Gabriele Del Brenna uses the skills learned at Aalto in his work as an Acoustic Designer

'Finland is a unique place, and great for student life,' says Gabriele Del Brenna. In this interview, he talks about his experiences in acoustics and audio technology studies and gives his tips for international experts to find employment after graduation.
Gabriele Del Brenna

Gabriele Del Brenna had already lived four years in Finland when he was younger and he knew he wanted to return to the country at some point. He came back to study in the Master's Programme in Computer, Communication and Information Sciences - Acoustics and Audio Technology. Gabriele believes that the programme provided an excellent balance of theoretical and practical components. He found it highly beneficial to apply the knowledge directly to real-world tasks and problems.

Why did you choose the major in Acoustics and Audio Technology and Aalto University?

I lived in Finland from 2005 to 2009 as my dad was transferred here for work; therefore, I already had some experience living in Helsinki. I cherished my memories of Finland and had considered returning for university. However, when I graduated from high school, Aalto had not yet begun offering undergraduate courses in English.

I completed my Bachelor’s degree in the UK in Electronic Engineering with Music Technology Systems. When I discovered that Aalto offered a Master’s course in Acoustics & Audio Technology, the choice became quite clear.

What was the best part of the programme?

The programme had a good mix of theoretical and practical aspects, so it was very useful to be able to immediately apply the knowledge into real tasks and problems; I think this does a fantastic job of solidifying the concepts when you can use them right away. The professors are all clearly passionate about what they do.

What was the best part of student life?

Covid struck right in the middle of my two years at Aalto, so I was only able to experience student life for the first year or so before everything shifted to remote learning.

I was also living off campus in private accommodation as the waitlist for student housing was long. From this limited time, I would say that the teekkari overalls and cap obtaining process was the best part, as it allowed me to get a deep look into the Finnish student experience with the people that had been through it, as well as all the new people that were participating alongside myself.

The professors are all clearly passionate about what they do.

Gabriele Del Brenna

What kind of tools did you get from your studies that have been useful in your working life?

Since my job is relevant to some extent to the course content I participated in, I have been able to apply the knowledge I gained at Aalto directly into my work, which has been great. Obviously through work I have learned new skills as well, but starting off with a solid foundation already was a big advantage (which also helped to offset the disadvantage of having less-than-professional Finnish skills at the very start).

Where are you working now? How did you end up in your current job?

I am currently working as an Acoustic Designer (akustiikkasuunnittelija in Finnish) in A-Insinöörit. Part of my Master’s courses were directly relevant to the job I am doing (mostly in the field of building acoustics), as well as my thesis.

I was introduced to this branch of acoustics during my time at Aalto, and I devoted a significant part of my job search to entering this field. I was lucky to have received an interview offer from LinkedIn seemingly out of nowhere (I was contacted through e-mail after liking a post from who then would become my boss), but I had applied to essentially all Finnish companies who were working in acoustics. Sometimes, it just takes a bit of luck.

How does the future of the field look like?

Right now, the construction industry, and by extension A-Insinöörit’s field of work, is looking quite bleak (as are other industries as well). Luckily, in the acoustics unit, work continues to be sufficient so we are moving along in a positive direction despite the challenges. Hopefully this will pick back up in the coming years.

What would you want to say to international students who are considering applying to Aalto and moving to Finland?

Definitely take the opportunity because Finland is a unique place, and great for student life. Do not be afraid of the cold and dark, that can be mitigated easily!

Aside from studying, having a “homebase” in Helsinki opens up the Nordic region for traveling, which is often considered far away from the rest of the world, and even rest of Europe sometimes. Day or weekend trips to Stockholm, Oslo, the Baltics, or even within Finland are easily accessible and highly worth going to.

In terms of after studying prospects: a lot of people are attracted to Finland and Aalto for studying, but then either refuse to stay here, or cannot due to the difficulty in finding and securing a job. Companies seem to have started loosening their Finnish language requirements, but the biggest tip I would have for people who choose to come here is to incorporate Finnish courses (either within their Aalto curriculum or not) and dedicate significant effort into developing a semi-professional proficiency. Finnish is a tough language, but 2 years of consistent courses and practice will be suitable. I am lucky enough that my colleagues in the office speak English with me, but I am proficient enough to be able to communicate with clients in Finnish, as most of them do not speak English.

The effort required in securing a job here is quite high, but the reward after having achieved it is many times worth it, in my opinion.

Read more about the major

Three Aalto University students working in a acoustics laboratory

Acoustics and Audio Technology - Computer, Communication and Information Sciences, Master of Science (Technology)

The major in Acoustics and Audio Technology equips students with a fundamental understanding of human hearing, audio perception, and physics of sound. The skills they acquire enable, for example, reducing noise pollution, planning harmonic environments and designing coherent sound experiences.

Study options
Aalto University acoustics and audio technology student Lauros Pajunen

Student Lauros Pajunen: Acoustics and Audio Technology focuses on our behaviour in acoustic environments

International community, human-centred topics and connections to the industry made the Acoustics and Audio Technology major a great choice for Lauros Pajunen.

Craig Rollo / Aalto University alumni/ Master's Programme in Computer, Communication and Information Sciences - Acoustics and Audio Technology

Alumnus Craig Rollo has the music enthusiastic’s dream job

Because Craig Rollo wanted a job related to music, studying Acoustics and Audio Technology was the perfect choice for him

Janne Pietilä/ Master's Programme in Computer, Communication and Information Sciences - Acoustics and Audio Technology/ image: Lauri Viljavuori

Student Janne Pietilä: Studies in acoustics have also provided new perspectives on musical interests

According to Janne Pietilä, the employment prospects in acoustics and audio technology are good, as experts are needed in virtual reality production as well as in construction

Aalto University / A girl sitting on sand with sunglasses on / Laura McLeod

Alumna Laura McLeod: In Aalto, you have the freedom to explore and learn new skills

Acoustics and Audio Technology major gave Laura McLeod the opportunity to combine her two fields of passion: music and physics

  • Published:
  • Updated:

Read more news

Piano Top Loungessa
Campus, Cooperation, Studies, University Published:

Students decided: two community pianos arrived on campus

Aalto-yliopiston opiskelijoiden osallistavan budjetoinnin projektin voittajaksi nousi yhteiskäyttöinen piano.
Nesteen polttoainejalostamon tankit Porvoossa
Cooperation, Research & Art Published:

Collaboration with Aalto brings significant financial benefits to Neste

As a result of the collaboration, Neste is now using digital tools in its fuel research alongside traditional testing.
Laboratory work at the School of Chemical Engineering
Cooperation Published:

Join the Unite! Engineering Biology matchmaking event on 11 September

The Unite! Engineering Biology initiative aims to unite researchers from all the nine partner universities in the Unite! alliance to advance key technologies and sustainable processes.
Portaits of Ricardo Dutra and Natalia Villaman
Studies Published:

Summer School teacher interview: Radical Creativity is a human capacity rather than a super talent

Get to know Natalia Villaman and Ricardo Dutra – the teachers behind the Radical Creativity summer course by Aalto University Summer School.