Alumni Ambassador's story: Mia Sirkiä
When and what did you study at Aalto University School of Business?
I studied during the years 1994–2000 at the School of Business. I started in the Economics major, but decided to change my major, and eventually graduated from the Master’s Program in Management and International Business.
Where have you worked after graduation?
My career path is very variable: I started as a Management Consultant, from where the path took me to Nokia for 10 years. At Nokia, I worked in different positions from development tasks to product marketing and to leading global Go-To-Market projects. After that, I spent 7 years at an advertising agency Hasan & Patners, being responsible for B2B marketing.
Thus, I have worked in development and sales tasks, building brands and marketing strategies, and currently, creating growth in the SMEs. I am the founding partner at Saari Partners, which is a private equity fund with capital commitments of €42 million.
Thoughts on studying? What is the significance of the major subject?
It sounds clichée, but the comprehensive understanding of different business functions is the most important learning I had from my studies. The significance of the major subject depends a lot on whether you are looking for a specialist position or something in leadership or entrepreneurship.
For me, choosing the major subject was very difficult, as I did not want to delimit any options at the time when I was interested in many things. This can be seen in my career path, as I have switched broadly from one field of operation to another and from a position to another. To me, the major subjects do not represent different expertise, but rather different viewpoints to the business operation and leadership.
I changed my major after working in the field of economics. I noticed that it was not inspiring me enough to study it further, and so I ended up in the field of management.
Your advice for current students?
No one can see the future, and the changes are happening quite rapidly. I think it is great that there is less hierarchy-based authority and influence in the work life, and authentic expertise is emphasized.
Thus, my advice to you is that be boldly yourself! You should always navigate according to your own passion and interests – if you are not truly interested in the things, you cannot flourish.
You act as an Alumni Ambassador at the School of Business. What does being an alumna mean to you?
The School of Business has been a very important place to me. Besides all the knowledge, I have made great friends! Being an alumna is a way to give back, but also to gain new experiences and viewpoints. Through the alumni activities you’ll meet interesting people working in interesting places and you learn new things!
Get to know Mia Sirkiä’s career path more closely on LinkedIn!
Read more about the School of Business alumni cooperation and about the other Alumni Ambassadors who, like Mia Sirkiä, are involved in developing the School’s alumni activities.