we cooperate with companies in many sponsored projects.

SIDLab has made tentative agreements on projects that lack the necessary funding so far but have still been approved by companies.

- That is a positive surprise. Usually companies are not interested in projects without existing funding?, Conrad smiles.

Interviewed and photographed by Saamia Mohamud, a trainee in VALOA-project