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Over 200 Aalto EMBA alumni gathered to learn about corporate collaboration at Aalto University and alumni activities in South Korea

The Joint Alumni Event, held on October 19th in Seoul, was organized for the fourth time by Aalto University Executive Education’s Korean partner aSSIST University (Seoul School of Integrated Sciences & Technologies).
Joint Alumni Event in aSSIST University, Korea, October 2023
Joint Alumni Event in the Novotel Ambassador Gangnam hotel, Seoul, October 2023

Since 1995, Aalto University Executive Education (and the Helsinki School of Economics before the establishment of Aalto) has been collaborating closely with aSSIST University to offer a joint EMBA program. Thanks to the long-term collaboration, there are now over 4500 Korean Aalto EMBA graduates, many of whom work in top positions of global companies in South Korea and beyond. 

The aSSIST University and Aalto University joint alumni event, previously organized in 2018, 2019 and 2022, brought together over 200 Aalto EMBA alumni. President of aSSIST University Hwy-chang Moon opened the event and expressed his appreciation for the Aalto concept of Lifewide Learning. He also stated how, as the new President, he will strive to continue the successful development of the joint EMBA program. In his welcoming words, Associate Vice President of Aalto University Hannu Seristö highlighted Aalto’s world-class expertise in the area of technology. 

President of aSSIST University Hwy-chang Moon opened the event
President of aSSIST University Hwy-chang Moon opened the event.

The Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Finland, Antti Niemelä, followed with congratulatory remarks. He noted that this year marks the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between South Korea and Finland and stressed the important role that the long-standing collaboration between the Helsinki School of Economics/Aalto and aSSIST have played in building ties between the two countries. He is also a graduate of the EMBA program in Korea in 2008. 

Corporate collaboration essential in research and teaching

Timo Korkeamäki, the Dean of Aalto University School of Business, gave a presentation on Aalto University. He explained how Aalto is among the leading institutions in Europe in producing technology-based spinouts and shared a couple of highly successful examples: Iceye (radar satellites) and IQM (quantum computing). He also presented battery technologies as an example of a current research area that Aalto is particularly experienced in. Finland is in 4th place (after China, Canada and the US) in the global Li-ion battery supply chain ranking by BloombergNEF (2022). The ranking takes into account several dimensions, and in “Industry, innovation and infrastructure”, Finland is number 1 in the world. The Finland-based Circular Ecosystem of Battery Metals consortium (BATCircle2.0) is one of the initiatives contributing to this success. The consortium that is managed by Aalto includes many academic, corporate, and other institutions as collaborators.

Dean Timo Korkeamäki in Joint Alumni Event, aSSIST & Aalto University
Dean Timo Korkeamäki expressed his deepest gratitude for the donations made by the Aalto-aSSIST alumni.

Dean Korkeamäki continued by highlighting the importance of corporate collaboration also from the point-of-view of the School of Business. Corporate collaboration plays a vital role in ensuring practical relevance in research and teaching, and the School’s corporate partnership program helps in building close, long-term relationships – also across Aalto University. The partner companies appreciate, among other things, access to fresh ideas and talent provided by the partnership. One of the mechanisms often resulting in “wow-effects” even among the CEOs of the companies, are Customized Student Business Projects, a concept that is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. Dean Korkeamäki stated that the School would be delighted to include a renowned Korean company in the partnership program. 

The Dean also explained that to be able to succeed in the fierce global competition among business schools and to uphold the value of the degrees earned by its alumni, the School has to rely on donations for its development. He presented some of the ways in which the School recognizes its donors, including the plaque on the Major Donors’ Wall commemorating the donations made earlier by the Aalto-aSSIST alumni. He also expressed his deepest gratitude for the donations.

The program continued with greetings from the President of the Alumni Association Han-sup Kwon and other notable alumni representing different industries, as well as the introduction of a new alumni initiative in Korea called the Aalto Startup Forum.

In his closing remarks, Vice President of aSSIST University Yong-joo Choi presented ideas on how to further develop Lifewide Learning at aSSIST to benefit both the participating individuals as well as organizations. He noted opportunities to expand cooperation between aSSIST and Aalto to doctoral-level programs. 

The final closing words were given by the Chairman of the Advisory Committee of aSSIST University, Dong-sung Cho. He began his speech by honoring the memory of the former rector of the Helsinki School of Economics, Veikko Jääskeläinen, who recently passed away. They both played an integral part in establishing the collaboration in 1995. Chairman Cho also described the development of the International Design Business Management program as the predecessor of the multidisciplinary Aalto University and urged to consider AI as a new pilar for the university to build on for the future.

Aalto’s aim is to actively enhance its alumni community globally. The university management has in recent years met Aalto alumni in New York, Los Angeles and Palo Alto. During the past eight years, the School of Business Dean has hosted alumni events in Brussels, Singapore, Seoul, Palo Alto, New York, London, Stockholm and the Stanford University campus (multiple times in some of the locations).

Further information:

Jonna Söderholm

Jonna Söderholm

Head of External Relations, School of Business
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