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Master’s thesis is a final work, not life's work!

The employment opportunities and job descriptions of accounting and business law were the focus of the event.
Students interviewed alumni of accounting and business law in the popular “Tenttaa työnantajaa” Q&A event.

The comment ‘I learned that the first job won't determine the rest of my life’ was the immediate feedback of a student who participated in the event. Tenttaa työnantajaa is a concept developed by the Career Services of the School of Business and as the matter of fact, its quintessential idea is to make the work assignments of each field visible to students already during their studies. Thus, students are provided with a realistic image of the optional career paths they could have ahead of them and how the job in their field really is.

There were four alumni to be interviewed by students at the event organised at the Aalto Business School on 16 November. This was the fourth time that the event was organised at the School of Business. Each of the alumni told about their own career and answered the students’ questions about the duties in their field and the good and bad sides of them as per their own experience. Assistant Controller Emilia Rantala from KONE, CFO Sari Helander from Post, Senior Associate Peter Rögård from PwC and Director (Taxation and Group Accounting) Visa Randell from Tieto had arrived to the venue, the Wihuri-hall.

‘I was pleased to notice that this time all four alumni represented the School of Business’ partner companies with which we already collaborate closely in various field’, stated Annemari Rautio from the Career Services of the School of Business who opened the event. She told that students majoring in accounting and business law have a rather safe outlook on the future since 84% of the students of accounting are already employed when they graduate. On the other hand, business law students have it even better: no less than 92% of them are already employed at the moment of graduation.  

Instructions and advice

Even more than on the actual job descriptions, the conversation focused on how our alumni have managed to maintain the relationship between work and free-time, what kind of advice they would give to students on the verge of graduation and what kind of insights they have already gained in their own careers.

Sari Helander who works at Post had the longest career under her belt.
‘Take care of your family. It is possible to have both kids and career,’ she said encouragingly.

‘Master’s thesis is a final work, not life's work!’ stated Visa Randell and added, ‘If something goes wrong, it’s a learning experience, too.’

‘Participate widely in everything, don’t just stay in your own silos. You should get your Master’s thesis out of the way first,’ advised Peter Rögård those starting their careers.

‘A motivational event, lovely people and career stories. I got a positive feeling that there is hope,’ remarked a student majoring in accounting.

Should the career be planned?

A fruitful topic was also if a career can be planned and if it can, is it wise to plan one’s career perseveringly. What fits someone may not suit someone else. 

‘I didn’t end up working for my current employer by chance. I aim at an international career, so I chose KONE,’ told Emilia Rantala. 

‘I haven’t really planned my career. Rather, I’ve always moved towards interesting assignments. My career progression has not been linear and I have also had luck because a global enterprise offers much more possibilities for advancing in career,’ stated Sari Helander from Post.

All of our alumni agreed that there are a few things that advance career progression on a general level.

‘Language skills and understanding new cultures are of first rate importance,’ stressed both Visa Randell and Sari Helander. ‘Communication, negotiation skills, studies outside of one’s own focus,’ advised Emilia Rantala and Peter Rögård.

‘Thinking about career has often felt a little stressful, but the alumni’s stories helped ease futile stress and understand that all kinds of possibilities are open regardless of your background,’ summed up one student cleverly.  

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