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Good bye, but not finnished

Hey fellows,

now it’s been 2 semesters after starting officially the SPOSMAPPRO program and let me say it has been a good time. I spent for the first time the whole winter in Finland and I definitely didn’t get bored at any point. Furthermore, I was the first one leaving from the Finland for good, so I want share my challenges and experiences.

When I reflect the courses from the past 2 semesters, I must say that it has been quite challenging to finish most of the courses in one year and deadlines kept coming quickly. Especially towards the end of the second semester of the program the schedule is quite tide and challenging, but not impossible to complete. I definitely liked the flexibility of the program organizers and the different guest lecturers that bring up many different thoughts, in this context I particularly want to mention Toni Roponen during the sport marketing program of the winter school with his alternative and innovative marketing strategies and hand on insights in cc skiing. Further, there was Chris Gratton in the sport economics module who had great expertise and presented practical examples, as well as showed nice humour. Furthermore, many doctoral students and senior lecturers from the University of Jyväskylä are able to share specific knowledge of their field of expertise, as they are integrated in the program. I am grateful for that.

As, I was quite busy with finishing the courses my thesis has slower progressed than expected. Nevertheless, I got good sources that I need to go through the next couple of weeks and I am confident that it can develop quickly as soon as I get more time, since I just started my internship as soon as I left Jyväskylä. After being a little bit down after leaving Finland I get a little bit more in the mood of the practicum and start looking forward to the summer. I am doing the internship at a company that is called Outward Bounds. My main task is to promote physical activity sociability with nature experience. This includes among others promoting compassion, team work, discipline, integrity, physical and mental challenges and so forth. Interesting is that I will be working with youths as well as managers, which includes more a coaching program. At the moment I am learning many new things and I have the opportunity to get some licences in foe example top rope climbing, hiking, canoeing, and so forth. I look forward having my own courses teaching about leadership, roles, and group dynamics.

Finally, I want to talk about a topic that gets the closest to me. Throughout the years in Jyväskylä I started enjoying it more and more, until finally I did not feel like leaving at all. Especially the sport opportunities, such as the gymnastics hall kept me busy most of the time. I enjoyed learning new things, but also hanging out and meeting new people doing for example acro yoga. Regarding sports, there was also the local handball team that I was involved in since the foundation two years ago. I am not sure how they are able to keep going since many players left. Moreover, I very much enjoyed the Sporticus student association, as I have become with most of its members and I enjoyed the time I spent with them. Overall, I felt like Jyväskylä is my home and the sports very special place that makes me feel good thinking about it.

During my final days in Finland I managed to have a nice goodbye party that many people showed up, many Finnish, as well as foreigners. It was a very nice atmosphere and we had a bon fire at the lake afterwards. Especially nice was the ice cracking during that nice. Finally, my final days were filled with some northern lights hunting, but unfortunately there was little success. Nevertheless I was happy to stay some more days in Finland as my flight was cancelled due to the strikes with Lufthansa. Overall, I must say that my farewell from Jyvaskylä was my most sentimental good bye so far and it made me realize that I really hang on that place. I will definitely come back visiting.

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About Philip Heckmann

Morjesta! I am Philip Heckmann. I am originally from Germany, but after high school and civil service, I followed my wish to combine sports, traveling, studying. I played volleyball for Park University and graduated with Bachelor in Psychology in 2011. Now, I am studying for my Masters in Sport and Exercise Pychology in Jyvaskyla, Finland. Besides studying, I worked as adventure travel specialist in different areas all over the place.

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