Pre-Assignment: Reflection note (20 %, 0-20 points)
The starting assignment consists of two parts:
Part I: Reflect on your preconceptions before the start of the course.
1. How do you understand (would define) the concept of ”service”. Do you feel that you already know a lot about the topic, and what is your motivation to study more about it? (4 p)
2. What do you think are the most topical or urgent issues that the service sector is facing 2022 and in near future? Justify your choice(s). In your answer, you may, for example, choose 1-2 current trends or challenges that you think are actual. (4 p)
3. Describe shortly your intention towards the course: How do you plan to work during the course? What you aim for and how do you plan to achieve your goals? (2 p)
Part II: Assess your preconceptions, regarding the question 2 in Part I, against the views of some economic journal or magazine (e.g. Harvard Business Review, Forbes, The Economist, Kauppalehti, Inc., Wired or similar – all these are available in Aalto Finna / Primo). Browse the magazine publications from recent years. Did your perception change somehow, if you now reflect on: 1. What do you think are the most topical or urgent issues that the service sector is facing 2022 and in near future? If your perceptions did change, how? Does the view you get from the magazine describe similar issues than you considered as actual? (3 p)
Then, select two magazine articles that discuss some topical or urgent issue for services. The purpose is to select one issue to reflect on, so select two articles that discuss the same issue – their perspective to the issue may, however, be different. The issue may be same than one of those you reflected on in the Part I or it may be something totally different. Answer the following questions.
2. Shortly describe the main idea of the articles you reflect on. What is the topical or urgent issue the articles discuss? How do the authors justify that the topic is important? (4 p)
3. What kind of questions does the topic raise in you? Identify also at least three questions that you think service managers need to ask regarding this issue, to sustain in the competition? Why do you think these questions are important? You may assess the questions in general or reflect on e.g. single industry or a company, based on your own interests. (3 p)
Participants are asked to write approximately one (1) word page per each part (altogether two  pages), addressing the questions above. The maximal total length is 3 pages. The length of the answer is not the key. Instead pay attention to the content.
Grading of the assignment will be based on a scale from 0-20 points. The questions are weighted as indicated vis-a-vis each question. The grading follows the general grading instructions given in the Syllabus under heading “3. General instructions for the assignments”.
The task is designed as an individual work.