Master's Programme in Information and Service Management is the most tech-savvy programme at the Aalto University School of Business. The ISM programme shapes students into future leaders of the digital era with a unique combination of leadership, business and technology. ISM provides students with in-depth expertise in developing, managing and leading data-heavy businesses, making graduates highly sought after in the job market.
Alumnus Tung Hoang: Data analytics is where you can apply theories and technical knowledge in solving real business problems
Who are you? What and when did you study at Aalto University School of Business?
My name is Tung Hoang. I graduated from Aalto University School of Business in 2017, majoring in Business Analytics, Information & Service Management (ISM). I first came to Finland in 2011 for my Bachelor’s studies at our School’s Mikkeli campus. Then after my exchange semester in Australia, I decided to come back to Helsinki and continued to my Master’s studies in 2014.
The highlights of your studies in regards to employment? What has been important or useful during your studies?
My Master’s studies introduced me well to the business intelligence & data analytics field and its applications in business. Many concepts and skills I learnt at Aalto are now directly related to my current job, for example, SQL, Hadoop big data, machine learning and customer segmentation.
Even though some of these concepts might be taught at an introductory level, I think the most important thing during my studies was the possibility to dive in and study whichever interested you. For example, ISM programme allowed us to choose programming courses or more quantitative courses for our elective studies, which helped me acquire useful skills not only for my Master’s thesis but also for the future jobs.
How did you become interested in the business & data analytics field and how did you end up in your current work position?
When I applied for the Master’s programme, Business Analytics was a relatively new major and I did not know much about data analysis or programming. But all this new knowledge was what has kept me interested in the field. Data analytics is where you can apply theories and technical knowledge in solving real business problems. Also the career prospectives of this field are very high - good data analysts or data scientists are very much in demand today.
During the last year in my Master’s studies, I worked in Business Analyst trainee positions at two companies in totally different industries. I learnt how those companies were leveraging their data and data analytics for making important business decisions. From there I knew what kind of technical skills might be useful and tried to improve myself in those areas.
Finally, I got accepted to Nordea’s Graduate program before finishing my Master’s thesis and since then have been working as Data Analyst.
You work as a Customer Insights Analyst at Nordea. Could you describe your typical workday in your job and typical work assignments?
As a Data Analyst at Nordea, I work in a centralized team and collaborate with different stakeholders from both business and IT side. Usually the requests for data analysis come from business side, namely management team, and sales and marketing teams.
Work assignments can be different topics, for example, creating a target group for the upcoming marketing campaigns, analyzing certain customer segment’s behaviors, or analyzing credit portfolio performances.
Like many other big companies, the data landscape at Nordea is very complex, so often data analysts would have to spent a lot of their time identifying and gathering the right data for a project. Therefore we need to work closely with data engineering teams to ensure that the data assets are delivered and properly maintained. Some cool projects could involve developing and maintaining machine learning models.
There is a wide range of applications for different purposes in our data analysis toolbox, but the ones I use the most nowadays are Python, Hive SQL, SAS and Power BI.
What is your advice for current foreign students related to job hunting in Finland?
To make yourself standing out among other candidates, especially for a position that does not require Finnish language, it’s important that your application has a focus, for example showing your goals and interests, and how your skills match with the applying position.
A good way to do that is to highlight your personal projects which are most related to the job, whether they are course projects from school or from an online platform such as Coursera or Udemy. In my experience, employers highly appreciate a candidate who has an interesting project portfolio that shows off his/her data analysis skills. This applies also very well to the internship or entry-level jobs when students do not have much working experience.
Besides, I would recommend our students to actively attend the networking events organized by our school to learn more about the alumni and the companies they are working for. Chances are very high that you will work with some of your Aalto fellows in the future!
What would you do differently in your studies?
I would try to do more personal projects besides the core studies, something like learning how to improve the data visualization, or maybe building prediction models using text data. They do not need to have great results but I might have had more fun and learnt faster this way.
Read more about Tung Hoang’s career path on LinkedIn: https://fi.linkedin.com/in/httung!
Check the events and trainings organized by the School of Business Career Services (requires an Aalto login).
International Business, Bachelor (BScBA, Mikkeli) and Master of Science (Otaniemi) in Economics and Business Administration
The Bachelor’s Programme in International Business provides students with a comprehensive range of skills and knowledge to build, develop and lead companies on a global scale. A bachelor’s degree in business with an international focus opens up a wide variety of career opportunities across all industries and continents.
Here you can find School of Business alumni stories. Our alumni share their professional journeys and give advice and tips regarding working life. The stories have been sorted based on the alumni's majors. The newest publications are placed first in the major groups.