Alumna Satu Strömbeg: The traditional career ladder is not the only and right way to go

The career path of Satu Srömberg, School of Business, Mikkeli Campus alumna, has not followed the obvious route of an Economics student: ’I want to encourage you to find your own path. Find your own strengths and follow your passion. Learning is a lifelong path and you only know where it takes, when you take one step after another.”
Mikkeli Campus alumna Satu Strömberg

I am Satu Strömberg, BBA 12. I work as the Head of Vocal Department in the Finnish National Opera and Ballet. I am also an entrepreneur and musician. I attended the BBA Program in Mikkeli during 2000 – 2003 and then got Master’s degree in Economics at main campus in 2007. At that time the school was the Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration.

Why did you want to study business?

I did not have a clear vision of my future or career path after high school. I always envied those students, who knew exactly what they wanted to do. The international atmosphere and studies in English were appealing to me, so I decided to apply for the BBA studies. I felt that business studies would give me a big variety of job options after graduation.

How would you describe the International Business Program?

I would say that the International Business Program is truly unique. Since the campus is small the spirit is special – the pace of the studies is intensive, students are motivated to work hard, and professors are committed to bringing added value to students. I did not miss the so-called academic freedom at all. I felt that the disciplined structure and schedule of the studies was a good path for a young student to succeed in the studies. The administrative personnel of the campus share the special spirit with students. When I have been sharing my career story in the Career Day, I have felt that the enormous energy, curiosity, outgoing attitude, and positive drive continue to prevail in the campus.

These were very important skills to learn – how to give good presentations and how to work in different kinds of teams.

Satu Strömberg, Mikkeli Campus alumna

In your opinion, what has been particularly important in your studies or what has been most useful regarding your career?

We did a lot of case studies and presentations and this experience has been useful in many ways throughout my career. We had a dress code that when you have a presentation, you wear a business attire. I felt that this gave importance to the work we had done and made us appreciate the work of other students even more. These were very important skills to learn – how to give good presentations and how to work in different kinds of teams. In addition, I really appreciate that I feel comfortable communicating in English.

How has your career path been?

My career path has been winding and has not followed the obvious route of an Economics student. I want to encourage you to find your own path, even when it feels that it does not fit into the expectations of others. Find your own strengths and follow your passion. Or if you do not find your passion and do not feel that you are in your dream job, it is ok as well. Learning is a lifelong path and you only know where it takes, when you take one step after another. Traditional career ladder really is not the only and right way to go. Make your own path!

How did you end up in your current position?

I had worked in the Finnish National Opera and Ballet for a while in different kinds of fixed term positions and was very motivated to work in the Opera House. Whatever task I was given, I did it as well as I could and did a little bit more than what was expected. When the position for the Head of Vocal Department opened I first hesitated if I would be a fit candidate for the job. It is a big department and the head of is a supervisor for 60 employees. Fortunately, I got positive encouragement and felt confident applying for the position. Now I have worked in this job for over 3 years and it has been rewarding, inspiring and I have learned a lot.

Find out more about Satu's career path in LinkedIn.

Bachelor's Program in International Business, Aalto University

International Business, Bachelor (BScBA, Mikkeli) and Master of Science (Otaniemi) in Economics and Business Administration

The Bachelor’s Programme in International Business provides students with a comprehensive range of skills and knowledge to build, develop and lead companies on a global scale. A bachelor’s degree in business with an international focus opens up a wide variety of career opportunities across all industries and continents.

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