Since engineering psychology is completely new at Aalto, the students have had the chance to get very close to teachers and to Associate Professor Janne Lindqvist, who is in charge of the programme and also advises the students about their studies.
‘Janne Lindqvist greets us when we meet him in the corridor. Robin Welsch's office has an open-door policy, and you can go to him anytime,’ says Evtyukov.
‘The professors are very dedicated and want to do a lot for our studies. For example, when we pointed out inconsistencies in the model study guide, Janne Lindqvist asked us for a suggestion and wanted to meet and discuss it,’ says Nicholls.
Lindqvist says it’s important to keep the conversation going. ‘I've tried to keep the threshold for contact low and to make time when needed and listen to students' feedback and ideas,’ he says.
Robin Welsch stresses that they have asked students for feedback along the way. ‘Sometimes the subjects are complex and challenging, especially if the teaching is in English. For example, in my first course I held a lecture about the ethics of psychological experiments, and that led to some interesting discussions,’ says Welsch.
The new students have also benefited from the fact that some students have transferred to engineering psychology from other parts of Aalto. ‘First-year students don't have older engineering psychology students to ask for advice or previous experience with courses,’ says Welsch. But students who have studied other subjects at Aalto can help with the courses and exercises.
‘It's both fun and exciting to be the first. There's also a sense of appreciation and pride,’ says Nicholls.
For Evtyukov, ‘it's cool to do something for the first time. Sure, there are challenges, and some things are still a work in progress. But engineering psychology students will have significant advantages in the job market because we’ll have a whole new toolbox of skills.’