What part of your studies did you find the most rewarding for you personally? And what was the most challenging?
Completing my master’s thesis was certainly one of the most challenging and most painstaking parts of my studies, even though I found the topic to be interesting. During the coronavirus period it was truly very difficult to make progress with the thesis at home, in addition to which I was also working part-time. After I completed the master's thesis, it took me a long time to recuperate and to internalise that I would no longer need to think about it or feel stressed. I was nevertheless very lucky that I had a thesis supervisor who was very pleasant and supportive throughout the project.
The most rewarding experience was to complete the entire degree. Applying for graduation felt odd, and I wondered if this was really it. And there it was – six years of studies finally wrapped up in a single package. At that time, it felt rewarding to look back at everything that happened in my university years. However, the best parts of my studies were my time as an exchange student abroad, and all the parties and events, the student clubs, and meeting new people in general. All of these add energy and support to the studies themselves and make studying so much more fun. Those who began their studies in the coronavirus period have largely missed out on this, which is very sad.
What kinds of things did you learn at the School of Business that are helping you in your career with sustainable development?
The most important things that I learned came from my thesis works, because I was able to choose climate issues, a topic that interests me, as the focal point. For my bachelor's thesis I examined the recycling processes of different companies, and in my master's thesis, I studied the user experiences of a carbon footprint calculator. I also attended some courses linked with sustainable development both at the School of Business and in other Aalto University schools. The master's thesis was nevertheless the most helpful, because it helped me get my current job, and its topic has raised interest in other ways as well. Writing the thesis was also a great opportunity to learn, because the topic that I had chosen, and its point of view, were completely new for me. Working with it made me understand at a concrete level that learning by doing works.
Currently you are working as a consultant for a company called D-mat. What kinds of work assignments do you have, and what are your workdays like?
Each day at work differs considerably from all the others. I work independently, with a team, and with customers. We share the office space with a few other companies, so it is possible to get to know new people on coffee breaks.
As a consultant I work at many different assignments, in addition to which I work each week with communications, marketing, and website maintenance and design. I have also learned about calculating carbon footprints. In a small company one ends up doing many different things, which I find to be most valuable. The opportunity to learn new things and to become part of different projects depends largely on one's own attitude and personal initiative, which means that opportunities really are available.
To learn more about Annastina's studies and her career, check LinkedIn!