I started working as a sports instructor at the School of Economics in 1973. In 1975 after graduating as a PE teacher from the University of Helsinki in 1971 I got a permanent position as a sports secretary (planning officer). I liked my work very much; I was always on the move, organising sports activities and events for people at the School of Economics, and when Aalto University was born, for all members of the Aalto community. I retired in 2017 after 42 years of continuous service at the university.
My job description also included organising an excursion day for the staff of the School of Business every spring or early summer. We made trips to different parts of Finland, and we also visited Tallinn and Stockholm, basically travelling as far as we could in a day or two. Our destinations throughout the years included Porvoo, Hämeenlinna, Tampere, Åland, Kotka, Tammisaari and Turku and Naantali, where we also visited Kultaranta.
In spring 2005, we took a trip to Repovesi National Park and the Verla Mill Museum. The journey started at 8 o’clock in the morning with almost a busload of outdoorsy travellers from the School of Economics heading towards Kymi. In Repovesi National Park, the plan was to walk about four kilometers along a nature trail from the Tervajärvi parking area to the Lapinsalmi parking area. The travellers followed the path marked with blue ribbons in the beautiful and varying terrain. At some point we came across two strong Finnish army representatives carrying backpacks on their backs. They said that our destination, the suspension bridge in Lapinsalmi, was not in the direction where we were headed, and we would have to make a full turn. We eventually found the bridge, but ended up walking twice as long as the original plan, almost eight kilometers. Fortunately, everyone managed to cope, and the entire group smoothly crossed the magnificent Lapinsalmi suspension bridge, which was about 50 metres long, 1 metre wide and had a deck height of about 10 meters. We were almost on schedule to continue our trip to Verla.
In Verla, we enjoyed a tasty lunch buffet at the Patruunan pytinki restaurant located in the main building of the Mill Museum which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. After the meal, a guided tour of the Verla groundwood and board mill took place. It was very interesting to hear about the history of the mill and to learn about the manufacturing of ‘organic cardboard’, and the soft shutdown of the mill’s operations. Our guide Jussi Lemminkäinen was excellent. After the guided tour, we explored the mill area on our own and made some purchases in the local shops selling organic bread, carpentry products, handicrafts and ceramics. On the way home, the bus was filled with a fairly sleepy group of people – albeit the doughnuts and coffee served at Pukaron Paroni perked us up a bit. The bus arrived back at Runeberginkatu around 8 o’clock in the evening, and the community spirit of the School of Economics was even higher than usual.
I believe that joint excursions and club activities organised at the workplace are an excellent way of ensuring the well-being of staff. They also create a strong sense of belonging among colleagues, which reflects positively in the work they do. Fortunately, the management of the School of Business shared my thoughts and was also prepared to support the recreational activities.
Martti "Mara" Kyykoski
Former Sports Secretary, Planning Officer and Sports Manager
Read also: The School of Business 110 years
In 2021, we ask former and current members of the School of Business community (especially faculty and staff) to share their memories of the School. These memories will comprise the ‘My Kauppis Memory’ series of stories.