Silja Erkamo is a Bachelor of Hospitality Management about to graduate as a Master of Science in Economics and Business Administration. After general upper secondary school, she was interested in several different fields, but eventually ended up studying tourism at Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences.
Silja Erkamo graduated as a Bachelor of Hospitality Management in 2014. She completed her thesis on influencer marketing, and immediately found employment corresponding to her education in marketing tasks within the hotel and restaurant sector.
‘I soon noticed that I wanted to understand marketing in a more in-depth manner and get a better picture of the business overall. The university of applied sciences had provided me with solid competence for practical work, but I wanted to deepen my competence and expand the range of sectors of my future employment,’ says Silja Erkamo.
Could I become a university student?
During studies at a university of applied sciences, there is little information available on the opportunity to continue studies at a university. Silja Erkamo also heard about this possibility only after graduating as a Bachelor of Hospitality Management.
‘By coincidence, I heard that a friend who had graduated from a university of applied sciences had been accepted as a student to a master's degree programme at a university. It only dawned on me then that I could actually apply to a School of Business also with my degree’, Silja Erkamo says.
After a brief reflection, Silja Erkamo decided to apply for the Master's Degree Programme in Marketing offered in English at the Aalto University School of Business, and was accepted on her first try. And so she started her Master's degree studies in autumn 2017, three years after graduating as a Bachelor of Hospitality Management.
The studies have progressed at a rapid pace and with excellent grades.
‘Studying at a university of applied sciences was much more practical than studying at a university, but I believe that, at least a person such as me, who enjoys reading and studying, will also manage well at a university on the basis of a degree from a university of applied sciences. There are also many courses and projects at the university that apply theory to solving real life problems.’
Prepare thoroughly for the GMAT or GRE test
Silja Erkamo says that she searched for information on the university application processes primarily online. She became familiar with the education options offered by other universities, but decided to apply only to the Aalto University School of Business. The school's high standard and diverse availability of courses convinced her.
Silja Erkamo recommends that you prepare thoroughly for your application. In particular, sufficient amount of time should be reserved for preparing for the GMAT or GRE test, which is compulsory for selection group 2, including applicants with a degree from a university of applied sciences or an applicable degree from a foreign university.
‘I made the decision to apply for the School of Business at the very last moment, so there was far too little preparation time for the GMAT test. The reading period of a couple of weeks after my working day was sufficient for me, but it would be worth spending more time reading for the test. In addition to competence, the test event measured how the applicants handled pressure, and it would have been much less stressful if I had spent a month or two studying for it.’
Responsibility in consumer behaviour is interesting
‘At the School of Business, I have really learned a lot, among other things, about the roles and activities of different organisations in companies. My thesis focuses on responsibility in consumer behaviour, and my studies at Aalto have provided me with good preconditions and a framework for investigating this topic,’ Silja Erkamo says.
After graduation, Silja Erkamo intends to continue in her current employment and make use of, among other things, her knowledge and skills in responsibility communications. However, in the future, the MSc degree will also open up new job opportunities that would not have been achievable or even on the horizon without this degree.
More information about GMAT and GRE tests
All English Master's Programmes at the School of Business