Donor Pentti Ahnger: A strong foundation for working life from The School of Business
I have been an alumnus of the School of Business since 1968, when I moved from Central Ostrobothnia to Helsinki. From Helsinki, I knew roughly what was said in the Swedish textbook: det är mycket farligt att korsa den breda Mannerheimvägen. Well, that was figured out, too! I retired in 2011, and since then it’s been nice to focus on hobbies. Photography, books, theater, and concerts have been of interest, and my wife and I have also had a chance to go for many nice trips. Exercise is not to be forgotten during these senior years; it is not good to stay put.
After the matriculation exams, one had to think about a place to study. Relatives probably wanted a doctor or an engineer, but those professions did not interest me. I remember thinking about sociology, but in the end I appreciated the versatility of the School of Business: there seemed to be quite many fields of study, and one could make the final choices between them during the studies.
There was a severe shortage of apartments in those days. My first place to sleep was an extra room of an older couple in Hämeentie, which I shared with a friend.
After the autumn semester, good luck kicked in the form of a KY dormitory situated on the 7th floor in Pohjoinen Rautatienkatu 21. About thirty guys lived there, mainly in small, 10-square-meter booths that could hold the most important items i.e., a bed and a refrigerator. We all had moved to the capital from all around Finland. It was quite obvious that not only studying but also social life in all its forms was valued in number seven. KY’s popular venues downstairs in the same building played of course a significant role when 'studying life'. However, almost all of the guys at number seven completed their studies, and so did I. I even continued my studies and completed a bachelor 's degree in 1975.
Country’s politics was student friendly
The late 60s were also a very political time at universities. Esko Seppänen, who later became a Member of Parliament and a Member of the European Parliament, gave great tirades. Also, the honorable professors were occasionally cornered. The students at School of Business were perhaps not the ‘reddest’ yet. Country’s politics was student friendly. Students were given the opportunity to raise student loans without guarantors, which was a real welcome thing at least to myself. However, a variety of additional sources of income were needed, e.g., summer work at the Sundsvall aluminum plant and behind a hardware store counter in Hammerfest.
My major was accounting, and my first jobs were in public administration, first as a designer and then as a financial manager. Since 1982, I mainly worked in the Savings Bank Group (Säästöpankkiryhmä) as CFO of banks' IT services. For the last ten years or so of my career, I served as CFO of Paperinkeräys Oy.
The School of Business provided a strong foundation for working life, but it of course became clear that one has to learn something new and develop oneself every day. As an analytical person, I valued numbers in the early days of my career. Experience has shown that results are created in collaboration, and leadership skills are essential. Diverse education and work assignments from IT management to human resources kept my own motivation going.
I got so much from Kauppis
I made many good friends with my fellow students. Especially in KY's dormitory, these friendships were easily born. We meet among the now grayed-out gentlemen quite regularly a couple of times a year. Travels and other meetings of Kauppatieteiden kandidaattiyhdistys also help to maintain contacts.
Already during my working years, I became interested in student mentoring, and got to know many nice and smart kylteri. The mentoring discussions were helpful to me too, and it was interesting to hear the young people’s thoughts on studying and living.
It somehow seemed natural to become a donor of the School of Business when it became possible. I feel that I have received so much from the school in my time, the connection has been maintained and it is nice to be able to be a supporter of the current Kauppis with a small contribution. It’s great that the school remembers its alumni and offers interesting lectures and other regular activities. I believe that the combination of technology, art and business at Aalto University will produce even more skilled kylteri in the future.
Congratulations to the 110-year-old!
A donor and alumnus
Thank you so much, Pentti, for your support and sharing your story with us!
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