To celebrate the School of Business 110 years this year 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.
My career began in the Facility Services of the Helsinki University of Technology in August 1991. With the birth of Aalto University, I got to know the School of Business. Campus and Facility Services were a unit that managed the facilities of all schools.
In the first years of Aalto University, the university set a target of reducing the amount of facilities by almost 25%. With this goal in mind, I was offered an opportunity in spring 2012 to transfer to the Töölö campus to map out the premises and consider which facilities could be parted with, and to implement possible changes in the remaining facilities. I accepted the challenge. During this time the School of Business was active in eight different buildings. I toured all the buildings and interviewed representatives of all departments and units. I strongly felt part of the group, and I thought the atmosphere at the School of Business was fantastic.
That same summer Inkku (Ingmar Björkman) started as dean, and our small facility team appointed by him suggested that we let go of the Autotalo building and move the units there closer to the rest of the community. Thus began my first property project, the Autotalo project. Relocating the units from Autotalo opposite the Kamppi metro station closer to their own departments began a major domino effect. Service units were moved to the main building to provide space for those moving from Autotalo to Arkadia and Chydenia. The project was completed in spring 2013, when the School of Business was located in seven buildings.
Transition from Töölö to Otaniemi begins
It had already been decided that the undergraduate studies should be transferred to the Otaniemi campus. We were closely involved in the planning of teaching facilities and other support facilities for the U wing of the Undergraduate Centre (Otakaari 1). We were eagerly waiting for the metro to be completed in Otaniemi at the same time. In August 2015 undergraduate studies began in Otaniemi, and I’ll forever remember the flashy arrival of KY on the campus. They came by land, air and water. Wow, what a great experience! We had to wait almost two years for the metro.
Another large downsizing began in spring 2014 as a result of prime minister Sipilä's policies. To avoid personnel cuts, the number of facilities had to be reduced. At that time, we decided to give up Arkadia's F wing and Arkadiankatu 28. These decisions were the starting point for the Töölö Campus 2015 project. Almost all departments downsized their premises slightly and several hundred people moved from one facility to another. The project was completed in August 2015, and at this stage the School of Business was comprised of only six different buildings.
The following year the renovation of the Learning Centre in Otaniemi was completed and the library services in Töölö were transferred mainly to Otaniemi. The Helecon building on Mechelininkatu was therefore emptied. As a result of organisational changes, the Startup Center (business accelerator) was moved from under the administration of the School of Business to that of the entire university and relocated from Technopolis Ruoholahti to Otaniemi. As a result of these changes, the Töölö campus had four buildings at the disposal of the School of Business.
Project Business 3.0
In 2016 it was also decided by the Aalto University Board that the School of Business will move to Otaniemi. The project was named Business 3.0 and Perttu Kähäri, Head of Development, acted as a project manager. This was definitely the largest and most significant project of my entire career. I had the opportunity to collaborate with numerous different parties and to get to know the departments and units even better. The project was really intense; in a short time, we did a huge amount of work with the whole community. Sometimes I was crying, sometimes laughing; sometimes I was freaking out, sometimes I was drowning in the amount of work, but I never gave up. The Business School spirit, community, and KY pushed me forward and helped me get through it all.
The new building of the School of Business in Ekonominaukio was completed on time at the end of 2018. At the beginning of 2019 we furnished and equipped the building and the move took place in February 2019. I believe, and at least hope, that the School of Business and its students will enjoy their new home.
Many members of the Business School community have become my close friends over the years. I am very grateful and happy that I have been, and still am, a part of this community. Thank you!