Alumni Ambassador Minna Rissanen: Aalto University enables countless study combinations, and that is how everyone can find their own thing
What and when did you study at Aalto University School of Business?
I started my studies in 2011 and in the Bachelor’s degree my major was management. Afterwards, I studied in the Master’s program in Strategy and in the CEMS program, and I graduated in December 2016.
I spent two semesters abroad: first in Indonesia and then in Peking, at Tsinghua University. I also studied Service Design at Aalto Design Factory and in the Information Technology Program.
What jobs have you held since graduation?
After graduation, I wanted to work in the positions of business development and service design. While studying in Peking, I interested in the digital transformation of the banking sector, and I applied to Nordea Graduate Programme, where I started working one year ago.
I currently work in the business development of Nordea Life Assurance, where we develop new services for investment and life assurance. My teams’ responsibilities include for example the development of digital services, business processes and robotics. I am responsible of service design in my team.
At the same time, I take part in the two-year Nordea Graduate Programme, and currently I am in job rotation in Luxembourg.
In what ways have the studies been useful for your career?
In addition to having strategy as my major, I was also interested in the interdisciplinary programs Aalto University offers: in the summer 2014, I completed my minor studies in the Strategic Experience Design track of the ITP program. The next year I worked 9 months as a project manager in Product Development Project course at Aalto Design Factory.
The above-mentioned courses resulted in a radical turn in my studies; with those courses, I became interested in service design, prototyping and the development of services. When I started to look for job openings in my own field, the experience I gained from the project courses proved to be very useful!
Aalto University enables countless study combinations, and that is how everyone can find their own thing.
Your advice for the students who reflect on their studies?
If I were now to start my studies at Aalto University, I would find out even more closely the different studying opportunities the university offers. I encourage everyone to be open-minded and take on new courses and different subjects.
The study offering in the School of Business and Aalto University is of high quality on different fields – you should take an advantage of this by studying courses also outside your own degree. Aalto University enables countless study combinations, and that is how everyone can find their own thing.
When I started my studies, I myself did not know what I would like to do after the graduation. I studied broadly different courses and subjects, and it worked: I found out the things I wanted to do after graduation!
How do different work experiences and other activities affect one’s career path?
During my studies, I participated actively in the student activities, through which I learned a lot about working in a community and acting in an organization.
At least now, in the beginning of my career, the experience in the student activities and working during my studies have been beneficial when integrating into new work communities and adopting new methods of work. It has been nice to see how many fellow students I have met in the working life!
You act as Alumni Ambassador at the School of Business. What does being an alumna mean to you?
The development of studies was close to my heart already during my own studies, thus now as a graduate, it is natural to take part in developing the community in my university. The School of Business and Aalto University have given me so much, and I am happy to be able to offer some advice from a point of view of a freshly graduated alumna.
As in development work usually, I believe strongly in diversity and engaging people, and thus the support and perspective of alumni are an important part of the university’s development. As an example, Aalto University’s mentoring program is a great opportunity for the students.
I hope that the School of Business alumni activities grow even bigger and emerge in new forms. For me, the School’s alumni activities are, among other reasons, a nice way to keep in touch with my fellow students!
Currently, Rissanen is working as a Service Designer at Idean. (2020)
Get to know Minna Rissanen’s career path more closely on LinkedIn!
Read more about the School of Business alumni cooperation and about the other Alumni Ambassadors who, like Minna Rissanen, are involved in developing the School’s alumni activities: www.aalto.fi/school-of-business/school-of-business-alumni-ambassadors.