Alumni Ambassador Elisa Liekkilä: My major helped me focus on the things that really interested me
When and what did you study at Aalto University School of Business?
I started studies in international business in the School of Business Mikkeli unit in 2008, and continued in the same major to complete my Master’s degree in Töölö, graduating in 2016.
What jobs have you held since graduation?
Since my graduation, I have worked two years as a project manager in the IT field. Mainly I have worked with change management projects in retail trade and industry sectors.
Currently I work as a Bid Manager at Tieto, and I do sales projects to our Finnish customers in the fields of manufacturing industry, retail trade and forest industry. My role is a combination of project manager’s role, sales and business development, where I get to challenge others and myself daily in order to find the most optimal solutions for our customers.
In what ways have the studies been useful for your career?
The years at the School of Business were important in helping create my professional indentity, giving me a wide range of opportunities after graduation. Obviously, no single course or theory has had a clear advantage, but the tool kit of skills and expertise, the people around me and the safe and encouraging environment at the School of Business have made the first career steps very easy.
My major helped me focus on the things that really interested me. I never studied only for the grades, even though I am ambitious. The grades were not emphasized in the work places where I applied to, but some bigger companies may still want to delimit the applicants by checking the grades.
It is important to gain work experience during your studies through internships and summer jobs, but I suggest to carefully think whether the benefits of working full- or part-time during your studies is worth the impact they might have on your study success and the joy of being a student. You will have plenty of time to work also later on, but you might not return to the student life any time soon.
School of Business Alumni Ambassador Elisa Liekkilä
“It is the respect for and acknowledgement of the School, which has offered me a safe, encouraging and challenging, place to grow.”
Thoughts on the current issues and challenges in the business world?
I believe that we are experiencing one of the most interesting turning point in both business world and in the society in general. The boundaries between different industries move and fade away, and the scheme of things and people’s consumer habits change, as the greener values become more common. The world’s political situation is very interesting, and you can see the impact on both corporate world and individuals’ lives.
You take part in this year’s School of Business ARENA Career Fair on November 14 as the representative of Tieto. How does one get the best advantage of the career fair?
At the ARENA Career Fair, one can search for inspiration, knowledge, support and advice by getting to know different companies. Every encounter is a possibility! If you are not yet sure where you want to head for after the studies, use these kinds of events to collect ideas. At the same time, you get to network with different people and talk about your own wishes with the company representatives. I will be at this year’s ARENA Career Fair at the Tieto stand, but you can also come and talk to me at the Speed Mentoring session between 2 PM and 4 PM. Hope to see you there!
Remember: Do not make any decisions for the sake of making decisions. Listen to yourself and give the process some time. By following current issues, you can clarify your own interests get new ideas on where to proceed. In the world full of change, the ability to being flexible and to tolerate uncertainty are key skills.
You act as an Alumni Ambassador at the School of Business. What does being an alumna mean to you?
Being an alumna means belonging together with the ones who studied at the same time and with the ones who have travelled the same path than me. It is the respect for and acknowledgement of the School, which has offered me a safe, encouraging and challenging, place to grow. As an Alumni Ambassador, I feel that I can somehow give back, and help the School offer high-quality academic home both in the metropolitan area and in Mikkeli, also in the future.
Currently, Liekkilä is working as a Customer Manager at TietoEVRY. (2020)
Get to know Elisa Liekkilä’s career path more closely on LinkedIn!
Read more about the School of Business alumni cooperation and about the other Alumni Ambassadors who, like Elisa Liekkilä, are involved in developing the School’s alumni activities: www.aalto.fi/school-of-business/alumni-of-the-school-of-business