KY, the School of Business Alumni relations and the Career and Recruitment Services, supported by HEKO (Helsinki Economists), organised the Meet Your Community event for the first time.
On Tuesday, 6 October, first-year students, walruses a.k.a. 'mursus', active KY people as well as School of Business alumni, professors, lecturers and other staff had been invited to the KY banquet facility Saha in Otaniemi. At the event, the mursus had the chance to hear and ask about studying at the School of Business and finding employment after the studies from people with experience in these matters.
KY Vice Chairman Siiri Salli hosted the event and first gave the floor to Dean Ingmar Björkman. He welcomed everyone to network and explained what Community is all about.
– Community is created around the organisations we identify ourselves with, Dean Ingmar Björkman described.
– They include the degree programmes, the School of Business and Aalto University – and these are not mutually exclusive. We can take a moment to reflect on which organisation connects us and thus makes us feel joint pride. In addition to a shared identity, a sense of community involves collective social capital
– Social relations will be key later on when seeking work and selecting business partners. Each individual's personal capital consists of a combination of what has been learned – in other words, mental capital – and the social capital deriving from social relations. It is important to build both of these during studies.
Study years and KY enabled networking and learning project work
After the Dean's speech, the floor was given to four alumni: Kristo Ovaska, Maarit Vilen, Katri Kaijalainen and Joona Alestalo, who recounted their study years and careers.
– I majored in economics. The trip we took to Boston with the KY Economics club and our meeting with the distinguished economist Bengt Holmström there gave me the final sparkle to become an entrepreneur, Kristo Ovaska reminisced. Ovaska was involved with Aaltoes, Startup Sauna and Aalto Ventures Program and he founded companies afterwards. After a few failures, he now manages the highly successful online marketing company Smartly.io.
In her time, Maarit Vilen studied finance. After graduating, she has worked at Handelsbanken and PwC and she currently holds a position as a project manager at Nordea. During her study years, Vilen was involved in student organisation activities.
– After graduation, I have also participated in Aalto University’s mentoring programme. As a mentor, I have been able to provide an actor, or a mentee, the opportunity to discuss and analyse his or her own strengths and development areas with me.
Katri Kaijalainen recounted having majored in economics, similarly to Kristo Ovaska. Katri currently works as a branch manager at Nordea.
– KY activities taught me project management, working with different kinds of people and managing to do big things on a small budget, Katri Kaijalainen described.
Joona Alestalo reminisced how he was unenthusiastic about joining KY activities at first. But things turned out otherwise. After having once joined KY activities and having also found himself in the NESU (Nordiska Ekonomie Studerandes Union) board, he was taken over by voluntary work. At present, Joona is a member of the board of the HEKO club for young economists. As his day job, he is an account manager at Dingle, a social business advisory company.
– It is wise to spend time properly with friends during studies, since you will have less time for it once you are working, Alestalo advised the mursus.
After the alumni who were seen on stage, the other alumni at the event told the audience briefly about their backgrounds, followed by the School of Business professors and lecturers explaining what they teach and research. After this, everyone present could seek their places by the tables that had been divided according to specialisation areas. The surrounds of the tables were bustling with mursus, alumni and professors, and there seemed to be no end to the flow of questions and answers.
– This event has seemed useful to us. It was nice to meet the teachers and get answers to our own questions. It would be great to have another similar event organised when it is time to choose a specialisation area, mursus Miika Hakkarainen and Otto Lasma contemplated.
A lively buzz of conversation continued long after the official event had ended, and the soirée was highly intimate and warm despite (or because) of a power cut that lasted nearly throughout the event.