Alumni Ambassador Susanna Hyppönen: You can always change the direction and make new choices later on in your career
When and what did you study at Aalto University School of Business?
I studied management during the years 2007–2014, and spent two exchange periods abroad: first in Bangkok during the bachelor’s studies, and then in Beijing during the master’s studies.
In which positions have you worked after graduation?
After my graduation, my first job was at L’Oréal as a HR trainee. Since then, I have worked as a Change Management and Communications Coordinator at OP Financial Group, and now I work as a HR Advisor at Azets
I have been supporting our clients for example in HR organization transformation and outsourcing projects, and in projects related to compensation and benefits, including policy and data collection, grading, and analyzing.
In what ways have the studies been useful for your career? What is the significance of the major subject and grades?
I feel that studying has developed my thinking and abilities to acquire new information and skills in the working life. A degree in business administration and economics enables accessing different positions and gives a good basis in order to proceed on your career path.
The major subject somewhat affects your choices after the graduation, but obviously, a later change of direction in your career is also possible. The grades do matter for some employers, but the others might emphasize more the personality or the suitability to the enterprise culture.
Share something memorable from the time when you were studying.
Some group assignments and different project courses in particular stick in my mind.
On a course taught by Armi Temmes and Minna Halme, How to Change the World: Sustainability Projects, we developed a solution for the City of Espoo how to market sustainable choices to the citizens. Our project group was a multidisciplinary team of students from different study fields at Aalto.
You can always change the direction and make new choices later on in your career.
How do different hobbies and activities affect one’s career path?
You can gain skills and experience from your hobbies and student activities for your future career. For example, being a chairperson creates a good basis for supervisory tasks.
The ability to perform in a team and control difficult situations are central working life skills.
Your advice for the students who reflect on their studies?
Study the subjects and courses that interest you.
You can always change the direction and make new choices later on in your career. You will have to develop your know-how also after the graduation.
Management as a major opens up many opportunities, also later on.
What are the current issues and challenges at your workplace?
We try to automatize routine-like tasks and simplify the processes. Moreover, utilizing service design in order to develop internal processes and employee experience are the future challenges of our company.
We try to map out how individuals, potential employees, see organizations and how critical this is when the organizations are competing for the know-how of the individuals. It can be challenging for bigger organizations to attract potential employees who are used to act in a more flexible and agile culture.
In what ways should the current students take the changes in the business world into consideration in their studies?
You should take some courses on the areas that are not so familiar to you, and follow actively the news on economy.
It is also important to develop your resilience to adapt to possible changes and be ready to continue learning during your career.
Many students worry about finding their first job in the field. Do you have any advice for them?
I suggest you gain some work experience already during your studies, for example from part-time and summer jobs, internships and start-ups.
If you haven’t been able to gather that much of experience, you can mention different study projects and possible duties in sports clubs or associations in your CV.
What do networks mean to you?
For me, networks are the acquaintances made during and after the studies. When considering applying to a certain company, I have asked some background information from my networks, from the people who are working or have worked there.
In the professional networks concentrated on a specific field, we share experiences and best practices, and encourage each other.
Above all, my networks have taught me enormously and I have heard about courses and events, which I wouldn’t otherwise have noticed.
You act as an Alumni Ambassador at Aalto University School of Business. What does being an alumna mean to you?
I’m very proud to be an alumna of the School of Business and glad to be part of the School’s alumni activities.
Is there something else you would like to mention?
Remember to enjoy student life and go along with interesting things! There are no right choices or only one way on your career – trust your feelings and yourself!
Currently, Hyppönen is working as a QHSE Manager at Dräger. (2020)
Get to know Susanna Hyppönen’s career path more closely on LinkedIn!
Read more about the School of Business alumni cooperation and about the other Alumni Ambassadors who, like Susanna Hyppönen, are involved in developing the School’s alumni activities: www.aalto.fi/school-of-business/school-of-business-alumni-ambassadors.