Feb 15, 2017 Corporate blog

Throw yourself into the unknown and win

Sankar Karuppannan Gopalraj
Sankar Gopalraj
Student at Lappeenranta University of Technology, Finland
There we were on the stage at SLUSH with our helmets on. Everyone was staring at us and waiting for us to show how the future of Metso's valve business with the help of mixed reality would look like. How did we end up here from the student cafeteria in Lappeenranta? This whole thing started after our team won Metso’s business case at ADIC16 case day.
Our team after the pitch at Slush

Preparing for the final pitch

First we were very nervous about what would be ahead of us, a big stage, huge crowd and strict judges. Fortunately, we had a great team called the Humanist Engineers – Raita KivilahtiAtif Qamar Malik, Evgenia PonomarevaViktor Lagern and me, Sankar Gopalraj. And one month was enough to prepare for the final pitch at Slush16 in Helsinki.

We had several meetings along the way, both face-to-face and via Skype, and Metso’s team gave us good tips to develop our idea to the next level. Altogether, we counted that the project included 60h discussion, 13h Skype sessions, 18h rehearsing, 42h editing the presentation and 28h traveling between Lappeenranta and Helsinki.

As you can imagine, for us as students, it was quite difficult to concentrate on two important things at the same time – both studying and pitching. However, the constant support from Metso was encouraging and gave us motivation to overcome all the challenges we faced. For example, the valuable advice from their technical valve service specialists helped us to focus just towards one problem. This was the turning point for us. After that, we progressed with our work remarkably every day, and we trusted in winning the final pitch at Slush. 

A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity

At the finals we gave out our best on stage - even though we received many complicated questions from the jury and we did not win the competition. We felt that we had won the hearts of Metso’s team. They were filled with joy and congratulated us for our performance and hard work. To summarize, I have learnt many informative things from this experience. For me this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with a company like Metso. 

I have been studying design engineering at Lappeenranta University of Technology only for five months. I have really enjoyed my time here in Finland. I feel that this is a land full of opportunities. The respect, encouragement and motivation from the Finnish society proves that they are among the most forward-thinking nations in Europe. In addition, I feel that Metso became “our second home” during the period between ADIC case day and Slush. 

Our team is really blessed to have been able to work with such a marvelous and outstanding industrial giant. The interaction and mutual understanding between us was remarkable. Metso’s efforts towards us pushed us forward in every aspect. It is not about winning or losing. We had an excellent team spirit and great time together. After the event, we all became good friends. And who knows - maybe I find myself working here some day.