In upper secondary school, Maija Löyskä woke up to two facts: it was the economy that was governing the world, but she knew hardly anything about the subject.
– I have been reading the news since I was a child, but I used to skip the financial section in Helsingin Sanomat (the largest Finnish daily newspaper) because it was all Greek to me. When I realised that the big global questions, that I was so intrigued about, were linked to the economy, I made myself become interested in it, she recalls laughing.
– It really was no fun in the beginning, but when I began to get the hang of it, I became genuinely enthusiastic about it.
Maija Löyskä was rewarded for her enthusiasm and hard work in March, when she won the Economic Guru 2016 competition organised for upper secondary school pupils. Löyskä, who represented the Etelä-Tapiola upper secondary school, admits that it was above all the prize that tempted her to take part: many universities offered a study place without the entrance exam to the three best finalists. The Economic Guru pondered three alternatives and in the end chose the Aalto University School of Business.
– It was the practical approach that weighed in the balance. Economics is awfully fascinating, but just the theory on its own remains detached from reality. I also wanted to gain experience of real life, to know what companies think when they operate – to understand the micro level as well as the macro level. Studying at Aalto University definitely has that advantage.
Demand for creativity and analysis
Although she now has a study place, Löyskä does not have exact career plans – and she does not want to make any, either.
– I would like to study as many interesting things as possible, and get the feel of the different alternatives by doing internships and summer jobs. Now I have a summer job at the Confederation of Finnish Industries. It has been great to be able to learn from the smart economists and to get a glimpse of what goes on backstage in the Competitiveness Pact negotiations. This July, I will participate in SuomiAreena with the Federation of Finnish Financial Services where there will be a discussion on the transformation of work, she says excited.
Löyskä is not afraid of the threats associated with digitalisation and robotics.
– It is true that many jobs will also disappear from the financial sector, but as the same time, new jobs will be born, she points out.
– The education you get at the School of Business is quite universal and qualifies for a lot of things. Flexibility will definitely be important in the future job markets, as well as IT skills and continuing learning. Computers will be taking the routine jobs, but the importance of tasks that require creativity, the ability to master large entities, interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence is constantly increasing.
Economic Guru is a yearly competition promoting financial literacy in Finnish upper secondary schools. It has been running since 1997.
SuomiAreena is a public debate forum and it is organised by the biggest Finnish commercial Broadcasting Company MTV and City of Pori.
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