Aalto University proudly clinches bronze in the CEMS schools’ student feedback

The School of Business’s experienced CEMS team supports students throughout their study programme
CEMS-ohjelman valmistujaiset 2021 / CEMS Graduation
CEMS graduation at the School of Business in 2021

Aalto University’s CEMS programme experienced a significant transition after the summer, when Professor of Practice Rita Järventie-Thesleff, who had served as academic director of the programme for 10 years, passed the baton to the programme’s new academic director, Professor Hannu Seristö. At the same time, Professor of Practice Perttu Kähäri was appointed Director of the Master’s Programme in Global Management.

‘I would like to thank Rita for her excellent work as Academic Director of Aalto’s CEMS programme. It is a really great achievement that, based on our students’ feedback, Aalto’s CEMS programme has been one of the best programmes in the network for years,’ says Dean Timo Korkeamäki.

Over the years, CEMS students have particularly appreciated the good service provided by the programme’s CEMS office, the programme’s own Global Strategy and Global Leadership courses, elective courses developed for CEMS students and the spring-term business projects. The general learning experience offered by Aalto has also received praise.

The former rector of the School of Business, Eero Kasanen, was already leading the school with a strong European vision: he wanted the school to be at the heart of Europe. Now, it is. CEMS, the Global Alliance in Management Education, is an alliance of business schools, companies and NGOs which seeks to train students to become responsible leaders and decision-makers in the international market.

CEMS MIM (Master in International Management) is globally one of the most prestigious master’s programmes in international management. The CEMS MIM programme is offered at Aalto University in two forms: the student can either complete it alongside another Aalto master’s programme or study CEMS as part of the Master’s Programme in Global Management. Both programme structures include international exchanges at another CEMS school.

The Global Management programme was launched in 2017, and in the same year a home base was found for the CEMS programme in the international business studies of the School of Business’s Department of Management Studies. The School of Business has been part of the CEMS Alliance since 1998.

The programme is demanding, but students are not left alone

Rita Järventie-Thesleff says that there are at least two things that have not changed over the years, even though the programme has developed greatly. The first of these is the calibre of the students. ‘CEMSsies’ are smart, responsible, interested in the society and world around them, international, polite and ambitious. The second is the CEMS Office’s Programme Managers Liisa Kotilainen and Arja Sahlberg. They have both been working in the programme for many years. The Global Management programme is also supported by Learning Services’ Designer Elli Hämäläinen.

‘Rita is not at all exaggerating in her description of our students! As excellent as they are, they require these days, for one reason or another, perhaps even more support and advice than before. The framework for the global programme comes from the alliance’s central office, and if the student does not meet all the strict requirements of the programme, he/she cannot graduate. We are there by their side – we don’t leave students alone. It feels good that the students say in their feedback that they have very much appreciated our support,’ says Liisa Kotilainen.

Rita explains that the job descriptions and responsibilities of Liisa and Arja have expanded a lot over the years. The Global Management programme has led to a sharp increase in student numbers and marketing needs. The CEMS Alliance also requires active contact with various stakeholders, such as CEMS business partners and the global network. Together with the Academic Director, the CEMS Programme Managers are also responsible for the student selection process and its development.

‘Among other things, CEMS candidates are required to have good teamwork skills and to understand and accept diversity. Our programme is a pioneer in these areas. It is a very good thing that EDI issues (equality, diversity, inclusion) are finally also on the agendas of many other actors. Liisa and Arja have been well-trained in applicant assessment. Working with HR professionals has taught them to identify different types of people and specifically those students who are suitable for this programme,’ says Rita Järventie-Thesleff, who is full of praise for her former team members.

Communality is a powerful resource in CEMS. The programme is developed in a committed manner with all member schools, business partners and alumni at both the local and global level. ‘The work with CEMS colleagues is close and inspiring,’ says Arja Sahlberg. CEMS students are also an exceptionally tight-knit group.

‘Each of the alliance’s member universities has its own CEMS Club. The purpose of CEMS Clubs is to support networking between CEMSsies and to raise awareness about CEMS and CEMS MIM. CEMS Clubs also strive to support students in their studies and help them familiarise themselves with local culture and working life when carrying out their exchange studies,’ Arja Sahlberg explains. 

‘Active alumni are also a great boost for our programme,’ Rita continues. ‘Previous CEMSsies spread the word, both within the Aalto community and beyond, of their study experiences, intensive business cooperation and active social activities. This, if anything, sends out a truly positive message about the programme,’ she concludes, extending her thanks to all CEMS alumni.

CEMS MIM at Aalto info fall 2022

Register to an upcoming info session about CEMS MIM at Aalto University.

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The picture shows Georg Namuth and three other CEMS graduates celebrating at the graduation ceremony.
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