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Master’s students and alumni of the School of Electrical Engineering got together at ELEC Career Evening

New master’s students got to meet and mingle with alumni on 30 November 2022, when the School of Electrical Engineering organised their first Career Evening together with Aalto Career Services
Panel discussion at the Career event.
Career Evening was held in the lobby of Maarintie 8.

Aalto University School of Electrical Engineering invited all first-year master’s students to the Career Evening to network with alumni, the former graduates of the School of Electrical Engineering. About 50 master’s students participated in the evening and had a chance to hear the alumni’s experiences and tips for studies and career paths.

The event took place at the Maarintie 8 on 30 November 2022. The host of the evening was Juulia Härkönen, a master’s student herself.

Anouar Belahcen, Vice Dean for Teaching, opened the event and encouraged students to take advantage of the evening by connecting with many alumni participants. Especially for international students, Career Evening might have been their first chance to network with former students who are now in the Finnish working life. In these kind of events, international students get valuable information about what kinds of employers recruit graduates from their field of studies.

Panel discussion touched upon the topics of meaningful and sustainable work

Altogether 17 alumni from different programmes of the School of Electrical Engineering took part in the Career Evening. Three of these alumni were also present at the panel discussion that was held in the beginning of the event: Markus Huuhtanen, Business Development Manager at Vaisala; Janne Irmola, Program Director at Ericsson, and Minna Santaholma, Acoustic Engineer & Quality Manager at Akukon. The companies that the panelists represented gave a good overview of the different industries in the field of electrical engineering.

The theme of the panel discussion was How can graduates of the School of Electrical Engineering make a change for a better future? and it was hosted by Vesa Välimäki, Vice Dean for Research. The panelists talked about how their companies contribute towards a sustainable future, and how their roles and tasks are connected to these goals. In addition, the panelists thought about the skills and competencies they acquired at university that helped them to pursue their current careers.

When asked to give tips for the students in the audience, each panelist emphasised the importance of minor studies that helped them to tailor their know-how and steer their career paths towards their interests. Another key point was to keep an open mind. Janne Irmola from Ericsson concluded: 'If you don’t find exactly the kind of job you’re looking for, you might want to expand your horizon and look outside the box. It’s not common to land your dream job right after graduation, but it’s extremely important to start working somewhere and keep your eyes open for other opportunities. It might also happen that you find other interests and passions when working somewhere that you hadn’t initially thought of!'

Successful networking between student and alumni

After the panel discussion, the last hour of the Career Evening was spent mingling and networking between the participants. Judging by the buzz in the main lobby, networking was successful, as students there were active discussions going on at each stand for almost an hour.

It was especially delightful to see many international participants, both from the student and alumni side, and almost all discussions took place in English. Niina Virtanen, a representative of Aalto Career Services who is specialised in supporting the employment of international students, was very happy with the outcome of the Career Evening.

'There are many international students studying at the School of Electrical Engineering, and it’s really important that they get opportunities to network with people who are working in the Finnish industry. The Career Evening is also a chance for them to see what kinds of careers other internationals have created, and hopefully helps them to see their own future in Finland as well after graduation.'

Also the participating alumni found the event enjoyable. Many of the alumni thought that it was a great initiative for students to hear about different career paths, and wished they had had similar events during their studies. 'I was a master’s student during the covid times and found it really hard to build networks then. It wasn’t easy back then, and that’s why I was happy to join this event and meet new students and other alumni', said Dheeraj Chandrashekar, a recent graduate of Communications Engineering who is now working as Integration Engineer at Nokia.

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