Russia - not so difficult, not so different?

Seminar “Career opportunities with Russia” was held on December 9th at Aalto University’s Dipoli in Otaniemi, Espoo, as an on-line event.

The seminar was organized by the Academy of Finland funded Finnish-Russian Commission for Scientific and Technological Cooperation/Working Group for Social Sciences. The working group is chaired by CEMAT at the Aalto University.

The seminar was organized by the Academy of Finland funded Finnish-Russian Commission for Scientific and Technological Cooperation/Working Group for Social Sciences. This working group consists of Finnish experts on Russia, who represent research, public sector and business. Its main task is to disseminate information on the Russian economy and society in Finland, to discuss topical questions in Finnish-Russian relations, and to build contacts between the Finnish and Russian academic communities. The working group is chaired by CEMAT at the Aalto University.

The December seminar was organized as an expert panel that discussed career opportunities related to Russia. It has become evident that students’ interest in acquiring expertise on Russia fluctuates heavily according to the current economic and geopolitical situation. The panelists, who represented Finnish and international businesses, Ministries, the Finnish-Russian Chamber of Commerce and universities, pointed to a continuous need for Russia-related expertise in the Finnish business and research communities, as well as in the public sector. 

The panelists emphasized that the Russian market continues to have a huge business potential, but tapping it urges Finnish businesses to develop their competitive edge. In addition, Russia’s  inevitable shift from a fossil fuel based economy to a green economy will provide new business opportunities for green tech businesses in Finland. 

As regards the need to know the Russian language, the panelists encouraged students to learn at least some Russian, although English has become the working language in international relations also in Russia. Outside the main centers, such as Moscow and St Petersburg, Russian language skills are still appreciated.

It was also noted that according to opinion polls, Finland enjoys a positive reputation in Russia, and some Finnish brands like Valio, Tikkurila and Nokia tyres are highly appreciated among the Russian consumers. This advantage could be better utilized.

moderator and the chair

The event was opened by professor Riitta Kosonen from Aalto University School of Business, chair of the Working Group for Social Sciences and the panel was moderated by Susanna Niinivaara, Director of Communication, Ministry of Transport and Communications. 

Panelists were

  • Pasi Kokkonen, Councellor, Unit for Russia, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland
  • Professor Juha Väätänen, School of Business and Management, LUT University
  • Katarine Lindstedt, Chief Specialist, Adviser to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of the Interior, Finland
  • Timur Uzbjakov, Sales Director, Dewaco Oy
  • Anna-Riikka Mahlamäki, Development manager, International operations, SOLEMO Oy
  • Jekaterina Lindberg, Consultant, Climate Change & Sustainability Services, Ernst & Young Oy


Watch the recording of the online seminar "Career opportunities with Russia" 2021 on Youtube

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