Here you can find School of Business alumni stories. Our alumni share their professional journeys and give advice and tips regarding working life. The stories have been sorted based on the alumni's majors. The newest publications are placed first in the major groups.
Alumna Iida Valin: There are still many possibilities for learning after graduation
Who are you? What did you study and when did you graduate?
I am Iida Valin, a Senior communications manager, who loves art, cooking, British crime series, and tries not to kill her balcony plants.
During my bachelor’s degree I studied marketing and business law and did exchange studies in the Netherlands. For my master’s, I participated in Art Theory, Criticism and Management (ATCM) program that was executed jointly with University of Helsinki. The idea behind the program was to combine business thinking and arts. Through the program I could also fulfill my dream to study art history. In addition, I completed an extra minor in the International Design Business Management program. I worked alongside my studies for the last years in Aalto and graduated in 2012.
How did you end up in your current job in Posti’s communications?
I haven’t planned my career very consciously. I have always been interested in various things and curiosity has taken me from one place to another. During the last years of my studies, instead of the culture field, I ended up working in Nordea Life’s accounting.
In a couple of years, I started to want something more creative. I applied to Miltton’s trainee program and ended up staying there for more than nine years. The first five years I worked in one of the marketing communications teams and my daily tasks included everything from installing floors to creating communication strategies. Miltton was growing fast and I had the opportunity to participate in many interesting projects. Once a subsidiary focused on capital market communications was founded by Miltton, I changed teams. Different transaction and IPO projects were part of my daily work. With colleagues with long careers in capital markets, I learned a lot and it was great to see how people with different backgrounds complemented each other.
After several years in consulting, the other side of the table, the customer side, sparked my interest. I applied to Posti, that is living an interesting transformation phase. A clear prerequisite was that my future employer would have to be in a transformation phase or have a clear will and courage to reform its business with the times. And it turned out that Posti has both. During the recruitment process the energy, enthusiasm and will to create change that was reflected by the interviewers made an impression. I am now part of the Posti Group communications team with responsibility of financial communications, comms in larger projects and development of Group communications.
Iida Valin, School of Business alumna and Senior communications manager at Posti Group.
The ability to jump in a fast-moving train and getting used to change, are qualities needed in my job.
What are the most important qualities or attributes you need in your job at Posti?
As I started in April, I am still quite new Posti employee. I am still looking my job and Posti with fresh eyes and I have a lot to learn. The ability to jump in in a fast-moving train and getting used to change, are qualities needed in my job. Posti’s strategy was renewed earlier this year and things have been taken under development with fast pace. Also, as a consult, absorbing new things – fields of business, organizations, and different projects – was a constant requirement. One of the best parts of being a consult was learning new things and variability, but I am also happy that in my current job, in addition to learning, I am able to develop things in a longer term.
Generally, in communications, interest towards the surrounding world is vital. You need to understand different phenomena, stakeholders and wider context affecting your organization. Organizations are paying more attention to how things are presented. Being able to crystallize larger entities in an understandable way and visualization are becoming even more important skills.
Would you do something differently with your studies?
I think a few extra courses in accounting or finance would not have hurt. However, you cannot study everything and luckily there are still many possibilities for learning after graduation. Summer jobs gave depth to studies as they provided a clear context for different theories. Working within marketing already in the beginning of studies would have helped to get more out of studies.
Your advice for those thinking about their studies or tips for the work life?
Enjoy you time at the University, study diverse subjects and go on an exchange. Trust your own vision and things that are important to you, even though they would differ from the mainstream. Don’t forget to be humble. Most often you learn only by doing and listening to others.
My studies in different schools and with different people has been a richness. Our studies shape the way we think, and the better you learn to understand different views and starting points, the better you can adjust to change, and to bring new viewpoints to your job.
When applying their first jobs, many students want to work for large global firms or interesting brands. I recommend looking into a wider group of companies and ask people about their experiences from different organizations. When I applied to Miltton, the company was still small, and unknow to business students, but the leap into unknown turned out to be worth it. Today, I have been positively surprised how dynamic and flexible organization Posti is. Although, to many, the image maybe very different. Be open to possibilities, you never know what may come around the corner.
Read more about Iida's career in LinkedIn: Iida Valin - Senior Communications Manager - Posti Group Oyj | LinkedIn
IDBM is a pioneering and renowned study programme that truly embodies the vision of Aalto by integrating design and technology with global business development. Through transdisciplinary teamwork and real-life business challenges provided by our prominent industry partners, the programme prepares students as the next generation of creative professionals. IDBM is uniquely positioned as the only programme offered in all six schools of Aalto, allowing programme graduates to earn a Master’s degree in either business, design or technology.
Aalto University’s School of Business has its own Partnership Programme to build and maintain close, long-term relations with companies. The programme is the only one of its kind in Finnish universities, and also connects the partners with the other Schools and fields at Aalto University.