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Graduates from the School of Electrical Engineering are happy to offer their expertise to students

At the ELEC Career Café, students at the School of Electrical Engineering had a unique opportunity to meet with business leaders and experts over a cup of coffee.
Aalto University / Farah Salah at Aalto ELEC Career Café / photo: Linda Koskinen

The ELEC Career Café, held on 28 March 2019, drew in 31 students from the School of Electrical Engineering and seven graduates from the school, who came from different companies and organisations. Students were offered the opportunity to make contacts and put their questions to alumni who have progressed in their careers.

‘These kind of events are very valuable for students’, says Abraham Martinez Ornelas, a student on the CCIS programme. He got the chance to talk with Liisa Åström, Vice President of Products and Systems at Vaisala Industrial Measurements. ‘It was interesting to hear the experiences of those that have worked for a long time in the field and to get a better understanding of how things work outside of the academic environment. Also, we got the kind of information about business processes which is difficult to get from elsewhere.’

There was quite a crowd around the table of Farah Salah. Salah works as a software developer for Nokia. Students were interested to hear how she got the job that she was after.

‘It is worth applying for a summer or thesis position from the company where you would like to work once you’ve graduated. It is easier for an employer to hire someone if they already have some understanding of that person’s skills.’

Salah also gave concrete tips for writing job applications: ‘Highlight what you can do rather than where you have worked. List your work duties – have you for example given presentations on a particular topic or used particular software? It doesn’t pay to underestimate your own achievements! Just-graduated employees are not expected to have large amounts of experience, they’re just expected to do the work well.’ 

Just-graduated employees are not expected to have large amounts of experience, they’re just expected to do the work well.

Farah Salah

Director General of the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom Kirsi Karlamaa answered students’ questions on what kind of expertise the agency is seeking.There is a great shortage of cybersecurity specialists, for example.

‘As a public authority, we must be able to predict technological development, and this requires a tremendous amount of expertise. Cooperation between Traficom and Aalto University would benefit both parties’, Karlamaa points out.

Liisa Åström is happy to be involved in events which strengthen relationships between businesses and society.

‘The discussions with students where interesting. They wanted to know about practical work and working culture at Vaisala, but also asked for advice on, for example, deciding on what salary to ask for. During my studies, I would myself have benefited from these kinds of events, so I am happy to offer my help to students.’

The event was jointly organised by Aalto ELEC Career Services and Corporate Relations.

Further information: Kaisa Paasivirta, [email protected]

 

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