Alumni Ambassador's story: Maarit Vilen
When and what did you study at Aalto University School of Business?
I started my studies in 1996 and graduated with the Master’s degree in 2000. As a major, I studied finance and as a minor, quantitative methods in economics.
In which positions have you worked after graduation?
I have worked in the bank and consultant sector since the graduation. I started my career as a credit analyst at Handelsbanken. At that time, I also worked in Germany for a while. After this, I consulted on financial sector regulation and risk management at PwC. My latest positions have included development projects related to risk management at Nordea and Bank of Finland.
In what ways have the studies been useful for your career?
The studies have created a good theory base for working life. Some people can end up very far in their careers comparing to the subjects they studied. For example in the sales and management positions, the meaning of the major subject reduces, whereas in the specialist positions, deeper theory expertise on a certain field is required.
How do different hobbies and activities affect one’s career path?
The work experience gained during studies forms the first steps on the career path. It does not have to be directly related to your target field, but it can also be something that supports your self-development. The work experience surely matters a bit more in the beginning of your career, as later on it is only a token of having work ethic.
The effect of hobbies depends much on what the hobbies are: some of them help you develop for example your leadership skills, and through others, it is easier to broaden networks, for example. Student life in general offers lifelong memories and a good basis to start building your networks.
School of Business Alumni Ambassador Maarit Vilen
Lifelong learning will be even more important, and you should try to gain as diverse knowledge as possible already in the university.
Thoughts on the current issues and challenges in the business world?
The fast development of technology has led to fast changes in the corporate world. It is hard to forecast how the corporate world looks like in 20 years, when the current students’ careers are merely halfway through. Lifelong learning will be even more important, and you should try to gain as diverse knowledge as possible already in the university. Then it is easy to supplement and deepen your expertise later on.
What do networks mean to you?
Networks are valuable for all of us, and many career advisors emphasize their importance when applying to jobs. I graduated in 3,5 years with my Master’s degree, but did not spend that much time in creating networks. Considering my experience today, I would spend more time in the studies so that I could use the extra time for broadening my networks and getting to know people in different positions.
You act as an Alumni Ambassador at the School of Business. What does being an alumna mean to you?
I have got so much from the School and hope to be able to give something back. As an alumna, I have the possibility to participate in the School’s development and maintain the connection with the School and its students.
Alumni events like Homecoming Day with interesting topics and discussions are a good way to stay connected and up-to-date on the latest developments in the field of business studies and future prospects.
Currently Vilen is working as an Internal Auditor at OP. (2020)
Get to know Maarit Vilen’s career path more closely on LinkedIn!
Read more about the School of Business alumni cooperation and about the other Alumni Ambassadors who, like Maarit Vilen, are involved in developing the School’s alumni activities: www.aalto.fi/school-of-business/alumni-of-the-school-of-business.