Introducing:team manager and business department
Who are you?
Hi there. My name is Aleksi Kerola. In this season I'm the Team Manager. Team Manager is the right hand of the Technical Manager, which means taking care of everything else other than the technical aspect.
What do you study?
I started studying Business Administration in Tampere University of Applied Sciences in 2014. At the moment I'm writing my thesis, which means that my studying journey is going to end soon.
How did you end up in Formula Student -project?
Students studying Business Administration for the second year have a course in which one must participate in some kind of project in order to pass the course. The team had informed the course leaders that they need Business students to join the team. By joining the team there would be a possibility to go abroad in the summer. Traveling abroad was something I really wanted to do, so I decided to join the team.
How long have you been on the team?
This is my third year as a member of the team. In the first year I was doing the fictional business plan presentation for the static part of the Formula Student competition. In the second year I was the leader of the business department, and now I'm the Team Manager.
What have you gained from being part of the team?
Being a member of the team has taught me many different styles of how to work in a large working environment. We work with and we have many different kinds of personalities in the team which
develops leadership and interpersonal skills. In addition, you learn problem solving as you very often need to make decisions under pressure as quickly as possible.
Team Manager upkeeps the information flow to school staff and handles the general leading of the non-profit organization. At the same time, I take care of all the team's financials. In other words, I work as a link between the team, school and our sponsors.
Describe the season from your point of view?
In the beginning of every season Team Manager and Technical leader sit down to plan and build the structure of the team. First we choose leaders of the departments and then we start recruiting new members. At about the same time the department leaders make an initial schedule of building the car.
During the season the Team Manager monitors the cash flow. Every year we apply for few different kinds of grants to keep the team going. The business department and the Team Manager will do that together. After the grants have been applied for, I will follow where the money goes and pay the bills originated from building the car.
During autumn time the Team Manager finds out the dates for the Formula Student events and registration. Then the Team Manager will start planning the trips to the events in which we have
been accepted. Planning the trips includes for example figuring out how many team members will go to the events, what transportation will the team use, and what is the best route to the location of the event.
Business department starts the season immediately after the Formula Student events by contacting sponsors from the previous season, and by finding new partners to support the team. At the same, time the business department will begin to throw ideas around for the new business plan that will be presented to the judges in summer. Business team continues marketing and creating new content to team's social media channels throughout the season.
In spring the focus of business department moves from searching for sponsors to marketing even more. A small group of team members will do the design for the new team shirts. Business department also helps the Team Manager to arrange the trips to FS events and to keep the team's financials up-to-date.
In the Formula Student events the most important task of the business department is to present the business plan to the judges. The rest of the time there is dedicated for taking photos, publishing those in social media, and helping the other departments by for example buying food and searching for spare parts from the local shops.
Why to be team manager or join business department?
You should consider becoming a Team Manager, if you are interested and have the courage to go and learn about leadership and leading a project. In this position it's easy to bring your ideas to the table and put development suggestions into practice. Every Team Manager has had something new and useful to help the team to operate. I think and hope that the trend will keep going with the future Team Managers .
You should choose Business department if you're interested to find out how to administrate a real business. Even though TAMK Formula Student is a non-profit organization, it is very similar to a real company. In the business department you get to learn, practice and do the things taught in the business administration classes. We develop our skills in selling and doing presentations when we search for sponsors and prepare the fictional, Shark Tank style business plan presentation. We do our own accounting with Fennoa-program which is used in teaching in International Business and Business Administration programs. People interested in marketing can implement their visions by producing content to our social media channels.
Other members of the Business Department: Emilia Aaltonen (Business Administration), Karen Ahtiainen (International Business), Pekka Heikkilä (Business Administration) and Sara Sinisaari (International Business).