New Coordinator for Teaching Lab

Niina Pitkänen is the new Coordinator of Teaching Lab. She is a creator of new, an energetic organizer, a network builder, an expert in communications and work life – a multi-talent. After a notable almost 10-year career at the University of Jyväskylä, Niina and her family have relocated to Southern Finland. The next challenge for Niina waits for her at Aalto University, where she will be a part of fostering the integration of work life skills and business cooperation into teaching and learning. 
Niina Pitkänen
Niina Pitkänen is the new Coordinator of Teaching Lab.

Moving and a change of jobs had intrigued Niina for quite some time before actively starting the process. Initially her idea was to lean towards the private sector, but when coming across the job opening at Aalto, she was stunned of how well the job description matched her both personal and work goals: “I hadn’t believed I could find another possibility where I could develop university education into a more work life oriented direction!”, Niina tells.

A multidisciplinary approach, entrepreneurship skills, self-management, and real human interactions are themes which are valued at Aalto University and are also familiar to Niina from her past jobs. Niina explains how she succeeded in one of her most renown projects:

“Previously I was working with an initiative financed by European Social Fund, which was meant to activate companies and other work life organizations into student partnerships. During this initiative I met around 200 organizations on the field, and we ended up developing a new project course in which multidisciplinary student groups solve organizational tasks. After years of development work, the course was included into the standard study offering of University of Jyväskylä on the decision of the school principle” Niina tells.

For Niina, creating something meaningful is at the heart of her values. Her mission is to get the teaching faculty of Aalto to internalize the importance of students developing work life skills and connections already during their studies, and to inspire teachers to embed work life oriented elements into their teaching. Through her own work, Niina wants to be a part of the bigger process where students are made into Game Changers: well networked doers, who take responsibility of themselves, their own employment as well as of the world around us, and can work with all kinds of people. 

At Teaching Lab Niina can continue with her inspiring work in the creation and development of future-proof teaching concepts. She will, for example, take responsibility over the communications of the initiative, focus on utilizing the existing know-how at Aalto in the bigger scale of educational progression, and in totality design teaching and learning according to the Aalto University strategy. 

Welcome, Niina! 

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