Alumni Ambassador’s story: Sirpa Widomski
What and when did you study at Aalto University School of Business?
I studied international marketing, management, law, sociology and languages between the years 1964–1974.
What jobs have you held after graduation?
I have worked in different marketing positions, as a coach in executive education, as a management consultant and as a managing director.
Currently I am retired, but still act in different tasks within cultural and youth work.
In what ways have the studies been useful for your career? What is the significance of grades in building up a career?
The studies in the School of Business have strengthened my abilities and self-confidence, and taught me to understand how companies operate and how people act in organizations. Futhermore, the studies opened many doors towards different kinds of work positions.
They did not ask much about my grades when I applied to or when I was interviewed for different positions.
During the time when I was studying, the teaching focused mainly on theoretical learning. Putting the knowhow into practice became current only afterwards, when moving fully into the working life.
Contacting the companies and different organizations boldly and actively helps you to find the first job in your own field!
Your advice for the students who reflect on their studies?
In today’s international world, the understanding of different cultures is very important, and in my opinion, this should be included in current teaching and in the studies offered to the students. Overall, broad knowledge gives you better opportunities to proceed into demanding tasks.
You should think early on what are the things that interest you and where do your abilities fit the best. Contacting the companies and different organizations boldly and actively helps you to find the first job in your own field!
What is the significance of networks?
The networks are important, because through them you can keep up with what is happening around. You can also learn from your networks about living and acting in different situations.
You act as an Alumni Ambassador at the School of Business. What does being an alumna mean to you?
I have participated in the alumni activities also earlier, but the invitation to act as an Alumni Ambassador was a very positive message from the School.
I was part of the [former] Helsinki School of Economy Advisory Board, where we began to think about the function of the School of Economy, Helsinki University of Technology, and the School of Arts, Design and Architecture. There were thoughts about broadening the knowhow of the students, and exchanging the knowledge between the three universities, and this eventually lead to the emergence of Aalto University. It was a memorable process!
Read more about the School of Business alumni cooperation and about the other Alumni Ambassadors who, like Sirpa Widomski, are involved in developing the School’s alumni activities: www.aalto.fi/school-of-business/school-of-business-alumni-ambassadors.